B747-437B
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Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:49 am

Sorry for the brevity of this report and its overall poor quality compared to my usual opus, but this is something I literally threw together during a short weekend break due to popular demand for an Air India 777 report.

I had meetings scheduled in London last week that due to unavoidable circumstances wound up having to be postponed. Rather than sit in freezing England cooling my heels for a week, I decided to hop a ride home to India for a few days. Fortunately eastbound loads were wide open, so I decided to nonrev one-way to sample the brand new Air India Boeing 777-200ER.

I checked out of my hotel in Kensington around 630pm and headed down towards Heathrow on the tube, arriving right around 730pm. Air India uses Zone G (usually dedicated to United) to checkin the evening flights (AI 160 and AI 120) so it was absolutely deserted as I approached one of the many bored Aviance agents.


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Photo © Sean Mendis



Checkin was smooth and I confirmed that the paid load today was 5 First, 31 Business and 138 Economy Class passengers (on an aircraft configured for 12 First, 49 Business and 214 Economy). Due to the light load, I was able to get myself assigned to a Business Class window immediately. The interesting part was when the agent noticed my Indian passport had been issued by the Indian Embassy in her native country and was very excited that I actually spoke a few words of her mother tongue. After a few minutes of chit-chat, I headed up the stairs and through FastTrack to the Maharaja Lounge.


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The lounge was actually pretty crowded today, but I found myself a seat and helped myself to the sumptious buffet. The lounge features an open bar with the usual line of premium liquors, plus a buffet that featured Samosas, Seekh Kababs, Kathi Rolls, Pakodas, Batata Wadas, Dhokla, sandwiches, Aloo Chaat, a veggie tray with dip and a fruit tray.



Airwhiners.net photo:

Photo © Sean Mendis
Airwhiners.net photo:

Photo © Sean Mendis



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Around 830pm, the lounge attendant came around and invited all the passengers to proceed to gate 27. The Duty Free area was bustling, but I managed to dash across to the VAT Refund desk and claim my money without any delay. There was no line at the gate and I breezed through the secondary security check.


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It was time for my date with destiny. It was 13 years ago that Air India formed its first committee to evaluate acquiring the Boeing 777, a process that meandered and procrastinated and stalled for an entire generation. Although this aircraft may be "only a plane" to some, to me it is a symbol of so much more. It is a symbol of what might have been and of the promise that still may be. It is the symbol of a new attitude, a new perspective and of a new guard poised to write a new chapter in a proud history. As I walked through door 2L and set foot for the first time aboard an Air India Boeing 777-200ER, I immediately fell in love.

I settled into my seat 9J and was immediately offered a hot towel and a choice of drinks. I picked apple juice and drained the glass as I studied the safety card. At precisely 929pm, the Inflight Supervisor came over the PA system and requested all ground personnel to deplane. At 930pm, the doors were closed and an announcement was made welcoming passengers aboard Air India 160 to Mumbai. So far it appeared that I did not know any of the crew on board, so perhaps I might actually get to sample an Air India flight incognito. Our pilots today were an American commander from Boeing, a Brazilian four-striper who had taken early retirement from Varig and a junior Air India First Officer under check.


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Photo © Sean Mendis



Boarding video (279 KB AVI File)


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We pushed back immediately and held in the alley while the crew performed a the manual safety demonstration in both Hindi and English. I was able to snap a picture of the Turkmenistan Airlines 757 to Ashkabad de-icing on the stand next to us during the English demo (having paid due attention to the Hindi version that preceded it). We taxied out to 09R , fittingly passing by the hulk of the soon-to-come Terminal 5 - a project that can rival the Air India 777 acquisition in sheer scope of delays.


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Immediately after we were airborne, the crew came around with the cocktails cart featuring a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. I relaxed with a vodka/orange juice and a plate of smoked almonds as we began to make our way east across continental Europe.



Airwhiners.net photo:

Photo © Sean Mendis
Airwhiners.net photo:

Photo © Sean Mendis



Soon after this, dinner was served. The options featured a grilled salmon, a chicken curry and a vegetarian selection - of which I chose the chicken curry. It came with an appetizer of pate on a bed of salad, a decent Chablis and a tasty fudge brownie for dessert. Of course, no Air India meal service would be complete without the fresh fruit basket being offered and I helped myself to some grapes. After 2 months away from India, I had been craving authentic Indian food and the curry did not disappoint. All in all, the meal lived up to the usual exceptional standards of catering that I have come to expect from Air India. During the meal, I watched "Taxi" on the PTV system. There were 3 other English movie choices, 2 Hindi movies and a handful of variety entertainment programs in English and Hindi.


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Airwhiners.net photo:

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Airwhiners.net photo:

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Airwhiners.net photo:

Photo © Sean Mendis
Airwhiners.net photo:

Photo © Sean Mendis



Airwhiners.net photo:

Photo © Sean Mendis



After dinner and the movie, I took the opportunity to ask permission to wander through the aircraft and explore which was immediately granted by the friendly Air Hostess. As I returned to my seat, the Purser approached me and asked if I was Sean. I confirmed my identity and he introduced himself as a distant relative of my father. So much for incognito. We chatted for a while and caught up with all the family and Air India gossip. That done, I reclined my seat, pulled up my blanket and retired to dreamland for the next 4 hours.

Economy Class cabin.


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Business Class cabin.


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First Class cabin.


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I awakened over Southern Iran and was immediately brought a glass of fresh Orange Juice by the attentive Air Hostess. She offered to serve me breakfast at any time of my choosing since she figured the various passengers would be waking up at different times. I told her to go right ahead and she brought me the tray containing a cheese omlette with chicken tikka and potatoes, a fruit bowl and yoghurt. A fresh croissant and muffin made up an excellent and filling meal.


Airwhiners.net photo:

Photo © Sean Mendis
Airwhiners.net photo:

Photo © Sean Mendis


That done, I was approached again by the Purser who told me that the captain had asked if I would like to visit him on the flight deck to discuss the project I was working on (and that the Purser had mentioned to him earlier). Dang, you do not have to ask twice!! I spent an excellent 30 minutes or so on the jumpseat chatting with the pilots and they were kind enough to permit me to snap some photographs and shoot some video. I have visited 777 cockpits briefly inflight in the past, but spending an extended period up there was a new experience. I came away with a new awe for the 777. The layout of the Boeing 777 cockpit is just so beautifully intuitive and uncluttered that it is hard not to appreciate the art underlying the technology.


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Photo © Sean Mendis



MyAviation.net photo:
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Photo © Sean Mendis



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Airwhiners.net photo:

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Cockpit video (359 KB AVI File)

I took my leave as we entered Indian airspace over Gujarat and made my way back to freshen up before landing. It was a lovely cloudless day as we made a spectacular approach to runway 27. One does not realize the sheer extent of the slums surrounding the airport until you fly over them on short finals during daylight hours. I filmed out the window as we touched down smoothly, applied reverse thrust and exited the active runway by Taxiway Charlie.


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Mumbai Landing video (726 KB AVI File)


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Customs and Immigration were deserted at this hour with the only other arrival at Terminal II-C being Egyptair and an Air India Airbus returning with Hajj pilgrims. I was able to clear formalities in a few minutes and emerged into the hot Mumbai sun right after noon. They always say that you never forget your first time, and my first time on an Air India 777 was one of those memorable flights that will live with me forever. I hope this trip report helped to share some of those memories with you too.


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[Edited 2005-02-26 20:12:37]
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
karan69
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:16 am

Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful experience with us Sean,

Air India have found the one thing that kept them from being a world class carrier , which was modern fleet and IFE --they are already pretty much head and shoulders above any other carrier in departments of catering, Traditional indian hospitality by staff.

Hopefully the new AI order will not take more time now, and we can see them touch the sky and truly become "your palace in the sky"


Sean, i must say you are very lucky to have flown this lovely lady ----do tell us more about your time with the pilots in the cockpit
 
CXoneworld
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:19 am

Excellent report. Ive enjoed reading the nice pictures in particular.

And many thanks for bringing us onboard the AI's 772ER!!  Big thumbs up
oneworld alliance revolves around you
 
Falcon84
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sun Feb 27, 2005 5:12 am

What, no report of rust on the aircraft, Sean.  Laugh out loud
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
usagypsy
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sun Feb 27, 2005 6:59 am

I don't mean to rain on the parade.... BUT..... a "brand new Air India 777-200ER"??? Its a United Airlines 777 that Air India got second hand and didn't even bother to update the totally outdated UA C class product, let alone remove the obvious UA carpet on the bulkhead!! What is AI thinking?! This is an opportunity to atleast show they are updating their fleet and product for the internationl market and all they are doing is showing that they can take an old 777 and serve an Indian meal...... where is the Palace in the Sky? thats really a shame for them and the other AI fans on A.net
 
SQA340
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:46 am

Hmm. That interior looks ever so familiar  Big grin.

Reasons for not replacing the seats are understandable, but it's kinda funny how AI even kept the bulkhead carpet that sport the UA colors. It'll probably be fitted to full AI decor in the future.
 
jaysit
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sun Feb 27, 2005 12:47 pm

The least they could have done was take off that ugly UA bulkhead upholstery on their "brand new" 777.

And while I like AI's inflight service, their J class meal product still looks like a Singapore Airline's Economy Class meal. Tasty, but sloppy.

At least this flight gets in at a decent hour in Bombay. That's worth more than all the inflight caviar and flat bed seats on any other carrier.

In any case, I wonder what the interior of this plane will look like once AI are done with it? If AI's 744 interiors are any indication, the prognosis is not good.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
LFutia
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:21 pm

Wow Sean! Amazing! I liked it... im glad to know that you enjoyed your time on the 777 with Air India... I really hope that AI can do better now that they have some 777's...
Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
 
mrniji
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:00 pm

Nice Sean, thanks for sharing.. though I could neither see the pics nor the videos with Win MEdia 10 (did anyone else encounter these problems???), the report is really nice, especially since you come to the point and not like me making endless stories of unimportant things Big grin - I will fly the 'rustbucket' latest in End of July (i.e. FRA-DEL) and hopefully can confirm your experience.. will take vids etc then, too - nice Sean! By the way, how do you rate the comfort of Eco, since I do not have the money to enjoy biz?


Quoting B747-437B (reply 0):
We chatted for a while and caught up with all the family and Air India gossip


So, shae it with us! We won't let you go, Mendis! Big grin

Quoting B747-437B (reply 0):
I spent an excellent 30 minutes or so on the jumpseat chatting with the pilots and they were kind enough to permit me to snap some photographs and shoot some video. I


So, the american Pilot probably took the spirit of AI in order to grant this..  Big grin

As Karan said, once new aircrafts will arrive (and as Jay said, hopefully with more modern interiors Big grin ), AI will enter world class again.. the 'rustbucket' seems to be a good intermediate choice.. Mendis, I hope you take me along sometime, as travelling with you seems to be special.. I can guarantee you taht I will bring you in some unconventional problems as compensations (i.e. dripping ceilings etc Big grin )

Well done
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
mrniji
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:29 pm

OK, finally I could see the vids (some codec or so required, which I managed to install).. nice work, Sean

These huge engines in the landing video are great.. - at least you managed to keep the camera still, as opposed to me in my video

Sean, do they have the same audio channel on the IFE I used to listen on UA's 777 to SFO and IAD where you can hear the cockpit-ATC communication??

Nice vids, thx for this, Sean
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sun Feb 27, 2005 8:26 pm

Nice Report Sean.
The Food looks Delicious.
Enjoyed the "Landing at Mumbai" Video.
I could not get Audio on the Videos.Was there any.
The F/O looks Familiar.Any Name.

Sean, your Trip report is fantastic.You stand for President,You have my Vote  Big thumbs up

How was the Noise inside,Was it Turbulent Enroute.
What do the Crew feel about AI Expansion.

I hope AI Really gets going this time.

Looking fwd to your next report.
Whats the plan after the 3rd B777
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
The777Man
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Mon Feb 28, 2005 1:09 am

Very nice report Sean! The interior looks very familiar for some reason..... Smile
I'm surprised too that they didn't even change the upholstry from UA but I guess they will do that in due time. I guess they wanted to put it in service as quickly as possible.

Too bad I didn't make it to LHR this past weekend. Hopefully next time!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
captaingomes
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Mon Feb 28, 2005 3:09 am

Very nice report! Dont mind the negativity from some of a.net's finest.  Smile I like your inclusion of videos, and kind of makes me want to do the same when I decide to do a trip report in the future.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
Sabena332
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:08 am

Fantastic report with a great text, great pics and great vids. I enjoyed it very much.

The cockpit video was very interesting, while you moved the camera around I could see how big the 777 cockpit actually is. Very interesting for someone like me who only flew jumpseat on the A 32X series, I really hope to get a jumpseat flight/cockpit visit on a widebody in the future.

Nice to see that AI's mascot also appears in the inflight entertainment, I thought it is only used in ads.

The food looks great as in every Air India report!

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
Speedbird2025
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:55 am

Holy Smokes!! What a great trip report Sean. Thx for sharing it. Too excited to see AI here at IAH soon  Smile

--Nathan
 
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Flying Belgian
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:42 am

Many thx Sean,

I fully enjoyed the reports and I focused on your nice pics on MyAviation.net as well !!!

FB.
Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
YYZPHIL
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Fri Mar 04, 2005 6:58 am

Great report. I really enjoyed the pictures and videos.

Phil.
 
A340600
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:56 am

Nice report, cheers for sharing:D

Sam Smile
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
 
22right
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sat Mar 05, 2005 6:46 am

Great report.

I could only hear the sound on the Mumbai landing viedo.. no picture. Also, the cockpit video wont play at all.

Any ideas why?
"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
 
mrniji
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sat Mar 05, 2005 8:01 pm

Quoting 22right (reply 18):
Any ideas why?


You need to download the correct codecs for he media player.. start the video, on the top right corner, a !! will be.. click on web help and be referred to the codec page (they will tell you the no of the codec).. if it is not avail with Microsoft, google... takes sometimes, I had the same problem, and with some downloading, it finally worked  Wink
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
22right
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sun Mar 06, 2005 5:42 am

Thanks MrNiji! I will give that a shot.
"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
 
flpuck6
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:52 am

Sweet report.

I have a friend who has flown Air India Business class a few times before and loves it.

You can see clearly that the aircraft is a former United aircraft, the interior is the same! I wonder if AI added or took away any seats?
Bonjour Chef!
 
AirWales
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:46 am

The only thing better that the report was the pictures! I am still yet to fly a 777 (although I am booked to fly a BA one to Beijing later in the year) but enjoyed looking at your pictures - especially on the flight deck.

Thanks
 
TKMCE
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:11 pm

While I do not hav anything against the benefits an ex airline employee gets, some times you beigin to wonder whether they are a little excessive esp with regard to some of the legacy carriers, not just Air India. I remeber a mate of mine literally flying accross the pond LHR YYZ as if he is taking the national express to Milton keynes for a night in town!!! And this continued even after his Daddy was fired after the airline conccerned decided they had a little excess flab!!!

Also the way B747-437B seems to be getting such excellent service in Air India and keeping in mind my past bad experience in the aline (an expereince so revolting that I have since resisted the temptation to fly again on the Maharajah), I do get a feeling that a you should have a skin which is white or similar shades (unfortunately mine is in the darker shade of the spectrum) or in the absence of the same you should flaunt credentails like " I am the daughter of my father's gradmothers step grand child who worked in Air India) to get something called service. I am a little ashamed to say this, about one of the flag carriers of my country! However this is purely from my personal experience, and again from my personal experience I would agree with Indian Guy about the much better service offered by Air India's sibling Indian Airlines with whom I have flown frequently both in Domestic and International services and whose services I find more than acceptable.

Also to be fair with Indian Guy (and at the outset let me say that I am as of date in fairly good terms with both him and his fellow gladiator B747-437B having had occasion to meet them "separately I muist hasten to add" in my frequent travels outside my base town), that Air India staff (esp the pilots) spats in trying to get non rev pax on board at the expense of fair paying passengers is quite well documented(this is not to suggest for one moment B747-437B did so). Also while I do agree that it is inappropriate to recall the tragic Kanishka incident in this context, I do know that the aircraft carried quite a few of Air India non revs on the flight while I know of atleast one revenue pax who was only able to get a ticket at the very last minute on the flight and subsequently transferred from Air France and flew on his last journey !!!
 
jaysit
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Tue Apr 05, 2005 11:19 pm

Apparently A340s were not available, but a month later, AI's new rival 9W managed to find spanking new A340's all the same

That is incorrect.
These A340s are ex-South African Airways.

that Air India staff (esp the pilots) spats in trying to get non rev pax on board at the expense of fair paying passengers is quite well documented

With all due respect, I've found that ex-Bombay, AI staff have always upgraded me from Business to First (on 2 occassions now), and on one occassion asked a non-reving family of an employee to leave her First Class seat for me. Needless to say, I found out that I was the only fare paying passenger in First on that flight, but that's a different story.

As far as AI's induction of 777s is concerned, that was the best decision the airline has taken. You need to take a flight on a 777 one of these days, Roy. It's a fantastic airplane.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
22right
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:34 am

Jolly good! Finally something really exciting is going on in the Trip Reports Forum.  rotfl 
"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
 
TKMCE
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:27 pm

Seriously and this is nothing to do with personal battles or petty jealousy, but dont you think it is high time that such "perks" are rationalised?

I did remember Michael Mascarenhas once trying to bring some sort of sanity into such lavishness by stating that he will take the lead and fly economy or business and not first, but then he was soon marginalised and booted out (I think for other reasons as well).
 
jaysit
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:27 pm

plus quota limited international for non-dependant children, brother/sister and parents.

Wow !!

My mom was a stew for TWA back in the day, and all we ever got was one of her uniforms (sold to some drag queen on ebay for $ 50, but I digress).

But this thread is fun !

Finally, this site is rockin'.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
22right
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:34 pm

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 32):
Finally, this site is rockin'.

Yeah, it's like Superman and Lex Luthor. Who is Superman and who is Luthor is open to interpretation of course.  Wink
"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
 
TKMCE
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:46 pm

Maybe a good PHD or MSc Topic for air transport sudents.
"A comparison of staff perks on Legacy carriers vs Low Cost Carriers"
Case Study of 'Air India vs Ryan Air"
 
fraspotter
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:14 am

I don't care what other people might say about the AI 777. I think it looks GREAT in the colors. Great trip report, keep it up....
"Taking off is optional. It’s landing that’s mandatory."
 
jaysit
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:16 am

Yeah, it's like Superman and Lex Luthor. Who is Superman and who is Luthor is open to interpretation of course.

Mendis is Superman.
After all, he's doing all the flying !!

 Smile
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
22right
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:32 am

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 36):
Mendis is Superman.
After all, he's doing all the flying !!

Good one, Jay! If only he could fly around the world so fast in an AI 777 that he can turn back time to the day Lex Luthor was born... Of course the 777 would disintegrate due to all the rust and rot!  rotfl 
"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
 
22right
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:18 am

Quoting IndianGuy (Reply 38):
Very clever Mendis! selectively quoting a document like that! Even reading the document as selectively as you have brings up the question of hey WTF is this any way to run an airline? Are these kind of freebies justified? Imagine people: the adult non-dependent son of a retired employee travelling business class at his whim and fancy: mooching off facilities meant for fare paying passengers! Is this any way to run a airline? Either way Mendis: you stand in the wrong.

Whether this is justified or whether it is the way to run an airline is a different story. If the document that Sean has pointed out does indeed make provisions for free travel for non-dependant adult children of qualifying retired employees, then I would say Sean has not broken any rules in terms of this non-rev trip.

You can question the validity/fairness of the rules and endeavor to change them to prevent such future misuse of taxpayer subsidised property. But do you have a basis for questioning the *legality* of Sean's free AI travels??
"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
 
srbmod
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:25 am

From what I can tell IndianGuy, it sounds like you're jealous of Sean. So quit hijacking this thread with your garbage. If you've got issues with Air India's regulations concerning non-rev policies, take it up with them instead of bashing someone like Sean (Which you seem to do all the time, BTW). Some airlines are more liberal with their non-rev benefits for retirees and their families than others; if I had such an ability to use those benefits I would as much as I could (When I worked in the industry, I flew non-rev usually twice a month.). The pay at many airlines is not all that great and the hours may not be all that great (And many times you end up working on holidays and spend them away from your family), but the non-rev benefits take some of the sting of the downsides of working for an airline.

A very good trip report, despite the attempts by some to ruin this thread. The inclusion of videos made this a very well put together trip report, a welcome change from the usual pictures (or lack of pictures.).
 
22right
Posts: 393
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:37 am

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 34):
From what I can tell IndianGuy, it sounds like you're jealous of Sean. So quit hijacking this thread with your garbage.

I can't speak for IndianGuy and his jealousies (or lack thereof). I may not agree with his vitriol but I do think there is a point to be made somewhere in here about the excessive privileges granted to adult self-dependent sons/daughters of AI employees. I am not saying this is Sean's fault.

But at the same time, Sean isn't exactly Mr. Innocent as we all are well aware of. The obvious glee he exhibits in obtaining free trips in J or F class (in addition to other freebies such as expensive bottles of wine, etc ) on AI on account of his parent's hard-work is well documented. So is his propensity for self-aggrandization, attention hogging, and arrogance.

Since he finds it so important to share his privileged experiences with us, we also have the right to comment on it (within bounds of civility and reason). If he (or his groupies) find that hard to digest then it's their own damn fault.

[Edited 2005-04-07 03:51:00]

[Edited 2005-04-07 03:51:25]

[Edited 2005-04-07 03:52:38]
"I never apologize! I am sorry, but that's the way it is!" - Homer Simpson
 
SQ772
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:51 am

A very very interesting thread. I've always enjoyed Sean's reports, his elaboration of inflight service of various airlines.

I've always been intrigued at how liberal AI is with their staff benefits, but that should belong to another thread discussing solely on how AI is run (and whether such staff benefits are rational or not).

Let us not attack the author who is obviously receiving such benefits because he is "ALLOWED" to by the airline.

Me thinks this thread has gotten enough attention, and stealing the thunder from all the other TRs that our dear a.net writers have put in so much effort to write for you...

Enjoyed reading your report nevertheless, Sean.
There's always a better way to fly...
 
jaysit
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:28 pm

Well, given those very liberal benefits that AI has, its no wonder that none of AI's employees, unions, management, babus, etc., want it privatized.

But, hey, if the buffet table says "all you can eat," the diner aint gonna stick to a bowl of celery !!!
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
mrniji
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:57 pm

Boy...

I was on a trip and the last week but followed up this hillarious thread.. it looks like that as consequence IndianGuy has been Perma banned.. sorry for that, but I think this consequence is appropriate.. we Indians were discussing amongst ourselves that we often ourselves are the reason for the World laughing on India.. this battle here was a big shame for the name of India, showing how childish some of us are and how we ourselves are not able to solve simple issues.. I seriously felt ashamed, since this happened under the auspices of Indian flaggs. Better the users calls himself Guy instead of IndiaGuy , puts the flag of Antactica, and refains to spoil India's name in the future. I take distance to what happened by someone identifying himself with India. There ae smart people in India who do not want to be associated with such acrimonious happenings.

Whether or not this has been appropriate is secondary. I only want to point out that there is some way of discussing in these forums.

I hope though that Roy will come back again and will have learned some basic lessons on how to interact in a world where no one is alone. He needs to grow up and learn within this process
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
B747-437B
Topic Author
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:46 pm

Just to set the record straight here and answer the dozens of emails I have received, I will clarify exactly under what provisions I am entitled to travel on Air India.

At Air India, an employee who retires above managerial grade with >25 years service is entitled to the following travel benefits :

a) Unlimited domestic travel for employee + spouse + dependant children under 25 yrs of age in Business Class on a Space Available basis. There are service charges and taxes applicable to these tickets depending on routing.
b) A maximum of 4 annual international passes in Business Class on a Space Available basis that may be used by employee, spouse, dependant children, non-dependant children, parents or siblings regardless of age. There are service charges and taxes applicable to these tickets depending on routing.
c) Interline travel benefits in accordance with the reciprocal ZED agreements signed between Air India and other ZED participant carriers.

The ticket I travelled on was not a zero revenue ticket by any means and the coupon value for the sector was significantly discounted of course but by no means loss-making. Furthermore, the travel was purely on a space available basis - which is why I purchased a ticket on another carrier to return rather than take my chances with a full Air India flight.

The ticket was issued by Air India in full accordance with the rules and was part of the quota of 4 annual passes available to a retired employee of managerial grade or above with over 25 years of service. Details of this entitlement can be found in the Air India Limited Employees Passage Regulations.

Please see the letter below for final clarification about my eligibility for this benefit. Anybody who continues to make knowingly false allegations against myself or my family on this issue is hereby placed on notice that I will pursue action against them for libel.

"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
mrniji
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Fri Apr 08, 2005 11:30 pm

37yrs..! Wow! I think it is great that companies reward this loyalty
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
jaysit
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:26 am

Its no wonder that Business Class on Air India is packed with non-paying passengers pax who are friends and family!

With its gigantic workforce, and a tiny 26 pax J class cabin on a 744, those flat bed seats can fill up pretty damn fast !
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
TKMCE
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:53 am

I have a Question on the "Space available basis" on business class staff tickets

Let us say an Air India 744

First Class - Total Seats 4 Booked 0
Business - Total Seats 26 Booked 22
Coach - Total Seats 300 Booked 320 (overbooked) But ateast 10 people are on full Y (not excursion)

There happen to be 10 Air India non rev tickets standing by SUB LOAD for J class

What will; happen??
Will 4 of the full fare paying J class be upgraded and the resulting 8 Business Class available (4+4) be filled up with the 8 of the full fare Y pax and the resulting 8 seats in Coach given to some of the pax who would otherwise be bumped off?

Or will it be that 4 of the J class pax be upgraded and the 8 Business now be shared among the 10 AI people on SUB LOAD?

Sorry if I am asking a dumb question, but I want to know what the policy is for Air India ? Also are there any industry standards for this or does it vary from company to company?

Just curious because Jay mentioned that he finds many times in Air India flights, the cabin has a large number of staff discount pax. I find it surprising since AFAIK it is very difficult to get business class seats on the European and American carriers out of India.
 
jaysit
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sat Apr 09, 2005 1:55 am

Just curious because Jay mentioned that he finds many times in Air India flights, the cabin has a large number of staff discount pax. I find it surprising since AFAIK it is very difficult to get business class seats on the European and American carriers out of India.

I do.
However, as I mentioned earlier, as a fare paying J class passenger, I was bumped up to First Class. A passenger who I know was on a staff discount ticket had to give up her seat. She was then trotted out to Y class. This was done on the aircraft itself, and not at the check-in counter. When I boarded, the Purser had a new F class boarding pass for me. In any case, First Class was full on that particular flight too. From what I heard, at least 6 of those in the 16 pax F class cabin were family of AI staff. There was a large contingent in the AI lounge at Sahar who were flying J class, and they too were non-rev pax. I found the whole thing rather puzzling, but decided I'd rather enjoy the flight than get disturbed about something that I obviously can't change.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
B747-437B
Topic Author
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:49 am

Quoting TKMCE (Reply 42):
have a Question on the "Space available basis" on business class staff tickets

In your scenario, all revenue passengers will be accomodated in cabin seats ahead of any of the non-revenue passengers. This will be done via upgrades of the revenue passengers. In your scenario, 4 pax will be upgraded J to F, 8 pax Y to J and 12 pax will be denied boarding.

However, of the 10 non-revenue passengers, some or all of them may still be accomodated on jumpseats or crew rest seats as per the discretion of the Captain and IFS.

That said, if the booked load was 4F/11J/305Y, then only 5 pax would be upgraded Y to J and the remaining seats in J class cabin would be assigned to the non-revenue passengers eligible for J class ahead of any other revenue passenger upgrades.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
Bofredrik
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:15 am

Great report! I give it ***** Star!  highfive 
 
UAopsMGR
Posts: 90
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:14 pm

Nice report. I thought I recognized the FC seats!!
Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.- Homer Simpson
 
rocketman742
Posts: 67
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:42 pm

Every airline in the world gives their staff some sort of free tickets as part of their overall pay package. Air India is no different. AI will not allow any staff on board even if their is a tiny chance they might get bumped off enroute. I really give credit to their pilots on how they juggle jump seats on multiple sectors in order to accomadate crew of ALL AIRLINES on jump seats.It is not just AI staff travelling on those seats but Indian crew of emirates,cathay ,british,lufthansa etc travelling home to meet family many a time on urgent basis due to family emergencies. Also these jump seats are really crew rest seats so many a time crew on a long haul flight cant even sit down as their seats are occupied by people they have never met employed by airlines which wont even accept their own employees. An airline like EK wont even allow their pilots to release a single jump seat to any of their own employees so what use is the perk of getting a free ticket when you cant even use it?. I think airlines which dont give a crap about their own employees just treat them like robots instead of human beings are the ones who need to get their act together.
 
jaysit
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:16 am

I think airlines which dont give a crap about their own employees just treat them like robots instead of human beings are the ones who need to get their act together.

Sure, but taking a page out of Air India's book is not what the doctor ordered. My mom was a FA for TWA, many of her friends flew for airlines (BA, TWA, PanAm) years after she retired. Two of my cousins were FAs for Gulf Air and BA. None of them get the kind of lifelong perks that AI grants its employees.

An airline's first responsibility is to its fare paying passengers. If AI's J Class product is going empty, then AI needs to start marketing that product more aggressively, or make necessary changes to it, so that it becomes competitive with other carriers.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
B747-437B
Topic Author
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RE: Air India 777 LHR-BOM (Inflight Cockpit Vid, Pics)

Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:39 am

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 48):
None of them get the kind of lifelong perks that AI grants its employees

You are only observing the perks that AI grants employees who have served 25+ years and retired at Senior Manager level or above. The total number of employees who fall under that category are no more than a handful at any airline.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada

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