Flying Returns

Category Archives for Flying Returns.

My botched up experience applying for the SBI AI Card

After launching a good product, it seems like SBI Cards is running their SBI Air India card just the same way like ICICI Bank did with the Jet ICICI Cards last year. I placed a request for an appointment for the card in the first couple of days it launched. I never heard back from the SBI Card team for an appointment till the first 10 days or so. And then, I started getting all sorts of calls, emails and messages on my own post, with SBI Cards asking me for information. I replied to them on email, on FlyerTalk as well. No one bothered to respond. And then, I messaged a friend who worked for their company. I was…

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Credit Card Review: Air India SBI Visa Signature

With this post, I am reintroducing the Credit Card Reviews series in India, which I had to stop a while ago due to paucity of time. Air India & GE/SBI Credit Cards recently teamed up to launch co-branded credit cards which could earn you quite some miles, making me think of calling it perhaps the best credit card to earn miles in India at the moment. They’ve launched 2 credit cards, one at the Signature level and one at the Platinum level, and I will review both separately. Sign-Up Bonus: This credit card offers a tidy sign-up bonus of 20,000 Air India miles to start you up with the credit card product. You also get an upgrade voucher from Air…

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Air India Awards to Australia now available

Air India is launching a new flight from Delhi to Melbourne & Sydney on their B787s later this month. Air India has just opened up the award availability on this segment, and like it is with Air India, there is ample award opportunities in Business as well as Economy. For dates closer to the launch, here is the availability on a random date. You see 2 seats in Economy & Business each. I went in a little further into October And then into next March I find this to be an extremely reasonable pricing for award tickets both on the economy as well as business class of the plane, considering that this would be about 12 hours of flying time.…

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Using Air India Flying Returns to get 10 Kgs extra baggage allowance free

I truly think that Air India Flying Returns is not a great loyalty program and I’ve said it before. However, in the wake of Air India, Jet Airways, Go Air and Indigo dropping their free baggage allowance to 15 Kgs, it seems to have become an inconvenience to some travellers who still feel the need for more baggage allowance. Baggage allowance seems to be going at Rs. 250 (~$4) per Kg above the allowance, and it pinches pockets to pay. SpiceJet is the only Indian carrier offering 20 Kgs at the time of writing this. Anyhow, there is a simple trick for the heavy travellers who choose to book with Air India. Most airlines with a loyalty program offer their…

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Air India offering double miles on metro sectors till September 30,2013

Air India is offering double miles on its Flying Returns program if you fly between metro sectors around India between July 15, 2013 and September 30, 2013. The list of sectors which count as metro sectors is below: There are no elaborate terms & conditions, so the only thing I’d like to remind you is that Air India grants miles sparingly on low-fare tickets, for instance, 25% of flown miles on an E class ticket. Here is their earning chart. And here is my view on the program. Hey, this promotion is exciting only for those who are flying in business class I guess, or full fare economy. Related Posts: Is Air India Flying Returns the most miser frequent flying…

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Poll: How do you use your India-minted miles?

Yesterday, I got involved in a Twitter debate on what is the worth of a mile earned in India, and I thought I’d put my views across on the blog to share with all of you and hear what do you have to say. This will be a series which will focus on valuing the key mileage currencies in India. For earning capabilities in India, there are 4 kind of miles one could earn and accumulate, using different ways. Here they are: Jet Privilege miles: Earn them by flying the airline or its partners, or credit card spends, or multiple program partners who are listed on the airline’s website. Air India miles: Earn them by flying Air India/Singapore Airlines/Lufthansa. Citibank…

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I seem to have found the root cause of Air India’s frequent flyer mess

Yesterday, I wrote about how disappointed I was with the Air India frequent flyer program. It did not stop there. I went about doing some digging into the whole affair. Air India has outsourced the entire management of their frequent flyer program to a South African loyalty management company called LoyaltyPlus, to the extent that the program is hosted on external servers and not Air India’s own. Now, I assume here that a loyalty solutions company helps draw up a program and run the program and would be very involved with the on-going affairs at Flying Returns. So, I decided to have a look at their roster of clients, and it turned out that I could not find one top-notch…

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Is Air India Flying Returns the most miser frequent flying program?

Last year, I spent some time investigating the Air India frequent flyer program “Flying Returns”. At that point of time, I kind of started to appreciate the program a bit, because they finally had some structure to it, and they have much better availability over other Indian airlines. Earlier, the tier hurdles were not clear and no one had a clue as to who got their top tier and who did not. Seemed like in the process of getting ready for Star Alliance membership, they came up with a process because they needed to. However, this post on FlyerTalk seems to have raised a few valid pointers about how the program still sucks, and in my own personal experience, that…

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A visit inside the relics of Air India

The last I checked, I hadn’t visited an airline office in years, unless you’d count hangar visits and training facilities into the list. The internet and telephone pretty much does it for me. My last visit to an airline office was in 2008 if my memory serves me right, and this was to an Air India ticketing office in Mumbai, because they couldn’t issue my tickets to Singapore online for some reason. And then, it happened again, a visit to the same Air India office yesterday afternoon. It was not like I wanted to go or something, I’d rather have been punching away emails or making work phone calls or doing something productive. However, I was in the neighbourhood for…

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Air India’s Mileage redemption is back online

Air India’s frequent flyer website, www.flyingreturns.co.in had knocked off the capability to redeem miles online with effect from 17 August 2012, temporarily. Many wondered why this decision was taken. I did not have a chance to write about it then, but was seemingly due to the abuse of their online redemption system by some insiders (yes, don’t be surprised!) Anyways, the good news is the system is back up live now and you can make your award redemptions online going forward. I hope they’ve been able to plug the loopholes that caused them to take the system offline. You see a screenshot of the live system again. Air India is not the best airline out there to fly around India…

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