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-   -   any opinions on flying Air India??? (https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/any-opinions-on-flying-air-india-878686/)

DEAN45 Feb 20th, 2011 05:46 AM

any opinions on flying Air India???
 
We will be leaving from New York - Air India looks to have non stops - any epereicence good or bad - a little bit of a nervous flyer!!!!

Thanks!!!

Cicerone Feb 20th, 2011 06:11 AM

I am not overly enthusiastic about Air India. I fly them about once a year just to make sure they are still as terrible as they always have been, and they never disappoint. I know many <i>Indians</i> who would never fly Air India if they had another choice. Their on-time record is pretty bad, and their planes tend to be old. Their service standards cannot begin to compare with other Asian airlines (but are not appreciably worse than US airlines). I don’t think their safety record is any better or worse than others; although the most recent air crash in India was an Air India flight (but that was a few years ago). Air India is generally cheaper than other airlines, but you will get what you pay for.

United/Continental also has a non-stop to Delhi from EWR which IMO would be a much better choice. Jet Airways has service from EWR to Delhi via Brussels. Kingfisher has service from London, so if you can get a good flight to and from the UK, that may work. Both are excellent local carriers. Also, you may want to fly in or out of other cites which may work better for your itin. It usually makes more sense to fly into one Indian city and out of another, given the size of the country. Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai all have fairly good international flight service, via London or Amsterdam or Singapore, Bangkok or Hong Kong. Flying into or out of Varanasi and Bangkok can often be a good option. Dubai may also work as a transit point. It is not at all necessary, and usually involves some backtracking, to fly into and out of Delhi. So don't let the non-stops fool you.

shelleyk Feb 20th, 2011 08:06 AM

I haven't flown Air India in 3 years, but I remember the flight as being the worst I have ever been on in 30 years. The plane including the tray tables were disgustingly dirty and the service was poor-not that I wanted to eat anything after seeing how filthy the plane was. Maybe they have improved since then. i certainly hope so.

rhkkmk Feb 20th, 2011 11:55 AM

they generally are considered pretty low on the T pole...

gearsau Feb 20th, 2011 12:59 PM

A few passengers comments here. They dont rate that highly:
http://www.airlinequality.com/Forum/air_india.htm

DEAN45 Feb 21st, 2011 12:27 PM

Thank you - for your honesty!

innocentspirit Feb 23rd, 2011 04:18 AM

Air India is state owned and like everything in that country - state owned comes with it own set of problems - their cleanliness, punctuality and on-board service are generally bad - you may find a few exceptions here or there but mostly are below average.

Off late they have begun inducting new flights on key international routes but then a new aeroplane is not everything.

If you can help it try and use either Emirates or Singapore as they have most number of flights by a foreign carrier into India. You can even try Jet Airways and/or Kingfisher but that will mean transiting through Brussels or London. If you choose to fly locally Jet Airways, Kingfishers, SpiceJet, Indigo & Go-Air are good private options.

CaliNurse Feb 23rd, 2011 06:04 PM

Some of the "Air India" flights are codeshares with other airlines, e.g. American. See if that might be the case wityh your NY to DEL flight.

partyon Feb 24th, 2011 12:20 PM

"Air India is state owned and like everything in that country - state owned comes with it own set of problems - their cleanliness, punctuality and on-board service are generally bad - you may find a few exceptions here or there but mostly are below average."

That statement applies to everything in the country, not just state owned operations.

innocentspirit Feb 25th, 2011 12:01 AM

As someone who has stayed in India for quite a significant number of years in the past, I beg to differ. With regards to airlines, private airlines like Kingfisher, Jet Airways, Indigo & Spicejet operate domestic flights which are new, clean, efficient & punctual complemented with an excellent service.

In fact Kingfisher Airlines is one of the seven airlines in the world to be ranked as a 5-star airline by the independent research consultancy firm Skytrax so I guess we need to give them due credit for that, but then you must have your reasons for your remark.

jellys_wondermum Feb 25th, 2011 12:51 AM

As someone who has worked in the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality industry during my time in India, I second "innocentspirit"s opinion.

Their private airline operators are comparable with similar carriers of the west & across the globe.

Their national carriers are another story altogether and bring a lot of bad name and reputation to the industry due to their indifferent attitude and political meddling.

qwovadis Feb 25th, 2011 04:43 AM

For me arrogant incompetent staff unclean smelly cabins

not great security procedures cautions pretty unsafe

if you check accedint history found on Wikipedia.

typical of government owned carriers losing market share.

Pretty much carrier of last resort for me in that area.

www.insuremytrip.com always wise.

Elainee Mar 18th, 2013 10:11 AM

When I flew Air India from Varanasi to Agra in February 2013 they took us to Khajuraho instead. Yes, they provided a bus for the 500km bus trip to Agra. And the bus did get to Agra at 5:30am, not the 5:00pm flight schedule. A big fleet...could they not have provided a plane to get us to Delhi or back to Varanasi? No! Anything wrong with the plane we flew in..No! Take the bus.
Never fly Air India.

Jaya Mar 19th, 2013 05:17 AM

If you're already in the NY area, you can fly non-stop from Newark to Delhi on United/Continental.

Air India flights are less expensive and attract the families with a bunch of kids. Last time on Air India from the US felt like I was traveling with a daycare center. I haven't flown them again.

bombayteddy Mar 20th, 2013 05:42 AM

All I can say is, probably no SENSIBLE Indian likes to fly Air India, so AVOID!!!

Rushil Mar 20th, 2013 07:41 AM

Dont do it. Their track record with regards to strikes is abysmal. like bombayteddy said, no sensible Indian will fly Air India.

rhkkmk Mar 20th, 2013 03:27 PM

i think there was a recent report on the ny flt that said there were no tv's

PaganiPilot Mar 20th, 2013 08:06 PM

Wear a mint-infused gas mask on the flight.

gertie3751 Mar 21st, 2013 08:17 AM

I haven't actually done it so this may be unfair, but a friend said it was like flying in a huge Indian restaurant. Make what you will of that.

appalaw Mar 25th, 2013 09:53 PM

I was willing to look past everything and pay them my hard earned money for two business class tickets. There were a few to many snafus on just getting the tickets booked that the reservation never went through. That spooked us enough to run far away. We are now booked on Qatar Airway from JFK-DEL and the business class prices were surprisingly competitive with AI. These two airlines are worlds apart with each setting the standard on opposite ends of the spectrum.


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