Cathay Pacific is one of the better airlines out there, and they know it as much as the world does. Airlines are a customer facing business as much as they are a behind-the-scene show, and airlines continuously work to catch eyeballs, which they would like to convert into butts in seats going forward.

Cathay Pacific has just started to roll out their brand refresh, which is something they are doing after a gap of 20 years. As a part of this roll out plan, the first instance will be the refreshed brand identity, which will be rolled out over the next few days across the network, and will last into the next 18 months.

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First step, the logo, addressed as The Brushwing is changing. Here is the new logo and the comparison with the old one.

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Amongst the next steps will be a new website, which will perhaps move to selling a lot of products and services such as cars and hotels as well.

New lounges will begin to open from December, starting with Haneda in Japan and new company-wide signage will start appearing from the second half of 2015 onwards.

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There are more changes coming, but these are the first of them the company has announced. I for sure love the new logo and signage. Do you like it?

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 5 Comments

Uber has been on an expansion spree across India, having operations in 10 cities across India now. One of the best parts about using Uber is their on-demand app, which shows you the location of the nearest cab and you can order it. There are mostly enough cars on the road to bring you one within ten minutes.

The second most favourite aspect for me about Uber, is the hassle-free transactions. You feed in your credit card details, and then Uber charges your credit card every time you make a ride with them, so no hassles of carrying cash around.

Third most important aspect, they are across price points. The UberBlack service usually has Toyota Innovas and premium cars around India, while the UberX service has midsize economy sedans. UberX usually prices at a slight premium to local transport options such as cab, but I find it reasonable enough to have made a switch to UberX in Mumbai when I can. After all, at a slight premium to the regular cabs, I get an air-conditioned car ride as well.

For Diwali, or maybe under the garb of Diwali, Uber has announced new offers for their operations across India which helps you try an Uber service cheaper.

First up, if you don’t have an Uber account, you can sign up using my referral account, which gives you INR 300 credit to use towards your rides and gives me a similar amount as well.

Here is a summary of the fare slash across the country for them:

  • Bangalore: 45% off published UberX fares for a limited time, without the use of any promo codes required. Thus UberBlack fares become INR 44 (base fare) + INR 9.9/km + INR 1.1/min and UberX fares become INR 27.5 (base fare) + INR 8.25/km + INR 0.75/min.
  • Chennai: 25% off on 8 Uber/UberX rides till 23 October 2014, by applying promo code DIWALICHN. Using promo code UBERLOVESDIWALI, new users get access to 2 rides upto INR 300 free, valid uptil October 31, 2014.
  • Hyderabad: 25% off on 4 Uber/UberX rides till 23 Oct 2014, by applying promo code HYDDIWALI. Using promo code UBERHYDDIWALI, new users get access to 2 rides upto INR 300 free, valid upto November 30, 2014.
  • Kolkata: Half price rides to or from the airport till October 26, 2014.
  • Mumbai: 25% off on prices for a limited duration (unknown till when). Thus UberBlack fares become INR 75 (base fare) + INR 12.75/km + INR 1.5/min and UberX fares become INR 37.5 (base fare) + INR 11.25/km + INR 0.75/min.
  • Delhi: 25% drop on prices for a limited duration (unknown till when). Thus UberBlack fares become INR 56.25 (base fare) + INR 13.5/km + INR 1.5/min and UberX fares become INR 37.5 (base fare) + INR 11.25/km + INR 1.5/min. New users can use promo code TRYUBERDELHI and get access to one free ride up to INR 400.
  • Pune: Half price rides to or from the airport till October 26, 2014.

I for sure enjoy most of my Uber rides around India. Time for you to check them out as well. However, beware of surge pricing.

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Planning the Proposal Trip to Paris

One of the trip reports I’ve been holding off for a while, for the lack of adequate time to write it up. Like many of the regular readers on this blog would know, I proposed to my girlfriend in Paris this summer, and she said yes.

The first thing to do was to of course, get a flight to go to Paris from Mumbai. Like I’ve mentioned before, I was going to use the Mumbai – Paris flight on Jet Airways A330-200. The context set up here was that we are going on a work trip to Europe, which was total gibberish anyways.

We arrived at the Mumbai airport Terminal 2, and headed up to Jet Airways’ aisles for getting our boarding passes. The Business Class queues were full as well, and it was moving pretty slowly. It was at least 20 minutes before we got our boarding passes in our hands. Premium cabin flyers have a special security queue on the edge of the terminal, which are hidden from normal view, which join into a special queue for passport control.

The new terminal opened up in February 2014, however, they have been working with a temporary lounge as yet. I’ve heard since August 2014 about the permanent lounges for Business Class and First Class passengers opening up, but in my about 15 visits this year to this temporary lounge, it is opening soon is what I get all the time.

Anyhow, the lounge is right now set up in a set of isolated gates, which have been cordoned off to create this interim lounge. Eligible passengers get a lounge invitation from their inviting airline, which is collected at the entrance.

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The current interim lounge is a big step up from the earlier box sized lounges which operated in the Mumbai airport, and I have to give it to the airport operator that with the choice not to open individual lounges, they have a lot more space at hand to open a big spacious lounge, whenever it opens.

The current set up has a lot of space to sit, which is organised in various sections. There are couches, loads of them, with some of them a view towards the apron as well. Also, there are a lot of tables set up for dining as well, closer to the food counters. Towards the end of the lounge, they have a few sleeping couches as well.

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Over the past few days, JetPrivilege has been working on multiple changes for revamping the program, after their newfound status as an independent loyalty program, and their majority control by Etihad. The first two phases of these changes included tinkering with the earn rate, which got better in some situations, and the burn rate, which […]

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Jet Airways’ JetPrivilege program has been reinventing itself over the past few months. First, there was a rehash of the earn and burn rates for mileage. While earn rates went up to a minimum of 500 JP Miles, burn rates went upwards as well. JetPrivilege has now launched a family pooling feature of miles, called […]

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I’ve recently been trying to use Air India off and on, given their Star Alliance membership, to try and test how they react in various circumstances and whether it is in line with Star Alliance requirements or not. Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not. For instance, back in August, when I went with AI […]

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Hyatt’s Gold Passport program is known to be one of the best loyalty recognition programs out there for hotel guests, and is the Kool Aid for miles and points bloggers such as yours truly. However, I’ve not held their Diamond Status for an extended period of time ever, largely because of my irregular stay patterns […]

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Oh boy. I hate going quiet on the blog but sometimes life takes you places where you take a plane and go, and there is just so much going on that your laptop is perpetually starving for battery and hence the posting has to wait. So, the past few weeks, while I’ve been trying to […]

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Jet Airways and American Express have been together for roughly two years now, and American Express has decided it needs to freshen up the product. So, in this spirit, multiple efforts have happened in the past few months. The new changes come into effect from October 20, 2014. Firstly, American Express dropped the 1st year […]

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As I reached another 7-figure benchmark on the total number of miles and points I control (my own and my family), I thought it would be a good idea to do some slice and dice on the data for my own self to be able to understand where I stand, and for you to have […]

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A long weekend is an excuse to get out of town, and October 2-6 this year was one of those with a lot of holidays. With a lot of Bengali friends, I’ve heard great things about Kolkata during the Durga Puja season, and it was one of the things on my to do list. So, […]

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