6 years ago, one fine day in 2011, I talked to Randy Petersen on the phone, pitching to him the idea of moving beyond the USA on BoardingArea. I wanted to start working with him to establish a web outpost for India, which, at that point of time was an up and coming market for the aviation and hospitality industry. Today, it is the fastest growing domestic aviation market in the world. It has become a focus market for the hotel chains, where in 2011 it was just another dot on the map for everyone. They even took away the crown of India’s biggest chain from the Taj Hotels.
In my years of business travel in India and abroad, I felt the need for a place where we could find information from the Indian travellers’ perspective. Most of the magazines and blogs focussed on destinations rather than the journey, and largely still do. Most newspapers did not have a separate aviation journalist then to cover aviation news. FlyerTalk used to talk in codes then, still does.
6 Years and 2130 articles later, I can tell you, it has been an exhilarating journey. I became We along the way. Our purpose has expanded from being a geek box about miles and points to focussing on important developments in aviation and hospitality, and be a voice of the Indian flyer. We want to be the melting pot of things important to the stakeholders of travel, including the consumer and the industry.
When there is an important development which affects all of us, we cover it. When a travel service provider tries to snick in a change under the hood without proper notice, we try and sound you off. We try to keep the ecosystem honest by calling BS when we see it. And we try and voice out the concerns of the industry when we feel they are being misunderstood.
And we continue to try and make it about the journey rather than the destination. Because the journey is about the people. We’ve met so many of you, running into you at an airport or in a hotel lounge. We love the interactions. We love your energy, and we love the fact that we’ve made a difference to some of you, telling you about the resources to plan your dream vacations without having to pay an arm and a leg for it.
As I look out of the window, I see we are just getting started. There is an immense amount of work to be done, a lot of stories to tell you, and a lot of things to learn. On this journey, you and us are co-passengers. And we hope we’ll be able to be of help along the way as we go along together. Give us feedback, it helps. Tell us more of what you’d like to hear. Share your success stories with us and the rest of the readers. We are not just a platform for us to tell you, but also for you to share with each other. If you don’t find something, write to us at ajay (at) livefromalounge (dot) com and we’ll try and get it done.
So belt up, for another take off into another year ahead.