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Air India - new review- May 2013

Sutton, Surrey...
posts: 6
reviews: 61
Air India - new review- May 2013

Hi Everyone. After a long long time, I got to travel on AI to Chennai via Delhi. Here's how it went. This is for everyone who are planning to travel to India with Air India. First I'll start with the good news. B787 dreamliners have started flying on India-UK sector....yippeee!!! They will soon replace the AI's B777 which have worn out...Now my flight ....

20th May..AI 116 from LHR T3 to IGI New Delhi :-

OLD B777..200LR...yes, I mean it. Seats were hard/ ripped out and cramped. Seats permanently damaged in reclined position and a lot of dining trays on the back of seats broken and hanging out. It was a bad sight. Oh dear. Air con not working. It was a warm 8 hour flight. Probably preparing me for the heat in Delhi. Food was OK, it was just edible for an indian like me. The portions were small. Drinks service OK but rushed. There were 2 meal services. Some AVOD not working / responding, some seats had no remote. Toilet meter 7/10. Late departure and arrived early by 20 mins. This was a web booking...non-exchangeable and non-refundable at £400 return. No bad for a booking made a week before travel. I needed to travel urgently so the haste. The crew were friendly...they knew the shortcomings but worked hard. Kudos!! Travel time 8.5 hours. New Delhi airport is beautiful with all facilities.

21st May....AI 439..from IGI New Delhi T3 to Chennai..:-

The booking displayed B787 but it was actually an old airbus 330. OMG..this plane had a bad stench...really bad. I'll tell you later. The plane was very shaky and so was the travel. Crew not friendly. Rough aunties....!!! In-edible cold breakfast. Now the smell...The toilets in this plane are at the bottom of a spiral stairs. There were 4. Only one was functional. The rest 3 were jammed with you know what. They weren't cleaned and the smell was horrible. The floor was wet with debris. Un-believable..!! Shame on you , Air India. Toilet meter 2/10. The flight arrived on time. Travel time 2.75 hours.

24th May...AI 43 from Chennai to New Delhi.

Airbus 319. Beware travellers, this flight departs from International terminal in Chennai and not domestic. So there is immigration line ( 1 extra hour in Chennai ) if you are travelling out of India on a connecting flight from Delhi. Beware. I saw a few passengers miss this flight because they didn't clear immigration. Chennai international departure is pathetic..!! Lousy..!! I am from Chennai and can't understand this. Now the plane...small, quiet and comfortable. This A319 was super and quiet. I managed an hour's sleep. AVOD was a hit and miss. Food service was OK. Reached before time. Toilet meter 6/10. 2 out of 3 working. Travel time 2.15 hours.

25th May....AI 115...from IGI New Delhi T3 to LHR T4

B787....dreamliner....WHHOOOOOAHH!!!!...What a beauty..!! Very clean and good seats. Very quiet engines. Seriously. Very quiet. Smooth take-off. Quiet journey. AVOD was very very good. Food was OK, not lovely. 2 meals throughout the 8 hour flight. I could sleep 4 hours...wow. Thats a first for me. Toilet meter 9/10. Landing was super smooth. Arrived at T4 before time. I love you B787. ANd hope to travel in them in future.

Thanks for reading this review. Good luck for your journey. I am usually on the Emirates ( impeccable service) or on Qatar ( super tasty food). If cost constraints are present, then Air India is the best bet. It is non-refundable and non-exchangeable. So beware.

37 replies to this topic
Amsterdam, The...
posts: 5
1. Re: Air India - new review- May 2013

Thanks for the review. I'll be flying AI after more than 15 years FRA-DEL-MAA, and BLR-DEL-FRA this summer. The Dreamliner is serving the FRA-DEL route apparently, so I'm looking forward to it, more so now because of your review. I can update this thread with my experience later, if you like.

Warks.England
Destination Expert
for Myanmar, Yangon (Rangoon), Ngapali, Tossa de Mar
posts: 9,231
reviews: 225
2. Re: Air India - new review- May 2013

Thanks,I do like your "Toilet meter" comment-it should be on all airline reviews.

I have experienced a 1/10 twice-both from the sub continent,one on GF ex Cochin and the other AI ex Calcutta.

Once experienced,never forgotten

SS

Warks.England
Destination Expert
for Myanmar, Yangon (Rangoon), Ngapali, Tossa de Mar
posts: 9,231
reviews: 225
3. Re: Air India - new review- May 2013

And I should have added that on another GF flight MCT/LHR,with the large changing room toilet ,it was a 9/10 so scoring can vary on routes with the same carrier.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 16,262
reviews: 5
4. Re: Air India - new review- May 2013

Nice well written review. The toilet meter was hilarious.

I hope AI cleans up its services (not just the toilets). A few years ago they were just a few weeks from joining Star Alliance, but the other members (notably Lufthansa) pulled the plug citing deficiencies. Star needs a carrier in or close to India to counter Emirates and OneWorld (who've signed up Qatar).

Italy
Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,207
reviews: 127
5. Re: Air India - new review- May 2013

You should also put the review on the www.airlinequality.com website so that it won't get lost.

London, United...
posts: 1
6. Re: Air India - new review- May 2013

http://bangkoktolondonin50hours.webs.com/

horrible flight around the world to get home on aircraft that needed reapirs and crew that were not very nice.

Warks.England
Destination Expert
for Myanmar, Yangon (Rangoon), Ngapali, Tossa de Mar
posts: 9,231
reviews: 225
7. Re: Air India - new review- May 2013

Was Sarah Kennedy (ex BBC,now retired) the model for the pilot in your lengthy blog?

SS

Sydney, Australia
posts: 2
reviews: 2
8. Re: Air India - new review- May 2013

Never fly AI again. Went from Singapore to Paris via Delhi business class Aug 22. Took half an hour to get boarding passes for myself and wife. And this from business class section. Business class seats? I've had better seats in economy. Both our video screens didn't work from Singapore to Delhi and on our return flight back to Singapore. If you have to fly AI do so but do not pay extra for business. Exit seats would be better.

Plane got delayed and we missed connecting flight at Delhi for Paris. Stuck in Delhi airport for 24 hrs.

Given new boarding pass for next day and put in transit hotel and that was it. No further communication or anything like drinks/food coupon. Luckily we were flying business so got use of lounge at airport. No alcohol. Not even beer. 3 types of curry,soft drinks, coffee and that was it. NO WIFI either.

Got on plane next day for Paris and got delayed again for 90 minutes.

Only positive is the new 787 Dreamliner from Delhi to Paris. Great planes. Good airline crew.

Ground staff? 10 standing around and 2 working. They have more employees than passengers in airport terminal but nothing seems to get done. They smile and say yes to all requests and questions but nothing gets done.

Fly AI at your own peril

Sydney, Australia
posts: 2
reviews: 2
9. Re: Air India - new review- May 2013

Never fly AI again. Went from Singapore to Paris via Delhi business class Aug 22. Took half an hour to get boarding passes for myself and wife. And this from business class section. Business class seats? I've had better seats in economy. Both our video screens didn't work from Singapore to Delhi and on our return flight back to Singapore. If you have to fly AI do so but do not pay extra for business. Exit seats would be better.

Plane got delayed and we missed connecting flight at Delhi for Paris. Stuck in Delhi airport for 24 hrs.

Given new boarding pass for next day and put in transit hotel and that was it. No further communication or anything like drinks/food coupon. Luckily we were flying business so got use of lounge at airport. No alcohol. Not even beer. 3 types of curry,soft drinks, coffee and that was it. NO WIFI either.

Got on plane next day for Paris and got delayed again for 90 minutes.

Only positive is the new 787 Dreamliner from Delhi to Paris. Great planes. Good airline crew.

Ground staff? 10 standing around and 2 working. They have more employees than passengers in airport terminal but nothing seems to get done. They smile and say yes to all requests and questions but nothing gets done.

Fly AI at your own peril

Coffs Harbour...
posts: 1,245
reviews: 139
10. Re: Air India - new review- May 2013

I remember an AI flight out of Sydney in the 80's (when i was working at SYD APT), leaving with 8 more passengers than there were seats. We thought it was amusing at the time (remembering the Indian Train pictures we had seen) - and well before the time of political correctness. Those were the days........

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