Check-in & Departure:
We arrived at Heathrow's Terminal 3 at 10AM and decided to make our way to check-in. The flight was being prepared to open for passengers to check in, we were third in the que so we had great seats! We then decided to pre-book our return seats at the Air India ticket office (free of charge)! We then made our way to the shops above the check-in hall, the shops were pretty boring so we qued up to get into the departure hall. We went through LHR's immigration with no trouble, there was about 4 or 5 lines and the ques were quite short, espically good for the early morning rush! The shops were fairly busy, but there was lots of varieties of shops in the departure area. Spotting was not that good from the departure area so we walked down toward the gates hoping for some good spotting! I walked to the end of the pier, there was a Star Alliance Thai Airways 747-4D7 pushing back for the flight to BKK. There was also a BWIA A340 in plain blue colours pushing back to the Carrabean! As I walked back to see the VS 747's a big crowd of people were comming towards me, it was Peter Andre at the gate boarding a Virgin 747 bound for the US! Two AI 744's were parked up together being prepared for their flights to JFK and ORD! The flight was called and we decided to board the a/c before the rush. We boarded the flight and made our way to our seats. The flight was only about 50% full so pretty much everyone had a window seat ! The flight pushed back just 10mins late, as we pushed back a Varig MD-11 taxiied to T3! We followed the UAL 772 also bound for JFK to the runway. We passed the construction site fot T5 and entered the runway for take-off. Take-off was pretty smooth and we passed over Twickenham before heading to the US!
The flight was only half-full so the service was great. We were served with a snack and a lunch which was very nice. The cabin crew were very efficent and qucik with your requests!
The pilot annouced landing into JFK and then the crew made their final checks for landing.We approached over long island and made our way to JFK! We passed the Empire state building (on the right of the A/C) before lining up to the Runway. We landed and taxiied towards terminal 5. We could see; Emirates 345, NWA 744, Swiss 332, Aer Lingus 332,333, UAL 772 and many DL aircraft. The landing was very smooth and the short trip to the terminal was very quick.
Immigration was very quick and were very polite. Only problem we had was the man was a Mets fan and I was wearing a Yankies hat! We collected our lugguge and made our way to the taxi's!
New York JFK, Terminal 4 (JFK) - London Heathrow, Terminal 3 (LHR)
Operater: Air India
Aircraft: Boeing 747-412
Reg: VT-AIE (Ex. SQ 9V-SMG)
Aircraft Name: Mamallapuram
Boarding Time: 18:20
Scheduled Depature Time: 19:10
Actual Departure Time: 19:30
Scheduled Arrival Time: 06:50
Actual Arrival Time: 07:05
Check-in & Departure:
Check-in at JFK's Terminal 4 was very quick so we decided to some spotting at JFK! After check-in at the AI first class desk we hopped on the AirTrain and went round the terminals. (see below for pics!) We then looked round the shops in T4. I also went to look at the new VS lounge, but they would'nt let me in! The flight was called and we decided to "try" and get through to the gates. We had to go past about 3 scanning areas before we could boad the aircraft! But best to safe though! We boarded the aircraft and sat in our seats which were near the back of the aircraft. Our plane was next to a KU 772 bound for LHR and KWI! The aircraft pushed back, we could see the EK 345 being prepared for the flight to DXB! The aircraft was a ex SQ 744, you could still see the logos on the PTV's! We were 5th in line for take-off after a BA 744, IB 346, AA 772, EI 333 and a Swiss 343! We took off as it started to snow! The flight was full this time, which was not as fun!
Shortly after takeoff we turned and flew towards BOS and Halifax. We then passed Ireland before sunrise over Wales! The flight was very comfortable, but the PTV's were old and had no camera's!
We headed to LGW before lining up for the runway at LHR! We arrvied after a VS 343 and taxied to the terminal behind the 343! We parked up next to a GF 332. Shortly after the doors opened a EK 332 taxied in from DXB!
We de-planed the aircraft and the boarding cards were taxen of us to make sure we were LHR passengers not BOM passengers! We made our way to immigration and the ques were very slow! There was about 6 flights that had just arrived and most of the PAX were Britsh and all in one line! They checked our passports and we went to get our luggauge. My high ratings of LHR immigration had just sunk! We then made our way to Terminal 2 were we got picked up and transfered to parking!
London Heathrow: **** Very good but no way as nice as airports such as DXB,HKG!
New York JFK: ***** Suprised at how good JFK was, the terminal was almost brand new and very modern!
Air India Service: *** Good, but not as good as BA,VS...
London Heathrow Immigration: *** Not to slow but still not fast enough for me!
JFK Immirgation: Great, very polite and very quick!
London Heathrow Ground handling: **** Very quick and not a strach on the luggauge!
JFK Ground handling: **** Quite quick and very polite.
Aircraft: ***** 5 Stars for me, the 747's are great!
Pilot and Co Pilot: ***** Again 5 stars, the pilot was very polite and kept us updated!
Spotting at JFK:
JFK's spotting is very good and there's a large variety of aircraft. From Terminal 4 you can see two runways and the ramp at Terminal 4! If you hop on the AirTrain you can see much more and can catch some good photos!
Here's some pics:
Catatonic From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 1155 posts, RR: 3 Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 25077 times:
Nice report, what made you choose AI? I have seen a couple of deals from LHR-JFK with AI that were quite cheap but have usually paid more and stuck with UK or US carriers. Am flying EI to JFK next so that should be good. Dont know why I've not gone for AI, maybe something to consider again in the future. Apparently KU offer even cheaper fares than AI, would like to see a trip report on them.
B742 From UK - England, joined Mar 2005, 3760 posts, RR: 21 Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 25041 times:
Catatonic, I simply choose AI over the other airlines as it was cheaper! I choose AI over KU due to departure times (AI leaving LHR earlier)! Plus AI overed the 744 rather than the 772 of KU!
EI is a great airline, they fly to the same terminal as AI and KU at JFK, the terminal is very modern and very smart!
Mrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 24718 times:
Rob, very nice report, and nice spotting pics! Congrats, and keep on going with these reports! If you have the time and feel like, could you give some more comments on the inflight experience and service (crew attitute - particularities ; pax profiles - Indians vs. Brits vs. Yanks vs. others; seat pitch, comfort; and everything else you find worth mentioning)
Quoting B742 (Thread starter): The aircraft was a ex SQ 744, you could still see the logos on the PTV's!
How was the PTV programme? Introduction with the Maharajah? My mom flew on the so-called "brandnew" T7 (the rustbucket) recently and said the programme was fine as long one likes Bollywood
If you want to have a look at my experiences with AI, have a look at
B742 From UK - England, joined Mar 2005, 3760 posts, RR: 21 Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 23729 times:
Quoting Karan69 (Reply 9): What According to you they need to do to bridge the gap between themselves and the likes of VS and BA
Air India need to improve their in-flight entertainment, and maybe introducing new seats and cabins to their long haul fleet! VS and BA are extremly well rated airlines, I would love to see AI up there with VS and BA someday!
Quoting Mrniji (Reply 6): How was the PTV programme? Introduction with the Maharajah?
The programmes were average, we watched Simpsons and and an Hollywood blockbuster, which I can't rememeber
Is the Maharajah the logo, not sure? lol
Mrniji, I will add some more pics and write some more info later today, I will post it soon!
Mrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 23642 times:
Quoting B742 (Reply 10): The programmes were average, we watched Simpsons and and an Hollywood blockbuster, which I can't rememeber
Simpsons on AI?? I am on board! great! my favoite serial
they should show the episode where AI appears, when Apu's wife comes to Springfield for the arranged marriage - the slogan: "Air-India: we treat you like cattle" - and then Lisa asks Marge: "on which BOM-Springfield flight does she come: 1000h, 1015 or 1030h?" - and then SIgfried and Roy get to know that they lost their tiger and have to identify it with the chart, and it is tiger 6