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Air India Versus Jet airways. Which is best for India

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Nov 24th, 2015, 07:05 AM
  #1
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Air India Versus Jet airways. Which is best for India

I would welcome any thoughts from fodorites on the pros and cons of Air India versus Jet airways for travel to India from UK and then some internal flights within Northern India e.g. delhi to varanasi and onwards to Jaipur. Our budget might just about stretch to business class for some legs so thoughts about whether this is worth while and any differences in lounges between the airlines would be welcome as well as the in flight services and on time performance. Thanks.
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Nov 24th, 2015, 07:17 AM
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We flew both Air India and Jet for internal flights (Mumbai-Udaipur, Udaipur-Delhi-Varanasi and Varanasi-Khajuraho). Both airlines were fine -- on time with no issues and surprisingly decent meals (get vegetarian). Our trip planner told us that Air India is a nightmare internationally but okay domestically.

I would not pay extra for business because the flights are so short. We got lounge access with a pass or credit card (can't remember which) without flying business. Wasn't really necessary because our flights boarded early and we didn't have much time to hang out in the lounge. I would suggest booking economy and paying for access if you're uncomfortable.
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Nov 24th, 2015, 11:22 AM
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If you read my trip report you'll see my thoughts on this--which I won't repeat here--but, in short, I think AI is atrocious across the board (old planes, dirty, indifferent service, loads of cancellations, etc.)

We found, as you may read, that flying in business was actually a huge advantage...if you want to pay the extra cost. It's not for the lounge access at all but rather for the ability to skip HUGE lines (and if you're going in December, you'll get lots of those!) at the economy check-in counters. In some instances, these could be hours-long.

I encourage you to read that section of my report, but if you do have the ability to choose between Jet and AI, choose Jet.
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Nov 24th, 2015, 01:15 PM
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FWIW all of our Indian friends hate AI and as my wife is Indian we have lots of them. Even in Biz class you can get indifferent service and dirty,,old planes. We flew JA once or twice and all was well. They are rated better. BTW a few yrs. ago we were in Delhi waiting for an Asiana flight and every AI flight on the board for the time we were there was late. My choice would be Jet, no brainier.
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Nov 24th, 2015, 04:19 PM
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We had a handler in each airport who got us to the front of the lines.
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Nov 24th, 2015, 04:26 PM
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Crosscheck did he charge you for this?
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Nov 24th, 2015, 04:40 PM
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I assume it was included in the cost of our trip, which was not itemized (planned by Louise Nicholson and her team in Delhi). We didn't know about this in advance, but it was great because helpers magically appeared everywhere for us, even at airports where we changed planes.
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Nov 25th, 2015, 01:39 AM
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Many thanks for responses thus far. Last time I was in India was circa 30 years ago and yet I still have vivid memories of chaos and endless queues at airports ! Am now busy following up on some of your trip reports and tips.
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Nov 25th, 2015, 08:17 AM
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Contrary to popular opinion, I sometimes prefer Air India here. It's because they have the maximum leg space, even in Economy! The Air Hostesses are slightly older (which is absolutely OK with me), and that's one reason many men make fun of the airlines..

Jet is as good (except with much less leg space). Sometimes if the person in front leans her seat, you can't open your magazine or book.

There will be long queues at the airport because of the huge population. Keep extra time in hand and it should all be fine.
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Nov 25th, 2015, 10:22 AM
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Crosscheck thank you. I misunderstood and thought you meant the handler was one of the porters at the airport.
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Nov 25th, 2015, 11:07 AM
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Our travel company sent their own people, but I just did some googling and found that expedited VIP services are available at all major Indian airports:

http://indiafasttrack.com/
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Nov 25th, 2015, 12:01 PM
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I hope some here will find that link useful. Good info.
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Nov 25th, 2015, 01:56 PM
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When we flew Jet Airways several years ago, we also had a handler (a Jet employee) that guided us to where we needed to go upon arrival - no explanation, but they were there and appreciated. We were flying coach.
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Nov 27th, 2015, 03:30 PM
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Thanks for the link cross check. Certainly sounds worth investigating as sounds like they might expedite you through queues as well as pointing you in the right direction.
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Nov 27th, 2015, 06:18 PM
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I flew both airlines for India domestic flights recently (Delhi-Jaipur, Khajuraho-Varanasi, Varnasi-Delhi) and thought they were equivalent, although Air India had a much more generous checked luggage weight limit as compared with Jet. If you are checking luggage, that might be important to you. The flights are short; I personally thought it was not worth more money to pay for business.
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Nov 30th, 2015, 04:41 AM
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Check the planes used by Jet on international leg, I booked business after looking at seats etc but it was an old plane and poor seating and facilities. Return was dreadful. I would check other airlines flying into India.

Internal economy - nothing to choose between either airline but excess luggage expensive.

Handlers provided by travel company but in Mumbai and Goa they asked for extra cash even though we found out they had already been paid.
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Dec 3rd, 2015, 04:15 AM
  #17
 
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Hi,

While international flights can be equally good for both airlines.

For domestic flights, Indigo and Jet are better specially for on time services.

On monetary front, price may be cheaper or expensive or cheaper according to time of flight. So if you have no preference of time of flight, can ask for cheapest option.

The delay and cancellation issue comes mainly during FOG in winter when flights are diverted or not flying.

In term of staff services, Air India lacks the efficiency and news keeps on floating many a time for delay or mistakes happened due to staff.

Hope it will help in making a choice.

Br, Atul
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May 2nd, 2016, 02:35 AM
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Well currently Jet is offering better service, they is no question about it. But Air India is also quite popular among those travelers who have been riding since 1950, after all Air India is the 1st Airline firm of India. Though service wise they still need to do lots of catching.

Regards,
Pratap Singh
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May 11th, 2016, 06:20 PM
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We traveled on both Air India and Jet Airways (domestically) this past February. If I had a choice, I would pick Jet Airways because the planes were in better condition. Having said that, I would not shy away from Air India if the schedule is better for you. Like others have said - Jet is a little tighter on space and baggage allowance. Would not pay for business class since fights are short. We did not have handlers in any of the airports and if you are an experienced traveler, you will have no problem navigating the airports.
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