Hello again from the luxurious Club InterContinental at the InterContinental Asiana Saigon. I’m just back in the hotel for a short while, and here is a quick update for all of you if you missed anything in the week gone by:

The Novice Perspective

  • Say Hello to Shipra, who is my fiancee and now a contributor to the blog. She introduces herself and puts out her first post about travel credit cards here. Do encourage her with feedback and comments.

Miles & Points


Jet Airways


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Like regular readers would know, last year, I met a girl, fell in love, and asked her the question. She said yes!

It is about time to introduce all of you to Shipra. Shipra, has lived, worked and travelled across 4 continents. While she travels on work, she also makes a great co-traveller for me as we go around conquering cities small and big every now and then. Shipra will try and be a regular around here, and these are her perspectives that she will bring to you. I’ll turn the mike to her to make her introductions, while I go back to sipping my Diet Coke at the InterContinental Asiana Saigon’s 20th floor lounge. Of course, if I got a dime for every time I tried to coax her into starting her posts here, I’d be a millionaire by now.

I started my career with one of the largest airlines in the world. During my five year stint with them, I had multiple opportunities to fly on work and on vacation. Work travel always entitled me to the business class cabins and when travelling personally, staff benefits made business class travel cheaper than the cost an economy commercial ticket. Thus, there was never a need to look out for airline sales or put my head together to learn about how to earn and burn airline miles.

I was  exposed to the subject to airline miles last year. Ajay, my then boyfriend, now fiancee, of course jars my ears non-stop about how we need some more miles and points for the kitty all the time.  So, to start with, I’ll share my stories of  how my  perspective on travel has changed in the last 1 year.

Lesson #1: Use plastic money everywhere

Ajay says, If the local grocer below your house has a card machine, pay him every rupee by card.  I grew up in an Indian business household, where we believe  that  “cash is king”. Carrying a credit card was always a hassle for me when I could always pay in cash for everything upfront.

My perspective began to change when Ajay, constantly started talking about earning air miles for every paisa spent. I learnt that some cards allow you to earn 4 miles for a 100 rupee spend and some up to 6 miles. He convinced me to apply for the American Express Jet Airways Platinum Credit Card that allows me to accumulate 8 JP miles for every 150 INR I spend on this card, apart from a bonus of 15,000 JP miles to get started. This got me thinking, I can earn 8 air miles for every 150 INR spent. This meant that for every INR 1.5 lakh that I spend, I will gain 8000 air miles. Simple calculation, a one-way air mile redemption ticket from Mumbai to my hometown near Lucknow is about 8500 air miles and with my spending pattern I can easily earn myself a free one way air ticket every 3-4 months. That’s about INR 7,000 saved or shall we say another INR 7,000 earned :)

Have I mastered this yet? NO! I am still learning to self discipline myself to stop doling out notes wherever I can and the result is that last week I used my AMEX card to recharge my Starbucks account with INR 200 denomination.

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If there is one wish I have in this lifetime, that is Jet Airways fixing its meal services. However, this post is not about that, but about their recently launched meal pre-ordering service. In December, Jet Airways’ started to offer meal pre-ordering for their premium cabin passengers, flying on international flights.  As per Jet Airways, you can pick a meal from the options offered online between 60 days to 2 days out.

I was booked to fly with them in January to Vietnam on their newly introduced flight to Ho Chi Minh City, in Business Class. So, I decided to take a spin on this meal service. Over many days, I selected meals, however nothing stuck on the ticket. Every time I would hit the Prebook your meal button, I’d get a fresh option to choose my meals.

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 10.07.00 pm

I did this one last time earlier this week, and this time I really wanted to see how this would really play out. Here is what I chose, and I also saved it for posterity sake.

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 10.12.33 pm

So, I get on the plane, and the in-flight executive comes over to take our meal service order. It was early in the morning, and I asked her if she does not have the order already with her, and she said, no meal orders conveyed to them. I go ahead and order again, and I get the Cinnamon French Toast eventually, but the service did not work.

On the Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City, the service was even further useless. Like you can see above, and I’d share with you, the menu options offered on the BKK-SGN segment online were the same breakfast options as the BOM-BKK segment. However, once on the plane, the options turned out completely different, snack options.


Of course, it is great that Jet Airways is launching all these great attempts at making travel simpler and easier, but if they don’t implement them well, it is no point.

What has been your experience with the “PreBook your Meal” service?

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Ever since Vistara took wings, one of the questions I’ve been asked is how does the loyalty program, Club Vistara, work? I’ve been able to piece together the earning part of Club Vistara. Eventually, since there were no hints or announcements about how does redemptions on Club Vistara work, I reached out to Vistara executives […]

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Hyatt has been offering their first promotion for the 1st Trimester of 2015, since January 15 now. The promotions are customised, like is the trend in hotel promotions now a days, and you can receive one of the following options when you punch in your Hyatt Gold Passport number in the page provided in the […]

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Everyone seems to have picked up the story from the Times of India yesterday, where they gave the spin that the Air India had decided to give its Maharaja mascot a makeover to look more like the common man. Here is how they portrayed the comparison: Of course, in the battle of clicks, many stories […]

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It has been a busy week around here. I hope you’ve all started to plan your travels for 2015, with all the multiple sales that have been out there. Here is a recap of the last week, in case you missed something. Deals: Air India kicked off a domestic fare sale earlier this week. Sale […]

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After Air India and Jet Airways’ fare sales which are still on going till tonight (January 18), GoAir is now coming into the fare war as well. As per this sale, you are going to be able to book tickets across India domestic sectors by January 21, 2015 for travel till April 15, 2015.  These […]

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It has been a week since Vistara has been in the air now. I covered the inaugural flight, and then Vishal Mehra made a flight on day 2 of operations to check out the Economy & Premium Economy services. You can check out the economy trip report , and now he comments on the Premium […]

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