Air India

I had the opportunity to fly Air India after around 5 years. 5 years ago I was a flying returns member, however I stopped flying them after they would always not track my journeys for frequent flyer miles and then subsequently would make me go around in circles to get the mileage claim. This time on my India visit, I had to visit Bhopal and only 2 airlines give DEL-BHO flights, Air India and Jet Airways. Air India was a bit cheaper on the date I was looking for.

Anyway, the opportunity slowly turned to misfortune. So sit back, relax and enjoy the flight as I narrate my experience with India’s national airline.

Check-In

I woke up at 3 am for a 6 am flight and my phone got a SMS few minutes later telling me that the 1st flight is  being delayed by one hour. An inauspicious start to the whole thing. Still I didn’t delay my plans and reached the airport much before the recommended time.

At terminal 3 in Delhi, the Air India counter was super full. It had long winding snaking lines. My parents stood in line while I went to survey the airport, no doubt Air India had the most number of people but they had the most number of counters as well. Not only that half of those counters were empty. You may ask why, this is because the International flights counters and business class/first class counters were empty. Apparently there were no international flights and Air India was wasting a bulk of their check-in counters.

The staff were trying their best to control the crowd, however there were issues as most of them were young and they were often forgetful, they would open a certain section of the Q separators and then idiots would pour in like ants. It took us close to an hour to checkin.

Flight/Plane Experience :

The morning flight was boarded at the ETD after the delay. The staff was indifferent and pathetic and didn’t even smile or acknowledge the passengers. The male staff in this flight was so rude and pathetic, more on that later.

Air India taxi for Takeoff

The plane was an Airbus 219, its an old plane and the seats etc. looked really dirty. My seat infact rocked like it was loose. Me and my parents sat down on our assigned seats and waited for takeoff.

Post takeoff started the snacks service. Since this was only a 1 hour flight, it started fairly quickly. I was trying to catch the movies, there were only 2 channels showing anything and then no headphones were given. I realized later that the seat pockets had el cheapo headphones.

Air India On flight breakfast

The food was horrible, the kind you get at Govt. sponsored kid programs from un-named vendors. Imagine my shock when I read it was from Taj Sats. The utensils also seemed old and broken.

After the snacks service the male purser came along for tea, my dad asked him for some tea to which he almost shouted pick it up asking my dad to pick up the cup. Ofcourse rudeness like this is not appreciated and feedback has been sent to AI and I will follow up.

The short flight was otherwise uneventful and we soon started descending and landed in what was the worst landing I have ever experienced.

The captain also made no announcements, no welcomes were done, we were not thanks for our business and no courtesy was shown. I must have said I should have chosen Jet a million times during the flight.

We disembarked collected our luggage and hoped the return flight would be better. There were a few more concerns which I have directly raised with Air India.

My return flight was also delayed, this time by 2 hours. The air hostess was friendly and nice in this flight and even said Namaste to us as we boarded (after the morning crap, this seems so nice). The food was the same as in the morning and the captain was as indifferent and did not greet the passengers. No bad landings though.

Would I fly Air India again ? Probably not unless the cost is very very low compared to any other airline.