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Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:19 am

I'm planning a flight to Mumbai next month, I usually use BA but i'm tempted to try AI, are they worth a go? Food,service,comfort etc.
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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:22 am

I'd stick with the European Carriers, or perhaps a Middle Eastern carrier.

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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:52 am

Fly EK! It's the best service to India and a nice stop at DXB too!

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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:58 am

hey..I was in Delhi just a few months ago..everyone I spoke to told me to avoid Air India (horrible service, massive delays, security hassles, etc...)and some of those were locals! If you are used to BA, stick with BA! VS does the India route as well (only DEL i think), but the seating in their Economy Class sucks - really tight with no good legroom.

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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:31 am

A lot of my friends at work come from India, here is some advice:

The Eurpean carriers are good generally a good choice (better than AI based on their feedback of food, timelieness, and baggage service).

However, keep in mind where you are going. If you are going directly to MAA, BOM, or DEL you should have direct service from Europe, but if you are going in farther into India on Jet Airways or similar, maybe position yourself in the best route possible.
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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:36 am

There was a thread recently about SriLankan to India, and the comments were very positive (both comfort and service), especially when compared with Indian carriers. Look into that.
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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:41 am

I never flew on Air India myself but last month I met fellow member Sean (B747-437B) in FRA, he arrived on AI from BOM, later he showed me pictures of the (Business Class) meals and they were looking awesome. If food is an important criteria for you, you should definitely give AI a try.

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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:50 am

If food is an important criteria for you, you should definitely give AI a try.

Judging by the reviews on, there is a virtual unanimous consensus that Air India's food service is far superior to the competition.

You will not have any bells-and-whistles like PTVs, etc... in any class of service but if you are flying F/J class the new seats (only on the 744s for now) blow the competition out of the water as well for comfort.

If in Y, well, umm... the food is good and the pitch is decent at a minimum of 32" (upto 36" in B-zone on ESM/ESN/ESO/ESP/EVA/EVB). You can probably get a cheaper and more snazzy flight in Y-class on EK or UL or someone similar.
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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:10 am

I would definitely concur with the food opinions already posted. I've flown AI a few times, and while their service is fairly ordinary, their food is outstanding. I personally would rate it over any European or American airline that I've flown, but that's just my opinion. For overall service, I'd recommend Singapore Airlines.
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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:34 pm

I flew Qatar last October back to India from Heathrow. Doha airport is nice and relaxed, Qatar service is top class and you have PTVs on the first leg from LHR to DOH where they use A330s.

Service is miles ahead compared to Air India (I have also flown them) and the crew are friendly and dont treat you like sort of unavoidable horror which they are stuck with, as is the general norm in Air India (although if you are an European you usally get a better deal!). I am speaking about Economy class here.

The difference starts right from check in at T3 and with Air India check in next to Qatar Airways, I could see that Air India was upholding its great traditions. The chap who was helping the pax with bags at check in for Qatar was making it a point to wish every pax a pleasant flight while Air India staff on an adjacent counter purpotedly for flight information was shooing away passengers approaching them for " flight information".

If you are flying south, Qatar and Emirates are defintely the best as you reacher quicker to places like Trivandrum and Cochin as well as avoiding hte BOM airport which is not the best introduction to India by any standards.
Qatar Airways fares are also very competitive. For Emirates the advantages are that you have four gateways BHX,MAN, LHR and LGW. If you want to fly Emirates from London, generally fares ex Gatwick are cheaper.

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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 3:31 pm

Since youre from the UK and if your choice is Economy class from LONDON to India then for North-West India (BOM-DEL), the best options for u are BA and EK.

However if its for South India then the best options for u are EK-QR and Kuwait Airways...KU flies A 340s and B 777s to LHR with tvs in every seat and then A 310s + A 300-600Rs with tvs in every seat to TRV-COCHIN-MAA.

If its CCU-CALCUTTA ure looking at, then the best option is BA and cheaper would be Royal Jordanian via AMMAN but I wouldnt advise RJ on any flight not involving their A 340-200s!!!

DO NOT TRY AIR INDIA IN ECONOMY CLASS...ONLY FLY IT IN FIRST OR BUSINESS CLASS...Y CLASS in AI is not worth it for 8-9 hour nonstop flight no matter what the price maybe!!!
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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 5:00 pm

I like AI Y class. it wasn't too bad. The food was excellent. But the crew from JFK-LHR were rude, on the way back they were beyond expectation. Good job AI  Wink/being sarcastic
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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:30 pm

As an Indian and a person who's flown India-UK several times, recommendations are :

Choice # 1 : BA, especially if ur'e flying F or J to BOM or DEL. Only 744s and great service/food most of the time.  Big thumbs up

Choices # 2 : EK or QR if you don't mind making a transit stop in DXB or Bahrain. Great service in all classes and probably 15-20% cheaper than BA. UL (SriLankan) is also good LHR-CMB but the connections to BOM and DEL from CMB are a little irritating in terms of timings, but UL will probably throw in a free nite's stay in CMB which may be worth your while if you haven't seen the place yet.

Choice # 3 : Air India. Take a chance, you may be surprised, sometimes they do a good job. Food is normally good. However don't expect any fancy IFE systems in Y class.  Yeah sure

Choice # 4 : Aeroflot. Via SVO. Probably very cheap. Never flown Aeroflot myself but I hear they're "new and improved" nowadays. If you're flying to DEL it'll be a 777 or 767-300 but BOM will be a TU204.  Crying

Choice # 5 : SyrianAir. The cheapest. And probably the only chance for u to fly on a 747SP into Bombay.  Nuts

Hope it helps!

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RE: Best Airline To India?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:24 pm

i flew AF to BOM this past Saturday and it was great. Of course I came all the way from EWR, but there were a lot of people who were connecting on the AF134 CDG-BOM from LHR. AF offers very good service in Y, decent food, PTVs (touch screens) in every seat on their A340 on the CDG-BOM route and believe it or not they cleaned the toilets every half hour. More surprisingly there were no wheelhairs needed for the flight and so ease of boarding and disembarkation. (Sometimes AI flights tend to have a lot of demand for wheelchairs, although I'm not sure if it affects their boarding/deplaning process). It arrives into BOM at a decent 11.25pm.

Hope that helps. Either way, try a European carrier. The only one to go non-stop betwen LHR-BOM is BA, but you can get good connections with AF, LH, AZ, LX, KL/NW.


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RE: Best Airline To India?

Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:27 am

If your travelling to a southern destinations like MAA, BLR, COK, TRV, TRZ and soon to come Hydrabath - then Srilankan is by far the best - both price and service wise. I have personally taken UL and the experiance was excellent.

However, if you travelling to a northern destination like BOM, DEL then i would go with something like EK, Quatar or BA. But be aware of how long the layovers are cos it can get pretty long/tiring. However, even if the price is slightly higher, i would be really tempted go with EK cos Dubai is a place everyone has to visit.

AI is something i dont recomend to people anymore  Sad
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RE: Best Airline To India?

Thu Feb 12, 2004 5:28 am

I would not really recomend AI, my grandparents flew them to DEL, both flight each way were over booked. They found the airline not good, poor service, as for the food, they said it was ok.

The best non stop was Virgin and Thai when it used to fly non stop.

Best connecting was with Emirates and KLM

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