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LHR-DEL On Air India  
User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1524 posts, RR: 14
Posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 12020 times:

Hi All

I came in last night (25SEP) with AI112 LHR-DEL and thought I'd post my experience of this trip. So here goes...

AI112/25SEP LHR/DEL
STD 0945LT STA 2235LT
ATD 1105LT ATA 2348LT
Aircraft: B747-4B5, VT-AID, Kaziranga (ex HL-7481)

I arrived at LHR T/3 nice and early at 0620 with the first train from Kings Cross St. Pancras. My ticket (interline) was waitlisted in J/cl and I thought I'd take a chance coming in early enough. The AI counters are located in Zone F of T/3 - an area which either by design or coincidence seemed to house most of the Subcontinent janata carriers - AI, GF, PK, EK to name a few. Even at 0640hrs, the AI counters were already full even though F/J were empty.

The girl from Aviance at the J/cl counter informed me that the flight was full in F & J and I would have to settle for Y. Thinking that I'd be disappointed, she even checked out AI128 (STD 1200LT) and informed me that even that was full in F & J. I assured her it was not an issue at all and requested her to allocate me a starboard window seat just aft of the wing. She gave me 61K and informed me that boarding was at 0845hrs. Even though I had come in only with hand baggage, I chose to check in my strolley as I did not fancy fighting for an overhead bin in economy class.

The gate had (understandably) not been announced yet. I went over to the Food Court at T/3 and had breakfast there after which I waited at the departure lounge for them to announce the gate. At about 0830, the board showed AI112 at gate 36. I recalled seeing a sign shortly before that showing the estimated walking time to gates 30-42 (or so) as approximately 20minutes and the question that invariably comes to my mind whenever I travel hounded me once again... why was it that most of the flights that I took had gates at the farthest possible point? Is it just me or have some of you had that feeling as well?? Nuts.

At security, the Sardarji Englishman wanted me to remove my shoes and show him the soles. I mentally said a prayer of thanks to God that Richard Reid didn't pack explosives in his underwear!

Reached gate 36 in about 10 minutes at a quick pace where I saw 'Kaziranga' was still disembarking passengers. I was the first to enter the gate waiting area. One of the ground staff (from AI I imagine) kept announcing to passengers that anyone who wished to go to the washroom had better do it now before entering as there was no washroom in the waiting area. Next in after me were the AI cabin crew who were take the flight to DEL. Boarding was not announced until the STD of 0945hrs. Boarding was supposed to be zone wise. Those in rows 65-82 first, 45-65 next and the rest thereafter. But it does not cease to amaze me that my fellow country men still do not understand the concept of queueing as three lines formed, each jostling with the other and falling over each other in a me-first to get to the airplane. I ended the race placed about 93rd (a good score considering that there were about 348 competitors).

Kaziranga! A name I must admit I just did not like for an AI 747. I mean after naming them after Emperors, Temples, historic cities... Kaziranga?? I mean if it was old man Gogoi's lasting contribution to AI, I just hope Thulasidas does not come up with something like "Arulmigu Thirumuruganpundi" for VT-AIF eeeeyyuuuaaaaaaaghhhh!!!

I took a quick peek into F/cl. The 12 new beds were there. J/cl was upstairs and cattle class commenced immediately after F. The seats were shabby at best and with a mix of blue and maroon. I made my way to 61K and even as I put my briefcase into the overhead bin, noticed the thick remnants of hair oil on the window-pane from the head of some fellow Southie catching forty winks on an earlier flight. So I went straight ahead to the galley, asked for some tissues and H2O and proceeded to wipe the window clean. Again, is it just me or do some of the others here also end to get these awful hairoiled window panes?

I had come in with LH. If LH scores 9/10 in cleanliness of the airplane interior, I'd give AI about 4/10. But that's about the last point where I'd give AI a lower score. I fully agree with Jaysit who mentioned in an earlier post that AI was like ITDC. But then I found LH (Y/cl) like Steigenberger/FRA (a disaster of a hotel service wise) and BA more like Holiday Inn Express (again no great shakes in Y and Premium Y). The ITDC comparison kept coming back to me as I watched the crew - senior citizens all (except a couple of ladies in their early 30s). They were extremely helpful and sweet though, coming around with orange juice as passengers settled down. I had a young couple next to me with the wife in a night suit and husband in a sleeveless T and shorts looking as if he'd just left the LON Marathon mid-way to catch the flight.

Looking out of my now clean window, I noted some stains on the innermost flap track fairings which I could have sworn were "paan stains". Also a part of the earlier HL registration was clearly visible under the current registration painted on the wing. At 1045 the Captain came on the PA with an announcement that he was sorry for the delay and though we were now ready, it would be another 20 minutes before we pushed back due to other traffic. He was true to his word and at 1105hrs, we pushed back. A thick puff of white smoke came out of engine no. 4 as it came on and I recalled seeing an AI B742 (VT-ENQ/Himalaya) doing a spectacular wet start one evening in CCU a long time ago. Pushback through, we were taxying towards 27L when another AI 744 touched down. A 3rd AI 744 was already on the ground at this time as well though I didn't get either of their regs.

So it was that finally at 1130hrs we lifted off from LHR 27L after 25 minutes of taxying, waiting and taxying. The screen ahead showed us the flight path and other flight details and though the crew announced the LHR-DEL distance to be 7358kms, the screen showed about 6727kms. Seatbelt signs were switched off at about 27000ft and breakfast service commenced almost immediately.

Breakfast (non-veg) comprised of 'Akuri' (masala scrambled egg) with two pieces of chicken tikka and some preparation of potato, cold crossaint, yogurt and canned fruit besides the mandatory tea/coffee. It wasn't exactly delicious, but definitely brought back memories of LH and BA whose grub (whether F/J/Y) is nowhere near AI (I'm talking taste here, not the presentation).

Inflight music: I love Hindi music - old Bollywood, new Bollywood, originals, remixes, ghazals all. I'd choose AI's selection anyday over the "sarkailo khatiya" other weird numbers which some of the European carriers dish out in the name of Hindi music. Only AI's channels reflected in the magazine did not match with the channels that actually had the music... but who cares as long as it works. Excellent set of old songs (Mere naina, Hum bewafa, O Saathi re..) and new ones (Its the time to Disco, Bin tere sanam, etc.). Movie was Yuva, though I did not watch it.

Window shutters were downed after breakfast as the movie came on and most passengers opted for a bit of shut-eye. Crew kept coming around with a variety of juices for the few that were awake. I went to the back of the cabin to open the window and check for contrails (didn't see any though). The flight was largely uneventful, except for me waking up my snoring seatmates a couple of times to go to the loo.

The Loo: This was probably my 10th flight on AI (long haul) in 2 years about half of which were in Y/cl. I still find the allegations of overflowing loos a bit of a myth. Yup, there are queues of people at any given time dying to get in, but it really wasn't the nightmare that its often made out to be on this forum. The loo visit also brought on that great argument that goes on in my mind... conventional loos or vaccuum loos. I personally find the latter to be noisy and inefficient in cleaning up the basin especially if the meal served is of the greasy Indian variety. The traditional type with the blue liquid coming around in swirls probably did not clean up entirely the first shot, but repeated jabbing of the flush button often improved the situation. Same story here too, with no amount of flushing of the vaccuum loo getting those pesky tiger stripes off! (don't puke guys... its just an observation).

About 3 hrs prior to landing cabin lights came on and crew came with a round of drinks (I had some apple juice) and snacks (Haldirams potato crunchies and chiwda/conflakes mixture). That over, dinner service commenced.

Dinner: That great event on an AI flight. We were handed out little menu cards which showed dinner to be the following:

Vegetarian: Mixed Salad with dressing. Main course: Rice Pulao with spiced vegetables. Dessert: Badam Phirni. Tea/Coffee.

Non Veg: Mixed Salad with dressing. Main course: Grilled Cape Hake with Mushroom Marinara Sauce, Roast Potatoes with Paprika, Sauteed Vegetables
OR
Methi Murg, Rice Pulao with spiced vegetables.
Dessert: Badam Phirni. Tea/Coffee.

Yummm! as always.

Following dinner and handing out of landing cards, there was the usual rush of passengers to the loo which only came to an end when we started our final descent about 200kms from DEL. I add here that most of our flight was at FL370 and after crossing Pakistan we came down to FL330 for about an hour. Landing took place exactly at 2348LT (as promised by the flight map when we took off). A BA 744, TG 777, AC 343, AF 343 and KL MD11 were already at their bays with the KL being the latest arrival. We deboarded without much pushing and shoving (probably because there were a lot of BOM bound pax).

Immigration at DEL remained the usual mess with almost 500 pax from various flights waiting. My airport colleauges fortunately managed to get me out without too much of a delay and surprise surprise even my bag did not take more than 20 minutes to come.

Taking the prepaid cab back home, I was crossing the airport perimeter wall as I saw "Kaziranga" being readied for the last leg of her journey to BOM. I made a mental note not to feel bad about her name for I personally had quite an enjoyable flight on her.

That was it. Its 0320hrs here in exactly 2hrs and 10mins I'm on my next flight 9W-701 DEL-AMD and six flights and two weeks of living out of a suitcase.

This is Vimanav signing off.

(P.S. have had no time to recheck and I'm too sleepy.. please excuse any spelling or grammar boo boos)



Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 11817 times:

I guess AI kept KE's interior in Y. I remember flying KE 744s in the late 90s and they had blue and maroon seats with tons of legroom ! The AI 744s Ive flown have these light blue floral prints on the seats in Y combined with Linda Blair vomit green. Very unattractive, I think. Who came up with that?

And you are right about the AI loo disasters being overblown. I've flown AI for years and I've never come across an overflowing loo. Ive come across a few that are rather nasty, but Ive seen those on AA and DL too.

The snacks on AI are great - far better than the nasty pretzels one gets on other carriers.


User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 11603 times:

Interesting report! You don't seem to hear much about AI in these trip reports, or in Australia, since AI hasn't been into SYD for many years - although this might change with the new Air Agreement concluded in the past week.

User currently offlineLHR27C From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 1279 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 11135 times:

Very interesting report. You're right, some of those T3 gates involve a very long walk!

Oliver



Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned forever skyward
User currently offlineCaptain_777 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 295 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 10993 times:

Good luck with New Delhi Intl Airport for Departure. Biggest mess I've ever seen!

User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8596 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10808 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report,liked the humor thrown in - windows stains,toilets Smile etc.

I don't fly out of T3 much,though when I do it's VS to NRT,they always seem to park the NRT plane as far away as possible,or it seems that way!




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 offlineJerry1011 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 57 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10805 times:

Hi Vimanav,

I really enjoyed your report. It's good to see AI being reviewed.

I'm a travel agent in the UK and sell a lot of flight-only travel between the UK and India and the UK and USA.

AI often has the lowest (consolidated) fares UK-USA, but my clients divide distinctly into two groups - and neither group is wiiling to see AI in the same light as the opposit group!

Half my clients, if I quote them AI LHR-JFK-LHR immediately turn their noses up and try to tell me that they're "not a proper" airline, and that they wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. (Funny - they can never be specific or base any irrational notion on fact!!!!) The other half just see the low price and book AI PDQ! Some comment on the catering in a favorable manner!

Reading your report gives me a great insight into the reality of travelling AI, and you know what? - I'd be happy to try them too. Generally, they're little better or little worse than the competition I suppose. It just does not help being mis-informed or elitist about these things.

Anyway, thanks once again for your very interesting report. I look forward to trying their (Indian) catering and hospitality at some not-too-distant point in the future, and will sell AI with renewed vigor.

Regards,
Jerry1011.


User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10736 times:

"Generally, they're little better or little worse than the competition I suppose."

They aint BA, but they're much better than the American competition which keeps getting worse.


User currently offlineLucky727 From Canada, joined Sep 2003, 602 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 10716 times:

Great report - including the many humourous observations...

btw - that was one of 2 of our new A345s (not A343) doing the YYZ-DEL route, so just a *tiny* little correction there...

Looking forward to your future reports  Big thumbs up



··· [·] oooooooo [·] oooo oo ooooo [·] ooooooooooooooooooo [·]
User currently offlineBmi From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10560 times:

lol @ Jerry1011, at least i'm not the only travel consultant who gets them missed pre-conceptions of flying with Air India, I know exactly what you mean about the "two groups" people in Birmingham are no better than the ones in Sheffield then eh? lol

Mark


User currently offlineJerry1011 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 57 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10534 times:

Hi Mark - no, folk here are just as ____________ (enter your own adjective here!) as they are in Birmingham. Don't you just love 'em!?

Jerry1011



User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1524 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10392 times:

btw - that was one of 2 of our new A345s (not A343) doing the YYZ-DEL route, so just a *tiny* little correction there...

Er... no. It was indeed an A340-300s. AC does not bring in their A340-500s into DEL until the Winter schedule (the first flight with the A345 is 02NOV I think). You can be sure I know my CFM56s from my Trent 553s  Smile

rgds//Vimanav



Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 10388 times:

Vimanav,

you gave a great and authentic trip report with a nice sense of humor.. I like the details you emphasize on... gives the melancholia to fly AI again soon... I tried to get a ticket but somehow the booking system and schedule was so bad (to CCU) so I had to go for TG..  Sad

Really enjoyed the read and Jay's sarcastic comments in Reply 1 Big grin I think Jay likes them more than he thinks, he has a love-hate relationship with them...

Good to know that I am apparently not the only one who thinks AI has improved a lot the last 2 years.. It happens everytime when I am at the conveyor belt of an intra European flight, that some of the pax transferred from AI.. and I am really honest when I say that the most comment I hear, especiall y from NRIs or some 'richer' Indians: "AI has improved a lot over the years".. the service level they offer - especially the catering quality - beats most of the competitors by far.. if they emphasize on this, IFE and better network and new a/c (a list of things), they will be WC..!  Smile

Edit: Only the punctuality - though I never had problems  Sad

[Edited 2004-09-30 18:08:52]

User currently offlinePlanemannyc From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1011 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 10370 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Vimanav,

Great report! Love the humor (Long distance to the gate / Richard Reid / hair oil / herds running for seats / toilet )  Smile

In my experience, food is always better in South Asian / Far Eastern Airlines(except CX -- once they served us cup-o-noodles on HKG-YVR leg instead of a full meal) than European / American airlines.

As for the IFE, is AI considering PTVs for all passengers?

Anyway, great job!

Best,

Wasim / Planemannyc




User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1524 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10359 times:

Mrniji

Trust me, I give AI 5-8 years before they come into their own once again. It will take at least that amount of time before a lot of the fallacies about them begin to die out. Along the way they have to increase their marketing budgets a bit and buy a couple of awards (like dear friends EK) and voila... the gullible janta will be eating out of their hands again.

rgds//Vimanav

Jaysit's terrific descriptions as usual are ultimate rib ticklers. Smile



Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1524 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10359 times:

Thank you gentlemen for your comments.

Wasim...

I would imagine that AI would opt for inseat IFE for any new metal that they would order. If the planes continue to come in second hand, chances are we will get whatever the preceding operator used.

And as a rule Asian carriers have far better meal service than Europeans and of course the Americans. However I strongly maintain that the ultimate in meal service you see on Indian domestic sectors on our private airlines 9W and S2. Their meals, presentation, quantity etc. would outclass any international airline.

rgds//Vimanav



Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10351 times:

As for the IFE, is AI considering PTVs for all passengers?

Following Vimanav's comments.. there was a tender about two months ago for 'an upgrade of IFE for the existing fleet'. I could imagine if it is not too costly, then even the existing a/c (probably not the leased) will be equipped with PTVs  Smile But this is only my evaluation


User currently offlineBehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4852 posts, RR: 44
Reply 17, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10323 times:

You should have during your flight just checked if F and J classes were indeed full where as to see if the check in lady at LHR of AIs was talking bullshit or indeed the truth as me too being a free tkt pax holder have had this same sort of explanation handed to me.

Nevertheless an interesting trip report  Smile

Please convey Mr J Lal my regards during your India tour with him...he knows me very well...thanks  Smile


User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1524 posts, RR: 14
Reply 18, posted (10 years 3 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 10233 times:

Behramjee

Yes, F and J were indeed full.

Your regards conveyed to Mr. Lal who reciprocates.

rgds//Vimanav



Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
User currently offlineGamps From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 469 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10034 times:

Vimanav, great report. As they say good eye for detail - read "pan stain"  Smile

BTW any photos? Did you see anyone taking photos inside the cabin?

What is the final word on taking cabin photos of AI while airborne?


User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4518 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10028 times:

Vimanav, very good report and I didn't notice any spelling mistakes even though you must have been tired (maybe i'm also tired).

also my first trip report on Air India.

I was somewhat disconcerted to hear about the filthy windows and the "tattered-at-best" cabin.

the filthy windows alone would make me not want to fly Air india.

I did experience the line that you were talking about when I passed the Air India boarding gate on my way out of T3 to T4 when I was coming on MEA from BEY and continuing to LAX on BA.

Am I getting an overblown picture of the window hair and oil or is it just what you sometimes see on other airplane windows...a little bit of grease on the window?

entertaining read.



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1524 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 9855 times:

Am I getting an overblown picture of the window hair and oil or is it just what you sometimes see on other airplane windows...a little bit of grease on the window?

Firstly thank you for your comments. I don't know if there's a link here but, grease on the window (mostly hair oil), I've experienced with state owned carriers - IC (almost always), AI, BG, PK. Or maybe its just my luck.

rgds//Vimanav




Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 39
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 9798 times:

Great job Vimanav!

I agree on AI's catering - not many can come close. The one thing they could improve upon in though is the food selection. Why must the veggie option always be North Indian? Just as they offer a great choice between North Indian and European food for the non-veg option, I wish they'd do something similar for the veggie one too. Sometimes, one just doesn't want chicken or pulao.

Show me the Mona Lisa and I'll find you a flaw. That's just the way I am, so don't take me all that seriously.


Good to know that I am apparently not the only one who thinks AI has improved a lot the last 2 years.. It happens everytime when I am at the conveyor belt of an intra European flight, that some of the pax transferred from AI.. and I am really honest when I say that the most comment I hear, especiall y from NRIs or some 'richer' Indians: "AI has improved a lot over the years".. the service level they offer - especially the catering quality - beats most of the competitors by far.. if they emphasize on this, IFE and better network and new a/c (a list of things), they will be WC..!

I know exactly what you mean by that Subin. It's the nouveau riche / Bollywood / IT yuppie types who turn up their noses at the mere mention of AI, not unlike the good folk of Birmingham and Sheffield that Jerry & bmi described. A lot of the class / old money folk are perfectly happy with AI, swear by it. With good reason, I might add.

Am I getting an overblown picture of the window hair and oil or is it just what you sometimes see on other airplane windows...a little bit of grease on the window?

Not quite overblown, but not that bad either. I've always thought AI's cabins to be tatty, never dirty.

On a side, unrelated note, I too have to go to Ahmedabad for the day on Friday. Because of the 'Ahmedabad Conspiracy' (where both IC and Jet had the one obscenely early flight in the morning and Jet's 2nd flight is too late to be of any use), I'm seriously taking AI there in the morning and returning on Jet in the evening.
Have any of you done a domestic leg on AI recently? if so, it is painful getting through the international terminals or have they improved?


User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 9797 times:

" A lot of the class / old money folk are perfectly happy with AI, swear by it. With good reason, I might add."

The best reason is the price.
You get a perfectly acceptable Business Class product for 60% of what you would pay on BA or LH. With due respect, I find the food on BA's J-class product to be better than AI at least on the transatlantic legs (while AI's Indian selections are fantastic, their continental food is awful). I must admit that of late I've found a good IFE to be indispensable too. Just returned from the UK on AA and if it weren't for the IFE, I'd have gone plumb crazy on both flights.


User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 39
Reply 24, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9777 times:

The best reason is the price.

At times, perhaps. But out of India, that is unlikely.

Someone at work last week was checking on BOM-DFW fares, with a 1-year validity. BA quoted about Rs 65,000 for a BOM-LHR-ORD-DFW routing in Traveller Plus. AI, on the other hand, wouldn't budge from a 124,000 fare in regular economy up to ORD only!


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 25, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 9719 times:

Now that I am free to comment on this thread, let me begin by thanking Vimanav for a wonderful report. I think he has truly captured the essential Air India experience in these paragraphs!

The AI 744s Ive flown have these light blue floral prints on the seats in Y combined with Linda Blair vomit green.


MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Sean Mendis



That is the standard for the -437s, but I know that the only -4B5 that I have been on (EVJ) still has KE upholstery in D/E zone with AI upholstery in B/C zones. Of course, the -412s have the SQ seats with built-in PTVs, etc...

You should have during your flight just checked if F and J classes were indeed full where as to see if the check in lady at LHR of AIs was talking bullshit

AI checkin at Heathrow is handled by Aviance anyway with only a handful of AI staff around. They are usually very efficient with processing upgrades and non-revs, unlike some of the other outstations or even heaven-forbid Indian stations.

there was a tender about two months ago for 'an upgrade of IFE for the existing fleet'. I could imagine if it is not too costly, then even the existing a/c (probably not the leased) will be equipped with PTVs

The primary focus of that tender was to transition the current Sony Betamax driven analog IFE system that is standard on the -437s and -4B5s to a digital platform with better delivery systems, as well as upgrade the airshow avionics to a newer generation of software. PTVs will be considered if the vendor can make a cost-efficient proposal to incorporate them into the deal, but even if that path is chosen it will be at least 8-9 months (after Hajj and summer) before we start seeing the aircraft rewired.


MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Sean Mendis



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