I went with my mother and brother to London on Air India for summer vacation.
15 July, AI 112
We flied from Chicago to New York on 12 July and stayed with my uncle in New Jersey till 15 July when we are book on Air India. I have flied many times on Air India and am always liking their services. Today we are two seats in Business Class and one seat in Economy Class. My mother is sitting in Business Class with my brother and I am sitting in Economy Class. Coming back from London, I will sit in Business Class.
The checkin man is very nice and gives me window seat in first row of Economy Class (Seat 31A). My mother and brother get invitation to the Maharaja lounge, but they do not give me invitation so we did not go there. There is lots of security everywhere and our bags are Xrayed many times. When we come to the gate 26 we see the big Air India plane sitting and waiting for us. The plane today is Boeing 747-400 name Agra after the city in India where there is the Taj Mahal.
When we are boarding, we are made to stop and once again security is checking us at the door of the plane. I am having my backpack and another bag with me, but they are not allowing me to carry two bags on board, so I am having to put the other bag into the cargo. My mother and brother climb to the upstairs and I go to the front right behind First Class. The plane is very full of people today and there is two other people sitting next to me who are going to Delhi. The video screen is on and is saying "Welcome aboard" and "This plane is named Agra" and a short story about city of Agra.
The announcement is made in English and Hindi and there is a video shown for safety in both languages also. There is offering of juice before we take off and then the video is showing a map with our position on it. After we take off there is comedy show on the video and service of dinner. I choose to have the Chicken Makhanwala Curry with Rice and Vegetables. They are also serving hot Paratha wrapped in foil which I am enjoying. The food is very good and much better than American airlines.
After dinner is finish, I ask if I can go to the upstairs to visit my mother and brother. When I am going up the stairs, they are still eating dinner but I am told that I can visit the cockpit until they finish. I have never been in Boeing 747-400 cockpit before so I am sitting and talking there for 15 minutes. The cockpit was full of smoke smell since there is no smoking allowed in the cabin and the door must be kept closed. When my mother is finishing eating, I am talking with her and the air hostess gives me some chocolates. I go back downstairs in 10 minutes and go to sleep.
When I am waking up, there is about 1 hour before we land in London and breakfast is being served. There is no choice but only croissant and fruit bowl. I am not enjoying this so much as the dinner, but still better than american breakfast. After I use the toilet and brush my teeth, we are landing in London Heathrow airport and parking at gate 23 near immigration next to American Airlines 777. My mother and brother has FASTTRACK passes for immigration and they have got one extra for me also so we are not having to stand in any lines. All the other bags except my backpack are arriving first because of PRIORITY tags, but my backpack is also arriving within 5 minutes and we go outside to meet my cousin who has come to pick us up.
17 August, AI 101
Today I am supposed to be flying in Business Class and my brother in Economy Class. When we go to checkin though, the lady is upgrading my brother also to Business Class. We are in seats 16A and 16B and my mother is in 16J.
Since we all have the invitations to the Maharaja Lounge today, we are going there and sitting before the flight. There is nice food there and I am eating the Chicken Tikka and Smoked Salmon while my brother is watching one of the TV in the corner.
When it is time to leave for the plane, the lady comes and takes us to the plane where security again X-rays our baggages. This time they allow me to take both bags onto the plane. The plane is another Boeing 747-400 name "Khajuraho" after the temple city in India.
This is first time I am sitting upstairs in window seat and it is strange to see how far we are from the ground. There is offering of juice or champagne before we take off and also hot towel. When we take off, there is first drinks service when I have Coke with package of nuts. Then is lunchtime service where I am choosing the Lamb Korma Curry once again with rice. My brother is choosing the Grilled Sole Fish with potato and brocolli. We are both enjoying it tremendously.
There is once again comedy show video being shown with different shows. Last time is Friends and this time is Frasier. During this time, I once again ask to go to cockpit and we are being taken there. Again there is same man sitting there who is smoking and he is remembering me from last flight. He is not flying the plane but says he flies as part of management to make sure things is running smooth.
After this we are watching a Hindi film and then I am sleeping while my brother watches English film. There is another meal service which is sandwiches and samosa before we are landing in New York. We are again landing at gate 26 and clearing customs and immigration very fast. Again, my uncle is sitting waiting for us outside so we are going to his house.
Overall, I am much enjoying the Air India flights. The meals is excellent and there is only friendly peoples. Much much better than any of the British and American airlines.