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Air India

Old Jun 19th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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Air India

I am closely watching air fares from CA to CDG. One of the least expensive is Air India. (non-stop from the NY area) Why do I feel leary about this option? I guess I should follow my hunch?
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 01:29 PM
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www.airlinequality.com might be of some help.
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 01:29 PM
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Only you can have any idea why you're leary.

If the only thing you know about the airline is that's it's Indian, maybe because you're just a bigot?

If so, please stay on your own side of the Atlantic. You're not welcome here.
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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"please stay on your own side of the Atlantic. You're not welcome here."

Did Europe outlaw bigotry when I wasn't looking, because arguably ethnic and racial intolerance is a far bigger problem in Europe today than it is in the U.S.
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 01:44 PM
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ddena, I took a chance and bought 2 tickets Newark to cdg for August 1....the few reviews I could find varied greatly, mostly depending upon the route flown. I wasn't able to find any review for Newark-cdg. But I am going to be a positive as I can, I want my flight to be on-time but paying "full price" doesn't guarantee that. I want my flight attendants to be polite and the plane cabin clean...another airline at a higher price doesn't guarantee that either. And on I could go. I decided I could handle basic discomfort if I was prepared for the worst...bring handiwipes, clorox wipes, my own food. But I do the same for both national and international flights. But.....and this is a big BUT...I learned today that Air India's carryon limitation of bag size and contents is much more restrictive than other well-known to me airlines. You may wish to check out their requirements before making the decision to buy / fly with Air India. Truth be told, I would have purchased the tickets anyway but I was surprised by the level of restrictivness. I hope in the end the the $250 saved for airfare will not be a poor decision.
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 01:47 PM
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Folks, could we stay on topic...is flying Air India a good deal in your opinion or our expectations too great for the airline to deliver?
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 01:53 PM
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Well, Julie I appreciate your concern but must we wait until someone who has flown Air India shows up to help the OP?

That is why I suggested that website which does have reviews from people who have flown that airline.

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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 01:55 PM
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Flanneruk wrote: If the only thing you know about the airline is that's it's Indian, maybe because you're just a bigot?

Observation indicates that some passengers prefer to use airlines that are based either in the country of departure or country of origin, and believe that service on those airlines will be better, perhaps because the crew (in the air and on the ground) are more experienced or knowledgeable than crew from an airline which is based in a third country. I am not saying whether I subscribe to that view, but perhaps ddena does.

As for bigotry: remarks such as this, posted by flannkeruk in a thread on the London 2012 logo, hardly win a prize for cultural sensitivity:

"I'd forgotten you might not have heard of Old Moore's Almanac in whatever colony you hail from."

Flanner: remind me how many colonies the UK has nowadays?



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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 03:15 PM
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I don't see how being leary of Air India makes the OP a bigot. Perhaps ddena is leary because she's never heard of Air India and knows nothing about it, and that's why she is seeking our advice.

I flew Air India once and it was OK but not great. The food was intolerable (and I like Indian food) and the plane wasn't very clean. But that was quite a long time ago and I would like to believe things have improved. For a very substantial savings I might just give AI another chance. The most important thing is they got me across the Atlantic safely and reasonably on time.
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 03:24 PM
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"Observation indicates that some passengers prefer to use airlines that are based either in the country of departure or country of origin, and believe that service on those airlines will be better, perhaps because the crew (in the air and on the ground) are more experienced or knowledgeable than crew from an airline which is based in a third country."

But why? They're flying a plane, not a country. And the chances of being on the very first flight by an airline or a crew into a new country is extremely low, and even that wouldn't matter. International airlines all hew to the same criteria of training, maintenance and safety. There are plenty of African, Asian, South American, etc. airlines with every bit as good a safety record, if not a better one, than your average American airline. And in terms of service, American airlines these days rank down near the bottom of the table -- and Asian ones at or near the top.

I've never flown on Air India, but I certainly wouldn't hesitate to choose them, and would in fact leap at the chance over American, Continental, Delta, etc. I might switch if SAS or Korean Air was available, though!

The word is "leery", by the way. Don't be.
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 03:45 PM
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AI has the reputation of poor food, shabby cabin conditions, and cheap prices. While I wouldn't totally avoid them, I sure wouldn't go out of my way to fly on them, either.

And the fact that several of their flights over the past few years have been canceled or delayed (or landed early) due to the presence of rats in the aircraft, probably wouldn't play into my decision either. Bad things happen to good airlines, too.
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 04:20 PM
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Have never flown Air India but friends of my daughter did and did;t like it. She said the seats were packed even closer together than on US airlines - and she found the FAs rude.

(Also - food was awful - but I think that's true of every airline.)
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 05:12 PM
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I thought the rats in the cabin thing was an old issue. Maybe I have missed something recently but I wouldn't worry about that these days.

I flew Air India in 2004 Newark to CDG due to their low prices. My experiences: Positive: Polite and gracious attendants, good variety of in flight entertainment, got there and back on time and cheaply, passengers continuing on to India were very polite and children well behaved.
To refute some old wives tales there were no rats in the cabin, and no strong body odors. I enjoyed the exotic feel on the flight.

Now for the negative and very important: We were six people (including 3 kids) and our preassigned seat assignments (that I reconfirmed several times) in both directions were cancelled when we arrived at the airport and we were split up. No one in the airport was able to help as it seems the seats are reassigned by their operations in India and those on the long haul flight to and from Mumbai are given priority even if you have preassigned seats. The 747 airplanes seemed very old and worn with a few things not in proper working order. Food was not so good and I normally like Indian food. They did however serve my kids our requested child meals but I forget what it was.

On a more positive note my friends visited us in France last summer and they flew Air India from Newark to CDG and said they had brand new airplanes and the 3 of them had no problem with their seat assignments. Their flights were also on time both ways.

After these two experiences I would definitely fly them again if they saved me money.
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 05:19 PM
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I meant to add:
I know several Indians (very close friends and a family member) that said they would not fly Air India. They said they prefer Air France or British Airways to go to India so are they being bigots? Just wondering.
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Old Jun 20th, 2007, 12:39 PM
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I thank you all for the positive responses. My biggest concern is that there are some ares that are principle target for terrorism. CDG and Heathrow had been two of them. The Egyptian pilot who committed apparent suicide. . . I don't think of flights with a US origin as a principle target for terrorism- but who knows these days. There is some science behind this- I am not current in the stats.
I am grateful to know some "superifcial" insights such as crammed seats and poor food, and baggage restrictions. I have never shied away fron "no-frills" airlines. The best ressponse was that Indian people were not keen on flying with this airline. I think I've made my decision. Thanks
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Old Jun 20th, 2007, 01:37 PM
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I have not flown the NYC-Paris route, but I have flown Madras-Singapore and Bombay-Hong Kong. I like the airline very much, from those experiences.
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Old Jun 20th, 2007, 01:39 PM
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I should mention that before Air India got this route, Pakistan Airlines used to do it. I took PIA at least 5 times on that route and was fully satisfied, except that the flights were full full full.... something to expect when you are flying the cheapest airlines, but it often happens on the expensive ones, too.
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 09:49 AM
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The comment about the colonies was directed to me, but I didn't find it offensive. I thought his comments were given in a light-hearted, feisty way, as were my replies. Hopefully, it wasn't meant as cannon fire over the bowsprit.

It was not my week, however, as I was given a sharp rap on the knuckles by another poster soon thereafter. I hope I cleared up any misunderstanding,in that instance.

I really don't have an agenda. I just like to take a Fodor's break, while drinking caffeinated beverages in the a.m., and while eating guacamole and chips in the afternoon.

More to the point, IMO, is that when making assumptions it is always best to give the other person the benefit of the doubt.
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