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.