Have your ever gone through the bag rechecking process in India? Even the then Jet Airways re-checking was horrendous compared to handing of the bags at ORD, DTW, IAD, JFK. And yeah I never had to hunt for onward boarding passes at these airports..
Went thru BOM, DEL and BLR four times, one-time DL-AI interline, twice on DL-9W code-share, once on LH-9W. It is a breeze. Immigration, Customs, Recheck and Security was very quick. Passport control and security staff were very professional at all three airports.
If it worked for you great for you. I never said any of the personnel were un-professional. The process, the queues, the walking effort are all terrible.
DL and 9W print BP and tag bags all the way. 9W transfer bag counter is next to the Indian customs exit. If you are a premium pax or SkyMiles higher status, your bags priority tags. Only on DL-AI interline, I have to get a BP from AI counter at DEL.
I know, been there done that. It took 30 plus minutes to hand off the bags and the counter could not provide onward boarding pass - go figure.
In March '19 because of 9W fiasco my 3:15 AM BOM-HYD was canceled and rebooked on 6:55 AM flight. Though the 7 hr layover was painful, I walked around and enjoyed the BOM T2 artwork, which is unique in the world, and food. I noticed BOM T2 actually has an International Transit area, without going thru Indian passport control.
It's one thing departing India. Transit while arrival to India is horrendous. Have you tried walking and admiring the artwork at 3am in the morning? Good for you that you enjoyed.
Huh! How would transit via BOM from HYD without going passport control on 9W? That's a first? AI is different thing, if you take their "international connector" flight.
I agree Tier2/3 deserve more direct/non-stop options where there is enough demand. That actually relieves pressure on BOM and DEL. But if every few years one airline goes out of business, backfilling BOM and DEL becomes top priority and Tier2/3 connectivity will remain a low priority.
There was a hope for 9W HYD-AMS or AI HYD-LHR. Now ZERO chance for the next five years. Even AI will not waste an LHR slot for HYD when BOM-LHR premium pax are scrambling.
Are Dubai Malls still a real attraction? Malls in the US are dying, and even teenagers are not showing interest to go to malls.
Why do you think people fancy malls only? 3 hour layover in AUH/DOH/DXB is more pleasant and relaxing then transiting through BOM at 3 am in night.
I wouldn't be surprised if your views were different, if DTW had N/S to middle east