India Air

Old Feb 13th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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India Air

Can anybody share their expirience with India Air. I am flying from JFk to Delhi
Efegy is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2007, 07:30 PM
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Well, hopefully you mean you are flying Air India, which is the international service of the sate-owned airline. (The domestic service is Indian Air.) I have flown them a few times from Hong Kong and Singapore to/from India. In general, they are not too great. I would not worry about safety of the aircraft, Indian engineers are fine. But the planes are generally old and the service levels are not good. Airplane food is pretty bad everywhere, so that doesn’t worry me, and actually their vegetarian food is perfectly fine. Their on-time record is not so good, but that is more about leaving India late rather than other airports. They can’t seem to get their act together at their home airports.

But really the planes are old, I swear the last time I flew them (about a year ago), the head phones where the really old kind with the thick plastic cords that go under your chin and the channel changer was the wheel-kind built into the arm rest and had like 4 channels....I am not making that up. I only fly them when there is absolutely no other alternative, and that means I will skip a non-stop Air India flight and take another flight that requires a change. (I fly to India about 2-3 times a month).

All that being said, if the price is good, IMO you can live with an old plane and terrible service. I don’t pay for any of the flights I take, so I don’t mind asking my employer to pay more for a flight on a better airline, if I were paying myself, I might think twice (I probably would still not take Air India, but I would think more about it).

Also, remember that you are getting a lot of miles for this flight, so even if the price is good, bear in mind the miles you might be giving up that you could earn on an existing mileage program you belong to on another (i.e. better) airline. That may be worth something to you. (I don't know what if any programs Air India may be in a partner in.)

The ONE benefit they have is that they are given the best arrival and departure time slots in India, so you are probably arriving at a more civilized time than at 1 or 2 am like many other international flights....

If you take them, order the vegetarian.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2007, 08:45 PM
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I basically agree with the above -- i thought the service was fine rather than terrible the time I took them. Sometimes they can be a lot cheaper, and that's when I'd take them.

Another advantage Air India seems to often have is better/more convenient terminals in Indian airports.

And the food was fine but definitely not amazing.
John_Rambow is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2007, 09:08 PM
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Under current schedule, AI 112 JFK-LHR-DEL is operated on a 747-400, arriving DEL 10:30p.

I thought they'd use their newly acquired ex-UA 777 for this route, but apparently not.

Meanwhile, CO's EWR-DEL non-stop actually arrives DEL earlier, at 9:15p.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 03:12 AM
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The plane was really jam packed. (I also flew JFK to Delhi and back.) They had changed the flight time coming back, and told no one, so we missed our connecting flight at JFK. Air India did put us up for the night. Service was not good. I ordered a drink, and knew I was never going to get it, and I didn`t. The best food on the plane was the Indian food. I`d go if it was cheap enough, otherwise, I`d find another airline.
pat is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2007, 08:00 AM
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Thank you all for your help.
I am going to India with a tour com. so I have no choice on Airline. Any other advice ? Specially on what in the world you do for 17 1/2 hours on a plane !!!?
Efegy is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2007, 05:49 PM
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I actually like the long flights because (i) no one is on the phone (at least not yet) and (ii) you can read books, watch movies and just think. For you, you will also be able to get a good introduction to Hindi/Punjabi musical films.

If you are flying coach, I would seriously consider paying for the upgrade to business class. You have quite a long flight on both ends. The seats are roomier and will have more incline in business class and will also have more leg room. You would have a better chance of getting some rest and being less stiff IMO.

I would bring:

--earplugs (these are useful in general for street noise in hotels)
--noise-reducing headphones (buy them or borrow them, these will be useful for bus rides as I assume you will be taking some one a tour)
--an ipod and/or DVD player (the battery won’t last too long and there won’t be an in-seat plug to re-charge, you may be able to re-charge on the London layover)
--Paperback books, photocopied sections of travel books (Indian bookstores are a joy, you will find plenty of good reading material on the other end, so plan to leave books as you travel)
--a shawl, as I always find planes freezing and the blankets inadequate (of course in April in the areas of India you are going you won’t need it (but maybe for bus rides) and there are some gorgeous shawls to buy in India, so you may end up with another one for the ride home)

Of course all of the above is subject to carry-on restrictions.

Cicerone is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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Ceceron, Thanks for your input. Unfurtunaly It will double the price of my ticket to upgrade. I would defenetly have my books(language) and music with me. I may learn some basic Hindu. Thanks again
Efegy is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2007, 11:05 AM
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For one, the language is not Hindu.... the religion is Hindu. There is no Hindu language..... the language spoken in north India, if that is what you mean, is Hindi. Common error made by a lot of visitors!
subra is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2007, 07:39 PM
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Yes, I was going to r respond the same on the Hindu/Hindi, and to say that it is actually even more important, IMO, to learn about the Hindu religion than the Hindi language...while it is polite to be able to say “please” and “thank you”, you won’t need the language at all to get around and you won’t probably learn enough to really have a conversation with people, who may even speak another language anyway and only speak school Hindi and not be that comfortable speaking it anyway (I had this with German in Zurich). However, to understand a bit about the Hindu religion, and know who Durga and Lakshmi are (gotta admire a religion with such powerful females) would I think enhance your trip and also bring you closer to people in that you can have a conversation about religion rather than just asking them their name in Hindi...also when you go to a temple and are shown a statue of Vishnu and see his devotees you will understand what you are seeing. That would make the trip more valuable, I think, than learning the language.

Insight Guides generally have good basic info as do Lonely Planet guides. There are also many books on the subject. It would also be helpful to know a bit about the other major religions like Islam, Jains, Sikhs and the Parsees (small but very economically powerful in India).
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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can someone please help me figure out how to fly from AGRA to DEL in the am so as to make a 1340 flight to KTM? am truly challenged by this as inter-india airlines do not list Agra per se. What is its airport called?
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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Agra's is only a military airport now days.
lcuy is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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Thanks for the correction... I am learning already.
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