hkore
Topic Author
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:20 am

Air India VT-ANU AI301 Sydney - Delhi

Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:45 am

Introduction

I have been a member on Airliners.net since a decade, read many trip reports and enjoyed them. This is my first trip report of a 2015 trip flying Air India.

Was going to book flight to Mumbai, India in Sept 2015. Having travelled numerous times with AI during 1980-90's to Doha. Service level during the 90's was terrible due to reservation for jobs. I didn't fly with them for more than a decade.

After flying numerous flights with SQ and other airlines, wanted to try something different. Being adventurous, in 2012 flown AI domestically within India and with everything going smoothly. I decided to try Air India service from Sydney to New Delhi, especially to fly the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

This was my first time travelling through Delhi. I had many questions about flying on Air India via Delhi, searched the Web, Youtube. Nothing useful.

Hope this travel report is informative for everyone who enjoy reading trip reports and for those wishing to fly with Air India.

Full Trip Report HD Quality

Click link to watch video. The videos are long as I wanted to capture as much details as I could.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GcGzCKc8u8

Below is the detailed report.

Air India does not have a online check-in facility for the flight. Had to arrive at the airport to checkin to the flight.

Airport Parking

Started from home at 6.30 in the morning. Being peak hour, the drive to the airport was busy with traffic on the motorways. Reached airport around 7.30 and then spent another 20-25 mins looking for parking. Finally found a parking spot.

It was a beginning of running around till I reached Mumbai.

Parked

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I reached the counter around 8.10 am. Check-In had commenced and there was a queue of about 20 ahead of me.

Check-In

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Getting closer

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Took about 30 mins for my turn. When it came, my check-in bag weighed 19.5 kgs, well below the 30 Kgs allowed. Staff checked my visa to India, handed boarding cards for Delhi and Mumbai flight, informed about the gate number and wished pleasant flight.

It was time for immigration, the place was packed with queue closer to the door. I filled my immigration form before joining the queue. Was directed towards the e-immigration. The machine was running slow, there were 3 people ahead of me. The machine malfunctioned, had to change the queue. Took 30 mins for the whole process.

Security queue took time, had a full body scan. By the time I was out of immigration and security, it was 9.30, time for boarding.

I wanted to claim GST, had completed the documentation online using the app, GST service stopped 30 mins prior to gate closing. Checked the GST counters, the place was packed. flight closing time was in 10 mins, decided to skip the GST and head for the gate 28.

While walking towards the gate, I heard my name called out along with few others. On getting closer, realised it was a bus gate which meant taking the escalator down.

The escalator was not working, another round of brisk walk. Other flight passengers waiting too. I showed my boarding pass and got on the bus.Many of the passengers were transitting heading to Bangladesh, Nepal and Europe. An acquaintance was flying to Milan with AI in the following week of my travel. Seems Air India was doing well filling the plane.

Bus ride [Video]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8g0SI4-wLc

Air India VT-ANU in "Star Alliance" livery

Image

Boarding the bird

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Boeing 787-8 Wings

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Boarding was through stairs. The flight was full with no empty seats. My seat was occupied by a visitor couple. They moved when I told them, the seat is allocated to me.

Settled in my seat

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Seat was stocked with water, blanket and headphones.

Seat amenities

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Cabin Announcement

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eqstnpbnf3s

Air India Maharajah

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Aircraft features video

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Cabin features

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCrWyyCi8P4

Waiting for pushback

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Pushback was delayed by 45 mins. Departure time 10.30 a.m

Taxi to runway

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Aircraft was parked close to runway at a remote bay.

Taxi to runway

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLDQq8NMY2w

Actual departure was 10.45a.m due to air traffic in Sydney. China Southern, Cathay Pacific, Garuda departed ahead of AI.

Departure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkVWP1FV41A

Airborne, shades were darkened

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Inflight View

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU_oC33ain0

Sydney Airport Aerial view

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Inflight Magazine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WizgchZMfKc

Announcements

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Legroom

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Cabin

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It was around midday, the window tint blocks the sun rays.

Window view

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Air India - member of Star Alliance

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After reading the reviews online, I had decided to use the toilet in the earlier part of the flight. I used them later too, they were kept clean. Part of the problem are the type of passengers - many first timers and the rest is the crew attitude towards their jobs being government employees.

Toiletries

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Inflight Entertainment

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Cabin View

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Safety Card

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Maharajah - Air India Mascot

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Passengers busy with onboard entertainment.

Entertainment

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Flight path

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Shubh Yatra [Happy Journey] - Inflight magazine

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Air India Fleet information

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Air condition

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Mid-Day Tinted Window

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Breakfast was served within 1 hr of departure.I was hungry as I didn't get time in the morning to have breakfast.

Option was Veg and non-veg. I opted for the non-veg.

Breakfast Presentation

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Breakfast - Omlette and Sausage

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Breakfast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m8NUWNVGA4

Trays were cleared after the service within reasonable time.

Empty tray

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Flight Information

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It was time for entertainment. watched a few episodes to Big Bang. Then 2 Broke girls.

IFE control

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Sitcom time

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2 Broke Girls

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Inflight Entertainment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h0EpzyZmGI

Leg space

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Used the leg massage roller. Felt good. Unlike on SQ, these don't hog your leg space.

Roller

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Rego - VT-ANU

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In about another 2-3 hrs, drink service

Drink Service

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Air India Logo

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Headphones

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Had enough of entertainment, flying somewhere over Western Australia, it was time to snooze. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Blanket

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Must have slept for 3-4 hrs, checked the flight information.

Close to the midpoint of journey

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Decided to watch a movie to pass time.

Movie time

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-k9tOuz3yE

Flight Information

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It was lunch time soon - lunch was served Indian mid-day time.

Lunch service had began.

Lunch Service

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTsDICnyjf0

Lunch presentation

Image

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Option was veg and non-veg. Chose the non-veg option. It was pasta and separate chicken curry.

Lunch

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Lunch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hen1o8M32Uw

Avoiding the thunderstorm clouds.

Window view

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Window view

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KRfPYjAvnk

Flight location

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Day-night map

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Flight map

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Closer to India

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Window control released by flight crew

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Snack was provided 2hrs prior to landing

Snack packing

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Snack- Croissant and cheese with fruit salad

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Food was tasty, I didn't eat the fruit salad.

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Snack

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toK3crmrLrQ

Closer to Delhi, flight was 1 hr late.

Flight path

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Approaching Delhi

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Landing soon

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Landing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXyC9njz21g

Arrived at gate at 6.50p.m. It was warm outside, sweating and worrying about my connection.

Arrived at gate

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Disembarked it was already 7 pm. I was worried about missing connecting flight to Mumbai. Ground staff was waiting at the gate for AI-International-domestic flights and international connecting passengers. I had to complete immigration, collect bag, pass customs and re-check my bags, get gate number for the flight. Walked briskly to the immigration.

Towards Immigration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b_9M3BkjSc

There were 4 people ahead of me, immigration staff took their own time in the queue I was waiting in. Another 15 mins lost. Showed my visa to India, had passport stamped. Had to show passport stamp before being let out to collect bag.

Bag didn't take long. I was rushing towards Green Channel when Customs guy asked where I was coming from. I said "Sydney". He let me pass without stopping.

I headed to the Transfer Check-In, it was 7.30. Showed my boarding card and passport to security. I was the only one to Check-In. Didn't take long counter staff checked my bags and told me to go level 2 for departure for the next flight to Mumbai.

I hope you enjoyed the trip, Thanks for reading. :)
 
aozora
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:07 am

Re: Air India VT-ANU AI301 Sydney - Delhi

Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:23 am

Thanks for your trip report! I'm glad to see a direct flight between Australia and India, finally.
They're sure do keep pax well fed, 2 meal services and a snack! Also nice to see water waiting in the seat pocket - some airlines only do this in premium cabins.
I flew AI between HKG and DEL/BOM last year on the 787, but in business class. The crew really do vary, don't they?
Were all your flights on time? Last year, 6 of my 6 flights were badly delayed, the most laughable reason being "one of our crew is still stuck in traffic" :roll:
 
ojas
Posts: 1190
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:23 am

Re: Air India VT-ANU AI301 Sydney - Delhi

Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:20 am

Lovely TR and pictures.

I myself did a trip on the B787 2 weeks ago and thankfully the experience was orderly and flight uneventful.

Thanks for sharing.

Ojas
Great leaders don't tell you what to do ... they show you how it's done!
 
subramak1
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:21 pm

Re: Air India VT-ANU AI301 Sydney - Delhi

Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:20 pm

Interesting I did not have to clear immigrations or pick up bags while coming from ORD to MAA via DEL.

I don't know if yours was a one off case or if they treat different international routes differently
'
I completely agree on passenger behavior, for some reason people of Indian origin / Indians love to trash the flight while travelling by Air India. The same person behaves while travelling by non South Asian airlies

Subu
 
subramak1
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:21 pm

Re: Air India VT-ANU AI301 Sydney - Delhi

Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:22 pm

aozora wrote:
Thanks for your trip report! I'm glad to see a direct flight between Australia and India, finally.
They're sure do keep pax well fed, 2 meal services and a snack! Also nice to see water waiting in the seat pocket - some airlines only do this in premium cabins.
I flew AI between HKG and DEL/BOM last year on the 787, but in business class. The crew really do vary, don't they?
Were all your flights on time? Last year, 6 of my 6 flights were badly delayed, the most laughable reason being "one of our crew is still stuck in traffic" :roll:


That has happened to me even with Jet Blue, one crew was sick and the replacement crew was stuck in NYC traffic trying to get to JFK

Subu
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Posts: 626
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Air India VT-ANU AI301 Sydney - Delhi

Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:31 pm

Great first TR. Had a very good flow and easy to read.
Classic AI Service -> very good when things go heir way, if not, not many can save you :)
The interiors look very good and decent leg space.
Apart from the one hour delay, what were your opinion of this service?
 
zm093
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:20 pm

Re: Air India VT-ANU AI301 Sydney - Delhi

Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:45 pm

Are busgates common at SYD or is it just for specific flights like the AI one?
 
hkore
Topic Author
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:20 am

Re: Air India VT-ANU AI301 Sydney - Delhi

Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:26 am

aozora wrote:
Thanks for your trip report! I'm glad to see a direct flight between Australia and India, finally.
They're sure do keep pax well fed, 2 meal services and a snack! Also nice to see water waiting in the seat pocket - some airlines only do this in premium cabins.
I flew AI between HKG and DEL/BOM last year on the 787, but in business class. The crew really do vary, don't they?
Were all your flights on time? Last year, 6 of my 6 flights were badly delayed, the most laughable reason being "one of our crew is still stuck in traffic" :roll:


Agree, food is a strong point for Air India and Asian carriers. Even on domestic routes, AI provides decent food in comparison to many airlines.

The crew in my section on the Sydney sector was chatty. Dreamliner being a quiet plane, could hear her conversation with other passengers as I was two seats behind exit row.
I really didn't care about the other sectors as I was either tired or worried about missing flight.

Punctuality is very poor with Air India. 3 out of 4 flights were delayed. Knowing about delays, I had taken travel insurance before booking the AI flight and had spare day before starting work.

On the return trip from Mumbai, flight was delayed by 2hrs. There was a change of aircraft due to some technical problem. Me along with others had spoken with the crew about missing the connection. We were told that the pilot has informed the ground staff. When we arrived in Delhi, we were not allowed to board the flight even though we had arrived 15mins before departure. We were cited that the baggage has to be screened and transferred, flight cannot be delayed.Had to stay overnight in Delhi and then fly next day to Melbourne as Air India doesn't fly daily.

The Melbourne flight was late by 1 hr, passengers were informed that they had to find a replacement crew as the rostered staff had called in sick.Despite the delay, flight arrived into Melbourne on time.
In Delhi, received voucher for the domestic Qantas flight to Sydney.

ojas wrote:
Lovely TR and pictures.

I myself did a trip on the B787 2 weeks ago and thankfully the experience was orderly and flight uneventful.

Thanks for sharing.

Ojas


Look forward to your trip report. Thanks for your comment.

subramak1 wrote:
Interesting I did not have to clear immigrations or pick up bags while coming from ORD to MAA via DEL.

I don't know if yours was a one off case or if they treat different international routes differently
'
I completely agree on passenger behavior, for some reason people of Indian origin / Indians love to trash the flight while travelling by Air India. The same person behaves while travelling by non South Asian airlies

Subu


Where the immigration and customs has to be done is based on the flight number. I had questions too about this. Found the answer on page 18 of Shubh Yatra magazine.

Image

newbief1yer wrote:
Great first TR. Had a very good flow and easy to read.
Classic AI Service -> very good when things go heir way, if not, not many can save you :)
The interiors look very good and decent leg space.
Apart from the one hour delay, what were your opinion of this service?


I wasn't expecting SQ level service from crew knowing well that the staff are government employees. All the aircraft on different sectors were clean. Food was adequate on all flights.
Overall satisfactory apart from the delays, which could have been handled better.

zm093 wrote:
Are busgates common at SYD or is it just for specific flights like the AI one?


Sydney Airport has inadequate number of aerobridges to handle international flights that operate between 7-11 am. Many airlines use bus gates.
 
aozora
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:07 am

Re: Air India VT-ANU AI301 Sydney - Delhi

Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:37 pm

Wow, glad that you had factored in for the delay.
 
User avatar
hirofumi
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 4:21 am

Re: Air India VT-ANU AI301 Sydney - Delhi

Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:39 am

Hi, very interesting report. I don't get why they gave you a curry along with pasta? Certainly an interesting combination and only on AI!

That said, I love Air India meals. I live in Delhi and most of my domestic travels are done by Air India to collect *A miles. I prefer Air India curry over five star hotel restaurants! Seriously, Air India meals feel like "home-cooked" which are usually mild and tasty.

About the delay - well beat this, for 10 consecutive flights in a row my flights were delayed, and finally last week at my 11th attempt the flight finally landed on-time (well, 15mins delay but I'm nice enough to consider it as on-time ;-)). While most of the delays are 30mins to 1hr delay, it's still frustrating - when competitors Jet and IndiGo are usually on-time.

Interesting I did not have to clear immigrations or pick up bags while coming from ORD to MAA via DEL.
I don't know if yours was a one off case or if they treat different international routes differently


Some AI domestic flights depart from Intl' Terminal, but mostly from Domestic Terminal. If your connecting domestic flight departs from Intl' Terminal, you don't have to clear the immigration (your boarding pass would be printed with "T"), but for the other case, you have to.
 
hkore
Topic Author
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:20 am

Re: Air India VT-ANU AI301 Sydney - Delhi

Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:46 pm

hirofumi wrote:
Hi, very interesting report. I don't get why they gave you a curry along with pasta? Certainly an interesting combination and only on AI!

That said, I love Air India meals. I live in Delhi and most of my domestic travels are done by Air India to collect *A miles. I prefer Air India curry over five star hotel restaurants! Seriously, Air India meals feel like "home-cooked" which are usually mild and tasty.

About the delay - well beat this, for 10 consecutive flights in a row my flights were delayed, and finally last week at my 11th attempt the flight finally landed on-time (well, 15mins delay but I'm nice enough to consider it as on-time ;-)). While most of the delays are 30mins to 1hr delay, it's still frustrating - when competitors Jet and IndiGo are usually on-time.


Air India provides ample food. I was surprised too seeing chicken curry with pasta. Since they didn't provide a menu, didn't know what was on offer. All I can comment is that the chicken curry was well made and fresh.
 
anshabhi
Posts: 2110
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:40 am

Re: Air India VT-ANU AI301 Sydney - Delhi

Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:38 pm

That was quite an amazing flight. If AI does the same on all intl routes and expands rapidly, it can well throw ME3 out of India (or maybe world)

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