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Air India AI 102: 14/FEB/08: JFK-DEL: Y Cabin  
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5090 posts, RR: 55
Posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Feedback always appreciated.

Trip Report: 048
Flight Category: Y-ILR (See Report End)
Date: 14Feb-08
SDT/SAT/Delay: 1705/1645+1/14:10 hrs
Flight: Air India AI 102, 7318 miles
Routing: JFK-DEL
Aircraft: 77L
Seat: Economy, 39A

I > Background:

Over the past three years, all my business work in India has meant that I have developed a strong network of Indian friends. Interestingly, they all seem to be getting married (and even more interestingly, all my Indian friends seem to marry Israeli/Jewish folks … what’s with that) and I was invited to yet another wedding in India. Since my work schedule had been crazy, I could not buy a ticket until the last minute … and I had to take the fastest way to India. Working on client site in NYC meant my options were limited to CO, DL, and AI. It really was a no brainer as I wanted to try AI’s nonstop product. Unfortunately, the price of a J ticket was well beyond my reach (around USD 9,000 for the days I wanted), so I settled in for a Y ticket. My last experience on AI had not gone too well … so I looked forward to this trip with mixed emotions. (Read report here)

This is the first trip report on AI’s DEL-JFK-DEL service (it had only been a week since the launch) and only the second report on AI’s 77L service.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
Air India is the “flag” carrier of India. It is one of the pioneering airlines in the world and was considered amongst the best for overall service until the mid 1980s. Service standards deteriorated throughout the 1990s and 2000, and the airline garnered a particularly nasty reputation for unreliable service. With the opening up of Indian aviation industry, there is a renewed commitment to improve AI and to establish itself once again as a premier airline. A new fleet order, merging with Indian Airlines, a well liked rebranding, new nonstops, and a Star Alliance designation by 2009 are all steps towards that direction.

Ticketing was done on Air India’s website (www.airindia.in). While I was able to utilize the booking engine to chose the desired flights and have them e-ticketed, it was not seamless and not user friendly. It is disappointing given that India is such an IT superpower. Anyways, seat selection cannot be done on the website and so I called their U.S. toll free number and was able to get my desired seats without problem.

b) At Airport:
After half a day of work, my chauffeur dropped me at Terminal 4 of New York’s JFK Airport. I had not flown out of T4 in a year and was pleasantly surprised at the overall relaxed nature of the terminal. It was surely a far cry from my impressions of T4 in the late 1990s. AI uses Door 5 at T4 and has an entire row of check-in counters dedicated to it.

Check-in itself was extremely smooth and pleasant. The outsourced ground staff were able to quickly issue my boarding pass and tagged my bags with “THE NONSTOP” markings. Since the flight was only a week old, I was stunned to hear that the loads was 100% in Y, and over 90% in both J and F. What a departure from the first few months of the BOM flight! Overseeing the counter was the AI supervisor staff with whom I had an amusing conversation:

AI: “Sir, how many bags are you checking in today?”
ME: “None.”
AI: “Sir, I mean, can you please put the bags for checking in on the machine?”
ME: “Ma’am, I am not checking in any bags.”
AI: “Wow. Are you serious?! We don’t get that often.”

LOL. Anyways, after more pleasantries, I explored T4’s shopping and dining options before a quick security led me to AI’s gates.

For some strange reason, boarding started over 75 minutes prior to departure, and “final boarding call” was being done for at least 60 minutes! There were literally a half dozen ground crew trying to locate AI passengers and make sure they were on board. I was amused at the dedication to have the flight go off on time … hehe.

40 minutes prior, I decided to board after a quick passport and visa verification (India needs one from most countries.) I was very impressed when the supervisor remembered me from check-in and said with a smile, “Mr. Manzilla … thanks for flying Air India … make sure you shop a lot in India and check some bags in. You know you are allowed to.” LOL. What a charming lady! I wished her well, went through the boarding (and another security check … Jesus, what is this? … EL AL?) to be greeted by two extremely attractive FA’s in their colourful Sari. I was also impressed by immaculate 77L interior and the striking colourful layout chosen by AI. Very positive first impression. The second HUGE positive impression was when I made it to my seat … a 35” pitch in Economy!!! This was the longest flight I have ever taken in Y (yes, I am a snob) and I would have 35”. Not too shabby. Another pleasant surprise was the bottle of large water on every seat pouch, and a welcome drink! Which airline gives a choice of welcome drink in Y?! Truly impressive so far. Y load was as the ground staff said, a full 100%.

Airport - External:

(JFKT4)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/300.jpg

Check-in:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/301.jpg

Airport - Internal:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/302.jpg

(FID)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/303.jpg

(Pre security)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/304.jpg

Scenes of the tarmac:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/3041.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/305.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/306.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/307.jpg
Lounge

NONE

Boarding:

(Boarding area)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/308.jpg

III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
Ok. Truly impressive and totally pampering. Service starts as soon as you get on board with a hot towel service … and a welcome drink. Immediately after take off, in-flight amenity kits are distributed, followed by a beverage run. Dinner is served about two hours after take-off, followed by two beverage runs. Somewhere mid-way in the flight, there is a snack service. Finally, two hours prior to landing, there is a cold towel service and a breakfast! This is Y class!

b) Aircraft + Seats:
Air India’s brand new 77L were delivered factory fresh and have the new aircraft smell and look. The interior is spotless and well-maintained and the alternating yellow, orange, and red seat shades are extremely pleasant to the eye. The bathrooms were well stocked throughout the flight and was clean even after the 12 hour flight at DEL.

AI’s Y class configuration for their 77L include the standard 3-3-3 (except some “mean” carriers like EK with the 3-4-3) layout, but with extremely generous pitch (35” in my row). The seats have above industry recline, come with foot and headrests. Also, the seats have the new Y approach where the seat slides out instead of reclining. Most impressive is the seat front with lots of little spaces and a little drop bag (where the pre-departure water was found).

Aircraft:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/309.jpg

Views from Aircraft:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/310.jpg

(Take off as seen with down facing camera)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/311.jpg

(Bye Bye Long Island)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/312.jpg

Seat Leg-Room:

(35 inch in Y; right is where water bottle greets you upon boarding)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/313.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/314.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/315.jpg

Seat Recline + Angle View:

(You cannot tell the recline, because these are the Next Gen seats)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/316.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/317.jpg

Cabin:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/318.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/319.jpg

(With mood lighting on)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/3191.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/320.jpg



c) Meal + Beverage:

Even when its reputation and reliability was poor, AI always maintained an extremely good in-flight catering. AI 102 did not disappoint. First off, there was the pre-departure drinks … then came the first beverage service where I had an interesting conversation with the male FA.

FA: “Sir, what would you like to drink?”
ME: “Can I get a bloody-mary please?”
FA: “Of course.” (Then looks at me and goes with a total dead face…)
FA: “I do think you look like you might need another one. So let me give you two.”
ME: “Is it that obvious?” (We both break into smiles)

Jaja. Seriously. What a great alcohol policy. Why would any sane person fly an airline that charges for alcohol?! Ok, so after a super awesome beverage service, it is time for dinner. Menus are distributed (another nice touch – and remember, this is Y) and contain a pretty decent selection of 4 options (not bad for Y again – I mean, that is more than NWA or KE J!). See photo of menu below. I chose the decadent Murg Charminar, which is absolutely wonderful. The chicken is rich in flavour, and the bread and the Indian cracker (papad? – Indians, help!) are both warm and perfect. Truly world class cuisine. During dinner, and just after it, there are two more beverage runs. After my fifth bloody-mary, I feel content to watch a movie and dozz off.

Somewhere over Finland, we are served a small snack and fresh fruit and juice. There was once again an option of chicken and vegetarian and I chose the former. The sandwiches were nothing amazing, but I did appreciate the gesture of the second meal. But wait, there is more!

Around two hours prior to arrival, a breakfast service begins. Impressively, there are options once again and I settle for the western breakfast with croissant, sausage, and omelette. My neighbour has the Indian meal … in which he opts for the South Indian option … and assures me it was great. Fears amongst the South Indian A.Netters of an anti-Chennai conspiracy within AI can now be squashed … hehe.

Throughout the flight, there was more than 6 runs of water and a fully stocked self snack bar was placed at the aft cabin. The self snack bar had more options than you would get on Singapore Airlines Raffles class!

(Menu Options)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/321.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/322.jpg

(Round 1 and 2)

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/323.jpg

(Dinner)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/324.jpg

(Snack bar – compare this to the J snack options of my recent NWA trip)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/325.jpg

(Midnight snack)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/326.jpg

(Breakfast)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/327.jpg

(South Indian option)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/328.jpg

d) Inflight Entertainment:

Absolutely delightful. Seriously people, I am becoming an AI convert. Their IFE system is decades ahead of many of its competitors. Featuring a fully touch screen system, it offers over 1000 hours of entertainment including a seriously wide choice of movies (over 36 quality English movies), games, great forward and rear cameras, and messaging, etc. Even more appealing is the quality head-sets which are even better than some of the crap you get on Business class – see my Korean Air J class reports (click here) for more on what I mean. Added to this, a good in-flight magazine and you really have no reason to complain about the standard of service.

(Ok, I was in love with the IFE – so here is me going overboard)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/329.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/330.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/331.jpg

(Probably, the best Y headphones out there?)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/332.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/333.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/334.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/335.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/336.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/337.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/338.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/339.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/340.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/341.jpg

(Thankfully this Indian movie had subtitles – though, I didn’t really get it – maybe the Indians can help?)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/342.jpg

(Magazines and newspapers on offer)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/343.jpg

(Over Afghanistan)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/344.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/346.jpg

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/345.jpg

(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes – from the return flight, etc.)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/348.jpg

e) Crew:
Probably the highlight of my Air India experience. What an absolutely delightful crew! On a macro level, loved their pro-active smiles, welcoming on board, help with the luggage, water runs, prompt response to call buttons (oh, and let me tell you, Indians are demanding … hehe), and caring questions such as, “how was the meal sir?” or at the end of the flight asking people, “how was the service?” and “please fill out our survey.”

Then there were two more personal experiences that I must highlight. First, during the dinner service, the very elder woman in the aisle seat of my row was crying. So the sweet woman FA came up to her, kneeled down and asked her what was wrong in Hindi. The elder woman did not understand and muttered something in English. (She was from Bangladesh connecting to Dhaka I believe. Why did I think that Bangladeshis spoke Hindi? Don’t they watch Indian movies? Ok, side bar done.). Anyways, so the elder woman was apparently visiting her son in NY and her visa time was up and she was going home. She lives alone in Dhaka and was super sad about leaving her son. So the FA (let’s call her Miss AI) asks her what the son’s name was. She replies, “Kamrul”. Miss AI goes, “Auntie, you must eat?” …. “otherwise, Kamrul would not be happy with me.” They went back and forth with sweet banter finally convincing the woman to eat. Then, Miss AI took off her gloves, opened each of the meals, and prepared the food like she was the daughter or something … you know, the Indian way … mixing the rice with the curry, etc. Incredible! Throughout the flight, she would come and check on her, bring her tea, cheer up, and just go beyond any reasonable call of duty. Now that is service than cannot be taught. Just pure service from the heart.

The other personal experience was with the AI crew in the aft galley. I went and hung out with them and complimented them on the service. The purser and I talked in lengths about AI, the future, and what 9W and IT means for the airline. All of them were extremely knowledgeable and all looked forward to AI service to MRU and MXP. At one point in the conversation, one of the FAs said, “do you want some tea?” … even after I said, “No. Don’t worry” … he was adamant and made a fresh cup. Seriously. I have flown over 1,500 flights in my 29 years, and this AI crew was like no other. Absolute delight, personal service that came from the heart.

IV> Post-Flight:

DEL always leaves much to be desired. Thankfully, there was construction everywhere. Immigration was suprisingly fast and soon I was out in the madness of Delhi.

(Delhi airport – the BG flight is what the Bangadeshi woman was connecting to)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/349.jpg

(Rival)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/350.jpg

V> Impressions + Scores:

I have always considered airline service from Indian carriers to be far superior than what is found in other countries. My TR scores reflect that (though, to be fair, the lowest score ever received has also been an Indian carrier). AI took this superior level of service to a whole level higher. If you have read this report, you can very well understand my overall impression of AI. On this particular flight, Air India was flawless. Just absolutely perfect. Probably the best in-flight experiences I have had in ANY class of service in a VERY long time. Overlooking the rather shoddy booking engine, everything really was perfect. Check-in was a breeze, the seats were great, IFE, food, and beverage were top class, and little touches such as pre-departure drinks and towel, amenity kits, etc. went a long way. To top it off, one of the best in-flight crew I have ever encountered. If Air India keeps this up, I have no doubt it will reestablish itself as one of the premier airlines in the world. Star Alliance could not have asked for a better partner. Not only will I fly AI, it will be my preferred choice … at least on all sectors of the 77L! My hats off to everyone at Air India. This flight brought back why I love flying … I sincerely hope they can keep it up.

1.0 > RESERVATION: 7.0
2.0 > CHECK-IN: 9.5
0.5 > LOUNGE: N/A
0.5 > BOARDING: 8.0
2.0 > SEAT: 8.0
0.5 > AIRCRAFT OVERALL AMBIENCE: 10.0
1.0 > IFE: 10.0
2.0 > CREW: 10.0
2.0 > FOOD: 10.0
0.5 > BEVERAGES: 10.0
0.5 > A.KITS + OTHER FREEBIES: 8.0
0.5 > DISEMBARKATION: 10.0
1.0 > ON-TIME RECORD: 10.0
WEIGHTED OVERALL IMPRESSION (WOI): 9.26 – FIRST CARRIER TO GET 9.00+; CARRIER WITH MOST 10.0 (7/12); NEXT BEST HUGE GAP AWAY
(Pre-flight WOI of all reviews: 6.38)
* Weighted Overall Impression (WOI) aligns scores with what matters most. Weights are indicated alongside each category.
(Scores are based on comparison with other airlines in THAT class of service – No comparison of Y vs. F for example)

VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)

VII> Other Pictures:

(Pretty generous amenity kit + everyone gets a AI stationary pad)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/351.jpg

(I have NEVER lifted anything off a flight – but the AI blanket was way too tempting – I just loved the colors! Oh, and the J class amenity kit was the biggest I have ever seen – think it was branded Pierre Cardin? - I have a sneaking feeling I might be flying them soon enough to experience J … hehe)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/AI102/352.jpg

[Edited 2008-05-04 16:58:09]


Live, and let live.
50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAlitaliaMD11 From Spain, joined Dec 2003, 4068 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wow, I knew that Air India was upgrading their product on their new 777s but I did not expect it to be upgraded that much!

The cabin + inflight service looks amazing on Air India and it's good to hear that their DEL flight is doing better then their BOM flight.

Now I'm disappointed I booked Air Canada over Air India to LHR this summer, assuming the product is the same on the new 777-300ER.



No Vueling No Party
User currently offlineHummingBird From Jamaica, joined Mar 2007, 3071 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

You are an expert in writing Trip Reports........

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The second HUGE positive impression was when I made it to my seat %u2026 a 35%u201D pitch in Economy!!! This was the longest flight I have ever taken in Y (yes, I am a snob) and I would have 35%u201D. Not too shabby. Another pleasant surprise was the bottle of large water on every seat pouch, and a welcome drink! Which airline gives a choice of welcome drink in Y?! Truly impressive so far.

Tim Clarke needs a copy of this report.......His competitors are for more superior to his product.....

*awaits rebuttal*

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
She replies, %u201CKamrul%u201D. Miss AI goes, %u201CAuntie, you must eat?%u201D %u2026. %u201Cotherwise, Kamrul would not be happy with me.%u201D They went back and forth with sweet banter finally convincing the woman to eat. Then, Miss AI took off her gloves, opened each of the meals, and prepared the food like she was the daughter or something %u2026 you know, the Indian way %u2026 mixing the rice with the curry, etc. Incredible! Throughout the flight, she would come and check on her, bring her tea, cheer up, and just go beyond any reasonable call of duty. Now that is service than cannot be taught. Just pure service from the heart

Anticipation and compliance with the needs of the guest.......It shows AI has heavily invested in their HR training......Five Stars to AI.........



When you feel tired, never stop..Keep climbing
User currently offlineRetroLivery From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

So after reading this, I am so incredibly stoked about my return flight to JFK in two weeks on AI's 77W.

Your trip reports are always such a fantastic read and this was no exception. Brilliant.



A3, AA, AC, AI, AK, AM, AP, AZ, B6, BA, CO, DL, EK, EY, FL, FI, FR, KL, KM, LH, MA, MH, MS, OA, OK, OS, SR, TA, TG, U2,
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Brilliantly written TR. And it looks like AI has been given a new lease of life with the 772LR coming into service. I do hope that all the other aircraft interiors in their fleet will be upgraded soon. Their A310 still has SQ seat covers on them!  Sad

Other than that, AI's inflight service seems to be almost perfect. I liked the Miss AI and Old Auntie story... as I was reading your report, I pictured Aishwarya Rai as Ms AI....



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1105 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Fantastic TR....Almost makes me wish that I took this AI flight to India instead of the 9W one last March. The AI cabin crew seem to be amazing. I'm also pleased to see that loads were so good, especially after reading that their JFK- BOM flights had trouble breaking even a 50% load factor in Y.

User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

LOL I have an (Israeli) friend who married an Indian. I flew on Air India in 1966 as a kid and I still remember the great flight. Enjoyed reading your report and pictures. I am not surprised they have heavy security. One of their planes from Toronto was bombed.

[Edited 2008-05-04 20:05:55]

User currently offlineCakentennis From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Amazing trip report. May I take the honors from B747_forever?

Excellent Trip report

Thanks for Sharing !!!!!

Seriously though, I am all pumped for AI now, I'm definitely going to fly them on my next trip to India.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 6):
LOL I have an (Israeli) friend who married an Indian.

Argh!! Me and a Jewish friend of mine were endlessly teased last year with ridiculous never before heard of Jewish-Hindu jokes! No wonder they're parring up! Similarity is the best recipe for a happy relationship!

[Edited 2008-05-04 20:27:27]

User currently offlineOjas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2975 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Amazing TR!

Abrelosojos, thank you for sharing this TR , as this will surely attract many people to travel AI's B777's. A good positive report was much needed for AI at this time, I really appreciate it.

BTW very nice pictures.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12466 posts, RR: 37
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

It's great to see an airline making an effort; as you say, AI has been unreliable and poor in the past, but it is clear from this experience that they are making a very determined effort to get their act together and this is terrific.

I wonder whether this applies across the airline or just on 777 routes?


User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3231 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 5):
The AI cabin crew seem to be amazing.

Definitely sounds like it and I am so pleased to hear that! I just wish AI would ramp up overall and offer all it's fliers that "extra warmth" which comes through so obviously in this report.

Great report here, and congratulations to AI for getting it right. And in contrast with a couple of recent 9W TRs where folks were not too happy with the service levels from the FAs on board - even more credit due to AI here!



Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice one Alex.
Your TRs keep getting better with Quality  Smile

Excellent pictures & Descriptions,It felt like being there.
Looking fwd to reading more of your TRs.

Im glad AI is on the way up again.
cheers.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineBigTom From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2006, 597 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

As always your trip report captured the entire gist of your flight experience. Glad to hear that the new AI is outstanding. Their service has always been good. I have a couple of friends who are now avowed AI converts on the US-India sector after earlier going out of their way to avoid the airline. If they keep this up AI could revisit their glory days again.

Cheers


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1920 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

What a wonderful trip report! This report is dramatically different from the impression of Air India that I have gotten from various trip reports here and other sites, as well as words of mouth! AI seems to be running old planes and always late!

I guess Air India is finally stepping up its service to prepare for Jet Airways and Kingfisher soon. Hong Kong has finally seen the arrival of Jet Airways and not to mention all these ads on buses here.

The meals and amenity kit looks great, not to mention the TV. I assume the ultra long haul flights guarantee some additional amenities and better seats. I wish all airlines will follow this trend.

Thanks again! Hope to read an AI J report in the future!

Carfield


User currently offlinePlunaCRJ From Uruguay, joined Nov 2007, 574 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for writing this!
I never suspected AI´s service was so good, congratulations on them.

Also, this TR helps me confirm a theory I have, it doesn´t mater how good everything on the flight is, the thing that makes the difference is definately the crew, a bad one will ruin you whole trip; and a good one, like in this case, will make it unforgettable.


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8541 posts, RR: 54
Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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What a great report!

I've never seen an AI TR which shows the airline in such a good light, it'w just amazing and nothing like AI! - Fantastic.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I made it to my seat … a 35” pitch in Economy!!! This was the longest flight I have ever taken in Y (yes, I am a snob) and I would have 35”. Not too shabby. Another pleasant surprise was the bottle of large water on every seat pouch, and a welcome drink! Which airline gives a choice of welcome drink in Y?! Truly impressive so far.

- I still can't get over this.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
First off, there was the pre-departure drinks

- Just get's better, almost like being in J class!

I/m seriously impressed, hopefully you can find an excuse to try AI J on this route, I'd love to see yor report.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineKiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Snack bar – compare this to the J snack options of my recent NWA trip)

Any airline that has whiskey as a free-help-your-self gets my vote of approval  Smile. LOL. And, the whole Israeli-Indian thing is strange. There was a NYT article a few months back saying that Indians and Jews have the highest inter marriage rate in the U.S. Excellent TR.

This reaffirms my belief about AI. Karma. You treat the FA's with even the remotest respect, and wonders will happen.


User currently offlineAviationbuff From India, joined Mar 2008, 1425 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent TR...One of the best I have read. AI should set similar standards on all sectors. I usually fly J Class on Gulf sector and not get even 50% of what is written in the above TR.

I hope that with the 787's things will change. (Hope for the Best)


User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hola Abrelosojos!

My jaw dropped everytime I started a new paragraph.  Wow!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
a 35" pitch in Economy!!!



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Another pleasant surprise was the bottle of large water on every seat pouch, and a welcome drink!



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Immediately after take off, in-flight amenity kits are distributed, followed by a beverage run. Dinner is served about two hours after take-off, followed by two beverage runs. Somewhere mid-way in the flight, there is a snack service. Finally, two hours prior to landing, there is a cold towel service and a breakfast! This is Y class!



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
d) Inflight Entertainment:



Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
e) Crew:

All the comments were astonishing! I am really greatly surprised to read so nice reviews and the great service they offer in AI, and I think I had a great service when flying LX J to BOM last New Year's.  banghead 

Have AI promised you a free ticket on F? or do you work for AI?  Wink  Wink

As usual the TR is brilliant and excellently written. I have already stated looking for nice fares to BOM with AI in my next trip.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineBigTom From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2006, 597 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Aviationbuff (Reply 17):

I hear you, but that said AI still trumps the likes of EK when it comes to service in J and especially in Y. Problem is that the tired 310s doing the Gulf-India routes will not be upgraded to new AI standards including IFE etc. Those that are being painted with the new liveries will have the new colour scheme internally too, but that is the extent of any refurbishment. Can't wait for the 787s, but till then I look forward to trying 9W's product on Gulf-India routes.

Cheers


User currently offlinePNQIAD From India, joined May 2006, 586 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Awesome TR. Thanks a lot for sharing. Now I am looking fowrward even more for AI to start IAD as one of their stations ASAP. And AI's impending entry into *A will surely help since I am a UA MP member.

User currently offlineSkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wow what an incredible trip report and even more amazing airline! I hope I can one day try AI to India, their product looks absolutely amazing!! Thanks again for posting!


Prepare for take-off.
User currently offlineAg92 From India, joined Jul 2006, 1317 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent TR however I must admit I nearly closed it because I was expecting the 744 journey which would have made it all that exciting (i think)

I really want to try AI soon but one day I was gone to drop off my dad in SIN, and I went to T1 to see of some flights, I was shocked to see that some Air India cabin crew could easily be grandmothers if not great-grandmothers. Regarding the experience with the Bangladeshi AI really does give you a motherly feeling onboard (good or bad take it as an ambiguous answer). However for Singapore they still operate the 313 for its Delhi flight which I do not want to fly as that aircraft i have been told is absolutely ugly


User currently offlineManny From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great trip report. Nice pics.
Its good to see there are still people like you out there who provide a glimpse of their trips as they see/experience it and do not fall for the temptation of thrashing an airline at the first possible opportunity just because every one else is doing it. Thats why this TR is very valuable to me and to a lot of travelers who will travel to India in the future because it opens up a very desirable alternative going forward.

[Edited 2008-05-05 10:35:56]

User currently offlineBlrsea From India, joined May 2005, 1423 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

The meal portions on AI is pretty good. I feel AI and SQ portions are pretty big compared to others like NWA, AF etc.

Regarding the FA cajoling the old woman, it is very typically AI. I remember reading someone else's TR which mentioned something similar. Compared to the AIs FAs in this instance, I find 9W's FAs pretty business like. I hope AI offers a consistent product. The real problem is their inconsistency. One flight leaves you very happy and the next flight makes you curse it!!


25 Abrelosojos : Wow. I guess there was interest for an AI report ... anyways, here are some responses to some interesting things brought up ... = Well, AL is not goin
26 AznMadSci : Hola Alex! I am truly jealous! I have read most of your reports and enjoy reading all the different places you visit and airlines flown. Gracias! I ag
27 Xpat : Great trip report, as usual!! I love the acecdote about the poor, heart-broken auntie. I think this is one of the areas Air India shines. Although, I'
28 Karan69 : Awesome report Alex a real positive for the non-stops now just that they must make it contagious and pass it on to the rest of their fleet Your writin
29 Ryanair!!! : Almost brings tears to my eyes reading about the Auntie and Ms AI. This could have been a premise for a very successful advertising campaign. But no,
30 Mk777 : We Indians want to stuff everything that we have in our bags....we believe in "the more the better". No wonder she was shocked. Indian cracker=papad.
31 B747forever : Nah, not really However, a brilliant TR The pics are great. The 77L is so much better than AIs 744s. Such a big difference!!! Pretty funny about the
32 Boeing744 : Wonderful report! The obvious effort and time you put into all your reports is greatly appreciated. Air India sounds amazing! I had heard quite negati
33 Dc10s2hnl : Thanks for this report! I'm always amazed by the depth of your analysis and number of TRs you've got. ¡Se agradece mucho! I was so excited when I che
34 Je89_w : Great trip report! Impressed at your wonderful experience with AI. Hopefully I can fly with them one day.
35 Parisien : Great TR ! Makes me want to really fly AI...one might think that you work for AI or is in their ad department lol !!! I have been checking their CDG E
36 StefanPAD : Hi Abrelosojos! Thanks for this amazing TR. I can't believe that this is a TR about AI. What a twist! What will look like the service in J and F? Rega
37 Abrelosojos : = Interestingly, I am convinced that it is an Indian cultural thing. I have seen this great warmth in more than just this flight. = That's right. I t
38 PlaneHunter : What to say, Abrelosojos? You posted another fantastic report, one of the best in the past few months! IFE, seating, catering, crews - everything seem
39 Gr8Circle : Hope it will, sooner or later...because the same crew would fly on other routes too....AI needs to getrid of their older planes and expand the fleet,
40 BarfBag : EXTRAORDINARY trip report! I truly appreciate the level of detail you describe, and it was heartening to read such a wonderful trip report about the f
41 Jlk : I notice that in all your trips you wear the same (or same color) jean Is that a good luck denim
42 Abrelosojos : = Thanks a lot. Your words are extremely appreciated . = Oh God ... please no. I find EK one of the worst airlines to fly ... especially in J/F. Plea
43 PlaneHunter : No doubt about that - but I only referred to EK's fantastic IFE... PH
44 Csavel : Wow this is great, I am taking this flight in two weeks, coach (work for a non-profit, no business class for us!) and the generous seat pitch ad good
45 RedFlyer : Abrelosojos needs to do this professionally.
46 Aleksandar : Well, I love your TRs, because you give all the important information in great way. Speaking of AI, it seems they really needed local competition to i
47 The777Man : Excellent trip report ! You seemed to have had a slightly better flight than me when I flew JFK-BOM but I was equally VERY happy with AI. My flight wa
48 Abrelosojos : = Pre-book yourself to row 39. I believe it has the most generous seat pitch. My advice would be to be nice to the crew - and they will treat you wel
49 Longhornmaniac : Hey Abrelosojos, I just felt like such an outstanding report should get a well deserved bump. This experience truly seems out of this world, and compl
50 NZ107 : Brilliant TR! The size of the meals looks good. Coming from New Zealand, I wouldn't expect there to be massive differences of service among different
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