Pe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19202 posts, RR: 52 Posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6245 times:
My planned two-month trip to India looks like it’ll definitely be going ahead (I’ll be able to guarantee it tomorrow), albeit with a slight change – I’ll be going for just over 2 ½ months.
I will also now be flying from Kolkata (as opposed to Delhi) but I’ll still be flying into Chennai.
Anyway, I now have two real options, based primarily on price, regarding the airline with which to fly to and from India: Air India and British Airways.
Airfares to India seem to mysteriously increase somewhat from the 1st December, so I’ll be going on the 30th November.
Depending upon the precise date I return (it will be between the 18th and 22nd February, 2006), my options are:
18th February: Air India. CCU-LHR non-stop. 772. 1240 CCU, 1830 LHR. Total cost (including outward trip) including tax = £448.20
19th February: Air India. CCU-BOM. 0315-0600. AC: 310. BOM-LHR. 0910-1330. AC: 744. Total cost: £448.20. OR – BA. CCU-LHR. 772. 0445-1035. Total cost: £451.00.
20th February: Air India. CCU-BOM. 0315-0600. AC: 310. BOM-LHR. 1210-1640. AC: 772. Total cost: £448.20.
21st February: Air India. CCU-LHR non-stop. 772. 1240 CCU, 1830 LHR. Total cost (including outward trip) including tax = £448.20
22nd February: BA. CCU-LHR. 772. 0445-1035. Total cost: £451.00.
The outbound options remain the same regardless of which date I return on: either Air India LHR-BOM (1005-0005; 744) connecting onto BOM-MAA (0140-0325; 310), or British Airways LHR-MAA (0940-0110; 744).
Which would you go for and, as crucially, why?
Thanks a lot for your help.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
Mrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6238 times:
Matter of taste.. if you are flexible and like an adventure and something difficult to anticipate (in terms of quality, everything possible from superb to rubbish), take AI.. if you are bound timewise and want something more consistent in terms of overall service, take BA
However, since you will have the chance to try BA in the future.. if I were you, take AI, you will have an "interesting" experience and will be able to try out both their 744 and 772 (evtl. also their 310 to MAA)
Nimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3219 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6189 times:
The pros/cons of flying AI:
- Very inconsistent product - some of the aircraft may be in tatters
- History of being late - due to the paucity of a/c and the need to redeploy a/c on VIP junkets or due to failure (I seem to remember AI's LAX flights being late every day for more than a month recently - due to a combination of a/c damage and redeployment)
- Too many connections/milk run - this may be good if you enjoy milkruns, but I'd prefer a direct non-stop
- LHR T3 (I think that's what AI uses?) - it's a real mess in that terminal
+ FFP accrual on most fares, ability to earn miles on LH M&M as well (if you're so inclined)
+ Excellent food, and liberal booze
+ Ability to get an Indian experience all the way
+ friendly service on board, bad on-ground service.
The pros/cons of flying BA:
- no FFP accrual on most economy fares
- no excitement - the flights will be mostly on time, no changing a/c etc
+ LHR T4
+ predictable - flights will be mostly on time, typically not cancelled
+ Given their recent India focus - I'm guessing meals/service should be generally much better now
+ much better IFE (though not AVOD if I remember right)
+ Friendly service on board and on the ground (The BA crew was always better than LH's, and now they seem to be paying particular attention to the lack of satisfaction on the India sectors - so hopefully improvements on the way).
Hence in summary - I would probably end up flying with AI due to the FFP, but if BA improves their FFP, I'd definitely take BA and be sure I reach on time with a consistent product and IFE.