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
I reached the counter around 8.10 am. Check-In had commenced and there was a queue of about 20 ahead of me.Check-InGetting closer
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-wLcAir India VT-ANU in "Star Alliance" liveryBoarding the birdBoeing 787-8 Wings
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
Seat was stocked with water, blanket and headphones.Seat amenitiesCabin Announcement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eqstnpbnf3sAir India MaharajahAircraft features videoCabin featureshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCrWyyCi8P4Waiting for pushback
Pushback was delayed by 45 mins. Departure time 10.30 a.mTaxi to runway
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.Departurehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkVWP1FV41AAirborne, shades were darkenedInflight View https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU_oC33ain0Sydney Airport Aerial viewInflight Magazine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WizgchZMfKcAnnouncementsLegroomCabin
It was around midday, the window tint blocks the sun rays.Window viewAir India - member of Star Alliance
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.ToiletriesInflight EntertainmentCabin ViewSafety CardMaharajah - Air India Mascot
Passengers busy with onboard entertainment.EntertainmentFlight pathShubh Yatra [Happy Journey] - Inflight magazineAir India Fleet informationAir conditionMid-Day Tinted Window
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 PresentationBreakfast - Omlette and SausageBreakfast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m8NUWNVGA4
Trays were cleared after the service within reasonable time.Empty trayFlight Information
It was time for entertainment. watched a few episodes to Big Bang. Then 2 Broke girls.IFE controlSitcom time2 Broke GirlsInflight Entertainment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h0EpzyZmGILeg space
Used the leg massage roller. Felt good. Unlike on SQ, these don't hog your leg space.RollerRego - VT-ANU
In about another 2-3 hrs, drink serviceDrink ServiceAir India LogoHeadphones
Had enough of entertainment, flying somewhere over Western Australia, it was time to snooze. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...Blanket
Must have slept for 3-4 hrs, checked the flight information.Close to the midpoint of journey
Decided to watch a movie to pass time.Movie timehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-k9tOuz3yEFlight Information
It was lunch time soon - lunch was served Indian mid-day time.
Lunch service had began.Lunch Servicehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTsDICnyjf0Lunch presentation
Option was veg and non-veg. Chose the non-veg option. It was pasta and separate chicken curry.LunchLunch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hen1o8M32Uw
Avoiding the thunderstorm clouds.Window viewWindow view https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KRfPYjAvnkFlight locationDay-night mapFlight mapCloser to IndiaWindow control released by flight crew
Snack was provided 2hrs prior to landingSnack packingSnack- Croissant and cheese with fruit salad
Food was tasty, I didn't eat the fruit salad.Snackhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toK3crmrLrQ
Closer to Delhi, flight was 1 hr late.Flight pathApproaching DelhiLanding soonLandinghttps://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
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 Immigrationhttps://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.