Air India First Class: The Good, The Bad, And The Amazing

Wow, wow, wow! Good morning from San Francisco. I had intended to provide an update before my Delhi to San Francisco flight, but the wifi in the lounge was terrible, so I couldn’t get it published.

And I’m sort of happy I waited, because my two flights couldn’t have been more different.

I’ll be publishing my trip report for the past four day journey on Finnair and Air India starting tomorrow, so in the meantime will just provide a teaser post with 10 pictures.

Air India first class surprised me in many ways. The variance in service quality between the two flights was astonishing. On my first flight I was the only first class passenger, but the crew was disappointing. They didn’t check on me once between meals, and I had to specifically ask for everything (including water while consuming spicy Indian food). Simply put, it was clear they didn’t want to be there.

Compare that to the second flight, where the service was incredible. Incredible. The crew epitomized Indian hospitality, and despite being on a 17 hour flight departing at 3AM, they seemed like they wanted to be there for every minute of the flight. The captain came out to greet first class passengers, and was such a nice guy, clearly very proud of his airline. When I mentioned to him how good the service was he said “you know, the cabin crew in charge mostly works flights for the prime minister, she is one of our very best crew.” And she sure was!

I asked for his business card so I could write in a nice note to customer service complimenting him and his crew. When he handed me his business card and his title was “General Manager, Customer Service” it all began to make sense! It’s pretty darn cool that the airline’s GM of customer service is also a 777 captain!

The most surprising part of the journey was my connection in Delhi, where I experienced the most attentive ground service I’ve ever received from any airline. Ever. Yes, more attentive than any of the airlines mentioned in my recent post about the top seven ground experiences in the world. While the lounge itself wasn’t in the same league, the attention was incredible. Stay tuned for all the details on that.

I fear I’ve shared too much already, so in the meantime I’ll leave you with 10 pictures which best sum up my Air India first class experience:

Air-India-777-First-Class-1

Air-India-777-First-Class-2

Air-India-777-First-Class-3

Air-India-777-First-Class-4

Air-India-First-Class-14

Air-India-First-Class-12

Air-India-777-First-Class-8

Air-India-777-First-Class-5

Air-India-First-Class-Lounge

Air-India-First-Class-13

Thanks for following along so far, and stay tuned for the trip report, which will be published very shortly!

Comments

  1. Foil trays. Looks like a $10 lunch buffet at an Indian restaurant.

    Yes, a big issue with AI is how variable the service is. Some people do a good job because that’s just who they are; others don’t, but they can’t be disciplined in any way. It’s the same in government offices and nationalized banks.

  2. @Chuck, there’s more food in those foils than you will ever see an airline bring out for pax! The variety is great. And that’s the way Indian food is served, like a buffet that you do love I suppose…

  3. So let me be the first to say “yuck” on those slippers. And the aluminum tray thing is a total turn-off; reminds me of a potluck Super Bowl party. So with such vastly different experiences, which flight was the outlier?

  4. The catering in the foil looks identical to their domestic business class routes, and the service in their lounges (Chennai in my experience)

  5. Those slippers look like someone sprayed wine on it when trying to gulpe it after almost choking on spicy food, was that you lucky :-p lol

    As for the buffet, that’s a total turn off especially in first class. The Indian food on British airways or any of the ME3 are served in your plate the way it’s supposed to be served on a first class. They are excellent too.

  6. You know you have a successful blog when airliners send out the general manager of customer service to fly your blog-announced flight

  7. Wow. Ben’s excitement and enthusiasm is certainly obvious! I am so anxious to read the full review.

    On a related note, I have not yet expressed my gratitude and appreciation to Ben for his willingness to experience and review some of the more curious premium products. I am a serious commercial aviation geek and am very excited to read reviews of airlines that I am highly unlikely to ever experience. Thanks, Ben.

  8. The slippers look like a cheap stained rug… the foil trays were they bought from the dollar store as-well?

  9. @Andy

    Because they did not have time to scrabble the all stars team to London on 36 hours notice from Lucky first Instagram picture about being on the AY flight to HEL?

    Getting an all stars crew lined up in the home hub would be much easier?

    While it’s cool in one way that the GM of customer service is a B777 captain it would be better if he tried to concentrate on just one job. If you are going to fly enough to stay current it take up quite a bit of time and energy that could instead be used on actually doing the job of customer service, which is something that AI need badly from all the bad report they get.

  10. Sounds like the ‘captain’ wasn’t really a captain!!

    And your special flight may well have been orchestrated.

    Which would fit the narrative well.

  11. This comments thread is disappointing. Complaining about the appearance of a flight attendant? Comparing the slippers to a sanitary napkin? What kind of place you runnin’ here?!?! I expected better for an expensive first-class comments thread that I paid so much to read!!!

  12. “there’s more food in those foils than you will ever see an airline bring out for pax”

    You haven’t seen the buffets Turkish, Alitalia, and Austrian bring out…also, some airlines, like Singapre and Cathay, really plate quite a bit of food on their dishes.

    And foil in first class is very tacky.

    “then why was the first flight so horrible?”

    Because this is Air India, and they have to fuck up somewhere, even when they know a blogger is flying on their flight.

    “Oh and the FA look-a-like-a man with a Wendy Williams wig.”

    Now that’s just mean. I’m guessing Lucky included her pic because she was amazing at her service.

  13. Variance is the only constant on AI
    Anyone who thinks anyone at AI cares about anybody besides political heavy weights in India do not know anything about AI. The idea they would care about what Lucky thinks is preposterous. Fully seventy percent of AI revenues is from goverment mandated usage of AI

  14. Regarding attentive ground hospitality in Delhi:
    (a) Since AI is hugely overstaffed, it is easy for them to assign people to fawn over passengers
    (b) As others have noted, this isn’t an anonymous review, there’s been lots of advance notice. It may or may not be easy to arrange for special treatment on board, but it is trivial to tell ground personnel to fawn over a particular passenger.

    AI isn’t necessarily awful. But it is naive to think that non-anonymous reviews like this one capture the truth. The collective opinion of passengers (including Indian passengers) posted across the web is more likely to be the truth.

    @Apu: No, I do not love Indian restaurant lunch buffets. I used to when I was a poor graduate student and (like many Indians) quantity meant more to me than quality. But now I see how bad the lunch buffet food generally is. The AI photo above looks like they ordered a large quantity of takeout from such a restaurant.

  15. Is that mold on the slippers?

    In fact, it’s not all that uncommon for an executive to be rated pilot. I believe the CEO of CZ, MU, CA are all rated captions. I don’t think it takes that much time to be current. This may just be a phenomenon in Asia

  16. Generally…. would be quite pleased with the food from my favorite Indian buffet being available in the air. Dining and eating not one in the same… given the choice, I’d prefer eating well, compared to dining nicely.

  17. @ steven k — Interestingly I had what you might consider a “hot Indian girl” serving me on my London to Delhi flight, and she did a terrible job. The flight attendant on this sector was one of the best I’ve ever had.

  18. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such obnoxious superficial comments before. Ben, I admire your resistance to censoring. I wouldn’t be so strong.

    To the commenters: You do realize, don’t you?, that your obnoxious superficial comments don’t make you look sophisticated or clever, they make you look uneducated, xenophobic, and miserable.

    I like the buffet concept. I’ve never seen that before. I couldn’t care less if the food is held in foil containers. Probably nothing else is practical on an aircraft. What are people expecting, sterling?

  19. I’m not at all surprised by some of the comments that a few readers made. But let me share one of my experiences with Air India, I took a flight on Air India business class on their 787 from LHR-DEL a couple of months ago. During the flight my phone ended up under the seat sliding through the gap between the seat and the arm rest ( which for some reason happens to me on a lot of airlines ). When we landed in Delhi, they had to call the ground crew in order to open up the seat to retrieve my phone. This is where I was totally impressed by Air India. It took the ground crew about 45 minutes to 1 hour to open up the seat and retrieve my phone, but during this entire time not a single one of the flight crew de boarded. I was the only passenger waiting in the aircraft and the entire flight crew waited with me ( including the pilots ) till my phone was retrieved. And at the end of it they were all soooo apologetic that my phone was stuck in the seat, though it was totally my fault. I was so very impressed by this service. I have flown First Class on a lot of airlines and I can say that I have never experienced this kind of service on any airline, let alone for a business class passenger. I do understand that Air India does a lot of things wrong but they also do a lot more things right.

    P.S.: Sorry for any grammatical mistakes.

  20. Also, I think most of the people comment on this post without having actually flown Air India, but trust me I can assure you that they have one of the most comfortable Y class in the entire industry. This coming from a person who flies with them at least 4 times a week.

  21. @tara

    As I mentioned, look at how Turkish, Alitalia, and Austrian serve their buffets. Much classier and more presentable, and more befitting premium cabins (and those are all business class, btw).

  22. I work as a lead FA for the first class cabin of a five star airline and let me tell you a big problem about heating food. In the highly limited space that we have, heating food (for Indian food it needs to be piping hot) is already very difficult since you have multiple dishes. Add to that the need to transfer everything to a secondary dish and then you will understand why you get cold food when you are served first and dry food when served last. The alternative, though not glassmaker’s, is what AI does. The meals are hot and can be served quickly (on to Royal Doulton china) for the passenger to enjoy. So while you are all criticizing the service, frankly many airlines including the one I work for are thinking about going this way since it complements the food rather than some superficial service.

    As for the looks of the FA, I’m 58 and not great on the eyes I suppose but don’t be such a prick. Most of the comments here probably aren’t George Clooney either.

    As for slippers… Hmmmm… Interesting?

  23. That’s the same crew I’ve had when traveling to ORD many times!!! As lucky said, my fav crew of any airline in the world and yes they do fly with the PM on his tours aboard the 747.

    As for the pajamas and slippers, they have a gray alternative as well, which I prefer.

    Like I have said previously, my experiences on F out of ORD on AI have been excellent and very warm.

    When I travelled, the green box was actually a beautiful multicolored box with Indian embroidery which contained chocolates and mints.

    And yes, the hospitality in the air and on the ground have always been A+. It’s just the maintenance of the interior of the airline sometimes that is a little iffy (although the hardware itself is impeccably maintained and I know this since I have audited their aircraft maintenance before), but then again I’ve never had to fly in a seat that was broken as on DeltaOne for a 12 hour journey without any single sincere apology.

    The slippers though…

  24. Good on you for trying out AI! I still have fond memories of flying AI to India as a child. Some of the best airplane food I’ve ever had – EVER – was in AI economy class. Far tastier than CX F even. It’s a real shame how far AI has fallen, but maybe there’s still something magical left about the Maharaja. Looking forward to the full TR!

  25. Oh and I also had the GM as a pilot on i think four flights last year, so this is not an anomaly as some have mentioned. This crew only works when the PM doesn’t have a trip on the calendar, which he didn’t this week (the Indian PM travels a lot). I just hope that my fav crew isn’t being moved to the SFO route from the ORD route…I would actually be very sad since I travel that route twice a month….

  26. This is what I could see in just 10 pictures: stained seat looks pretty gross, is that blood or cranberry juice on the sleepers?, amenity kit looks like from a Motel 6, if that is how they serve food in 1st class I don’t want to know how they do on coach. Thank you but no thank you!!!!

  27. @Santastico

    So you probably despise flying premium on the US giants and the likes of BA I imagine as well.

    BTW… The Khadi toiletries and products on AI are all locally produced with recyclable and environmentally conscious materials and contain products that are organic, natural and Ayurvedic. Pretty cool in my opinion and just cause you don’t like colorful things doesn’t mean it’s the global norm. Indians love colours as do I.

    However, the seat should not be stained (although I was once offered bedding on Cathay that had clearly not been cleaned and looked kind someone had had a number 1 and no point mentioning how many times on AA and DL were my seats suspiciously sticky) and the sandals look gross.

  28. Its obvious Lucky either 1) pre-arranged this with the airline to get a good PR Review 2) Air India social media realized he was boarding and made notice of this in his review.

    The hard product looks awful.Lets be honest here. This whole blog is starting to look like a PR gateway for social media. I say this as a friend of a prominent travel blogger who gets VIP treatment everywhere she goes. Its a complete fluff show, she knows it but enjoys it. Zero authenticity in this blog anymore.

    Having flown Air India F all I can say its probably on par with United F as the worst first class product period.

  29. This situation is analogous to a restaurant knowing they have a food critic dining with them, so they can pull out all the stops.

    Is Lucky’s experience on the second flight the ‘real’ Air India or was the first?

    Having seen a number of reviews over the years for AI from various sources (Flyertalk, Skytrax, .. etc..) most have been dis favorable – so it makes me wonder if Lucky received preferential treatment.

  30. I fly to India for work (usually DEL) frequently. Last year it was 29 times and always on AI F. They are very loyal to their customers. Every time I book a ticket, I receive a call a week before my flight asking me for anything that I may want on my flight ( I have requested certain foods, cake on one occasion during my wife and my anniversary trip, hypoallergenic bedding, certain champagnes and once even a pickup of some gifts that I didn’t have time to get) and each time they delivered. I do not eat food on board any airline since all are substandard at best (for any airline). For me, AI is always willing to order my food from a certain favorite restaurant and serve me in the lounge so I can dine on actual good at my leisure and relax, wash up and then change into something comfortable before boarding and they are prepared to tuck me in as soon as possible in the air.

    I’m also a solitaire pps club member on sia and I would rate the hospitality and service on both airlines as equal. In fact, AI is often willing to go out of its easy to help me unlike SIA although I’ve no complaints against SIA, especially their A380 product.

  31. Sadly it seems obvious a decision has been made to not directly address this, but +1 to suspicions that flight and especially ground service was rigged due to all the advance notice.

  32. @ Tara – well put.

    @iv – how incredibly rude of you to judge someone by the way they look. I can only draw the conclusion that you are a teenager yet to experience life!!

  33. Not that it’s your job, but you should send your trip reports to the air India captain who was in charge of customer service. Maybe they will work on getting consistency in the product. If you don’t hear back send it to the prime minister of Indias office. If the piece is thoughtful with concrete ideas of improvement he may likely assign someone to look into it. You wouldn’t believe how much he worries of perception of India in G7 countries. Try it.

  34. @Samantha: I have to give kudos for Delta since they know they cannot compete with a true first class so they just don’t offer it. AA and UA first class are just a huge joke that bloggers like to spend miles on it.

  35. I agree with @Rune. I’m sorry Ben, but this was a total setup. Either you were paid to write this or they heard you were flying them again and went all-out to impress you and us.

  36. As for the food, I think it’s a southeast Asian cultural-thing. The Pakistani national airline serves first-class food in the same manner.

  37. The reason for excellent service on DEL-SFO sector is that its now the flagship route of AI. The crew for this flight was handpicked and this flight has a specially designed amenity kit. Also for this sector, there is a special menu designed by a celebrity chef and there was a food trial too. So its not special treatment meted out to the bloger but to everyone on AI 173/4. I doubt the passengers on the JFK/ORD/EWR service get this high quality treatment.

  38. @Kyle

    Wow.. Seriously? What a rude and juvenile comment. Hope I never find you in my cabin when I’m your FA.

    +1 for Jo145

  39. @Kyle let’s see your picture, hotshot

    Looking forward to this trip report. I’ve had ups and downs with AI.

    And I’ve had stained bedding and broken seats on EK F as well, so that can happen anywhere.

  40. @kyle stop being a teenager. I don’t care what my flight attendants look like, as long as they provide great service, in this case Lucky said that she did, and that a flight attendant who was ‘pretty’ provided terrible service.

    How about instead of sitting behind a keyboard and laughing at what someone looks like that you publish your photograph and we can decide if you’re flight attendant worthy.

    This just makes me sad, lucky published her photo simply because she provided excellent service, but instead you’re abusing her on what she looks like.

  41. WTF. To all of you who say the DEL – SFO flight was “rigged” because Lucky was aboard:

    Spare us your tired, childish ignorance. You don’t know what you’re talking about. And your collective bitchy attitude is coming off as being pathetically bitter and jealous.

    I seriously doubt Air India would have gone through the excessive effort to manipulate this flight in order to garner a good blog review. OMAAT is not the New York Times or Conde Nast Traveller. As much as I enjoy this blog, it does not have the prestige to influence an airline to juggle crew scheduling.

    In a comment to a previous post, I predicted that Ben would actually find his AI flights to be pleasant. I based this prediction on colleagues who have had great service and food on AI. And–yeah–a couple have had some comically bad Air India experiences…just like I’ve had awful experiences with KLM and Lufthansa.

    If all you trolls don’t trust Lucky’s reviews then get out of your moms’ basements, go fly Air India first class for yourselves and then share your first-hand experiences with us.

  42. Where’s Daraius when we need an honest review of AI? Guess he’s of vacationing while his minions push credit card apps.
    Hey, whatever works.

  43. Really, you’re complaining about the trays? I believe that they are metal not foil which helps to keep the food warm, so you wouldn’t have something else to complain about.

  44. GREAT TRIP REPORT LUCKY. Thank you for not disappointing us.

    And to all the insecure, angry little white boys commenting and claiming it was rigged: SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU PIECES OF SHIT.

    AIR INDIA AND INDIA IN GENERAL HAVE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO THAN ‘RIGGING’ A FLIGHT FOR SOMEONE. DO YOU HONESTLY THINK YOU’RE SO SPECIAL THAT THEY WOULD DO THAT? WHAT IS THIS, 1940?

    God damn self-important xenophobic pieces of shit. And by the way, the slippers are DESIGNED THAT WAY. They’re not dirty, you ugly, pasty fucking racists. Stay mad. Stay mad because Lucky just DEMOLISHED all of your stereotypes and you’re mad that you weren’t able to use this trip report to get vent out your built-up bigotry inside. You’re all garbage.

  45. @Loz – Thank you for the laughs. Enjoy your dirty slippers 🙂

    But seriously, your language is quite uncalled for. Poor form.

  46. glad I read the comments all the way to the end, I was gonna skip em initially.

    LOL looks like Loz is prolly Indian and seems to have lost his mind. damn, I know this is the internet and all — full of angry trolls. but never seen someone so ANGRY and full of ugly, hateful, insecure, bigoted, mad, racist, contrite diatribe — while accusing previous commentators for purportedly doing the same thing, here at OMaaT.

    LMAO, all while yelling his lungs out (well I’d imagine anyways by the way he typed it out) srsly, thx for the laffs 😀 I guess he just needed to vent — have a bad weekend? lol never seen someone take internet comments so srsly before hahah #PureComedyGold

  47. Some believe or are skeptical of Lucky’s report thus far, i.e. it’s a thumbs up glowing account of AI via a ‘pay/favor to/for print’ piece (which is not uncommon in these days of endemic corruption even in the mainstream media). So let Lucky have his say. What say you, Lucky? A palm-greased lying, fraudulent, sham-shill write up or an honest in your guts ‘no interference’ report? Which is it then.

  48. @ Evan — As I stated, the service on the first flight was terrible. The service on the second flight was great. There are aspects of the product which were terrible, especially the hard product. Not sure how that’s a “glowing” review?

    Think I was pretty transparent as to how I booked his. Wasn’t in contact with Air India at all, and certainly wasn’t taking a comp.

  49. Privileged Flyer: Obnoxious douche. You do not pay to read so get off your high horses.. or simply get off.

  50. I wish U.S. flight attendants took as much pride in their job as the woman in the photo. I would be delighted to get served hot food on any U.S. based carrier in first. I simply refuse the cold garbage AA and United have been plating up lately. Props to Air India.

  51. why is the spoon plastic? Actually, that cart of food is more than most airlines will ever serve you. Its just easier to serve that way instead of pouring all the food into separate dishes. it also takes space, and there is limited galley space!

  52. “If all you trolls don’t trust Lucky’s reviews then get out of your moms’ basements”

    Ah, you almost had me up until the mom’s basement comment. How is 2013 these days?

    Ah, Loz, thanks for the laughs.

  53. I just posted my business class experience on Air India London to Delhi on Saturday Jan 23 on your earlier post. You’re right the AI service can vary quite a bit. I thought the service I received on Saturday was exceptional. Food and the angled flat seat with cheap cover were below average. But the crew I expericed was incredible.

  54. I am not surprised with the comments and experiences shared here so far. I use AI every other month to fly to India from LHR and my experiences are similar – awesome in the air but ground service can be ordinary at best. And they really provide excellent food – their “snacks” can be full sized meals.

  55. Flown AI first earlier this year from SFO and thought the service was great. I loved the food (not really an expert on Indian food but I love Indian food) but the seats ( although damn confortable for me) were kind iffy. Hard to describe but it had that old car seat cushion feel. The amenity kit was cool and the pyajamas were gray, not white as shown. The alternative (AA or UA) that I have tried before are seriously the definition of crap. The captain also came to greet my son and me and the FA was extremely attentive towards both of us. I had a younger attractive FA and she was charming and lovely. BTW… My FAs on board BA, AA, UA, DL, KLM and even CX in premium classes on int’l flights have also usually been on the older and experienced side. So while I read that old cows are worshipped in India by a user, I wish it were the same in the US. Here, old cows are forgotten, abused and left to rot by themselves, even by their children. All in all, don’t know what all the fuss is about. AI is a decent airline, better than its three star North American competitors, but not as good as CX or SQ. End of story. Atleast I haven’t had terrible experiences on AI as I’ve had on others. Oh and I read someone mention user reviews on skytrax, etc. From my experience in marketing analytics, people are more inclined to review a product they are dissatisfied with; so in other words the proportion of negative to positive experiences are always skewed.

    Also, my brother was a businessman rescued by AI last year from Yemen so I am grateful to them for their humanitarian aid.

  56. Wow,wow,wow…that is surely the way to address the large number of inanely childish and plainly rude and stupid comments on this post! A lot of folks seem to be having a really bad day today! What a change in commentary compared to even a couple of years ago. Apparently, there a lot of real losers posting on this blog now.

    FWIW I suspect that @Yash has it right when commenting that the DEL-SFO is a priority flight for AI right now, staffed with a better than average crew. Lucky is surely well known by now, but he isn’t important enough to justify what some claim here. What utter nonsense.

  57. So I realize the general manager of customer service actually do fly AI’s 777s on a regular basis. That is pretty awesome.

    And although the seat on the plane looks a bit tacky, that lounge sure seems fresh. My only experience with lounges in India is the executive lounge in Hyderabad which is also modern and pleasant.

  58. The people on this blog want to see Air India get a bad review so desperately. On another note, @Lucky would comments on an airline or product change your review?

  59. We beg Ben to review something other than Emirates and Cathay, and as soon as he does, we yell at him for being biased and whiny about food in crappy looking tins?

    Ben – Keep doing what you’re doing. And sorry so many of us are pure evil.

  60. “The people on this blog want to see Air India get a bad review so desperately” exactly. I have said it before and I’m saying it again: This blog is infested by opportunistic, anonymous racists who were frothing at the mouth for the chance to bash one of the world’s most bashed airlines and then bash the country afterwards, but because Lucky’s experience was actually *positive*, they now don’t have the chance to do that – so they’re resorting to fabricating stories about him setting something up with AI, or even AI doing something behind the scenes to fix up the flight.

    This is exactly why the western world is collapsing in on itself. Everyone is snide, egoistical, selfish, and has no sense of morality. Lucky displayed a sense of gratefulness for the service he received instead of nitpicking about irrelevant things like the aluminium containers, or even worse, calling the poor flight attendant a ‘man in drag’ like some worthless waste of sperm said so earlier – and people literally attacked him for showing a sense of gratefulness! Go to India, China, or SEA and people will be grateful for the littlest of things and will (more often than not) go to every length to demonstrate their warmth and values to you. Now in the western world you just get spit in your face, and the comments on this blog are symptomatic of it.

    Congrats, guys. As I said – stay mad. Stay furious. You just lost the chance to turn the comments section of this blog into stormfront. Now go and quietly cry in your mum’s basements where you still live in your filth and miserableness.

  61. Or Lordie shut up Loz, the only person here angry is you. People bashing this airline has nothing to do with racism, they bash this airline because the best thing one can say about it is that it is hit & miss. People bash British Airways just as much, and there are comments lobbied at every airline, from Lufthansa to Air France to Singapore to Qatar to Emirates. Stop deflecting criticism by hiding behind cries of racism by making your own ignorant, racist comments. Also, how do you even know the person who made ‘man in drag’ comment is even white and/or Western?

    And Lucky’s experience was only half-positive (one crap flight, so-so lounge, great on-great ground treatment, great return flight home), so far. We’ll have to wait for the full trip report.

    Finally, it is rather ignorant and idiotic to assume people on here are making comments from “mum’s basement”. I mean, are you even aware who the target audience for this blog is? I’m sure more than a few comments – negative and positive – are made from premium lounges all over the world…

  62. Personally, if I had the choice, I’d choose Jet Airways over Air India. Consistently, they offer a much, much better product overall.

  63. Been a fan of your blog for a long time now, and I have to say, this TR is something I’m very excited about! Thank you for bringing us the experience Ben! Can’t wait to read the full report

  64. Those who buy into conspiracy theories have been proven to be considerably less intelligent than the general population.

  65. *Going to get some popcorn *
    Seriously people stop fighting. Most of us read the blog because we want Ben’s views on airline/lounge/hotel etc…
    So let Ben do what he does best. Tell us how his experience was and fighting over the comment section on this blog doesn’t do any good to anyone. So people, please do stop. And seriously @Loz and @Aaron? Do you realise how childish and immature the both of you sound?

  66. @Rune

    Yes, from my experience I have also met the GM on several flights last year, (as mentioned by Jared) although those were between ORD-DEL. I have also had this crew on multiple flights and the wonderful lady (name undisclosed) remembers ppl very well to the point that she remembered that my wife (who unlike me eats on aircrafts) loved a particular dish (lamb rogan josh is what I think it was – not sure if I spelt it correctly) on an earlier flight and despite not being on the menu for my recent flight, the FA especially ordered a smaller portion just for my wife, which became a funny incident since the guy next to me wanted some as well so we ended up sharing. However, not all of the crew are as attentive and professional as her – especially the younger ones who have a long way to develop.

    So yes – good airline, not the best hard product but still very comfortable, amazing hospitality and I love the airport in DEL – especially walking around in it which I do a lot of since there are just so many art and cultural installations throughout the airport and I could use losing some weight as per my wife.

    As I mentioned earlier, I have experienced some remarkable service and attention – especially on SQ due to my Solitaire PPS status with them and I would rate the attention and service on AI as equal to that on SQ and AI F is my preferred method of travel to the subcontinent.

  67. My dear Aaron, do me a favour and go read the comments on all the recent AI posts. There are some particularly terrible ones in there.

    And then come in here again and tell me that none of them were of the racial sort.

    If not, shut the fuck up. Don’t preach to me about racism. I know how that shit works better than you ever will. It is blatantly obvious that a lot of the bigotry is unfortunately fuelled by ethnic stereotyping and bashing. Just because you’re completely oblivious and blind to the existence of it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And fuckin’ DUH no-one leaves racial comments even if BA are particularly crap BECAUSE THAT DEMOGRAPHIC IS NOT A TARGET.

  68. Oh, and Aaron, it’s great that you stated that the target demographic for this blog are the rich sort. It only just goes to show that money doesn’t buy class, and can in fact actually make one a more putrid, self-important, and repulsive specimen.

  69. @Loz

    The British left your home/native country a long time ago, it’s time to let go and start fixing all the problem the country suffer from instead of blaming the white man.

    While it’s not PC to say so, especially in the US, racism is not a one way street.

  70. It’s so good to see a TR for an as-of-yet unreviewed airline. Good on you, Lucky! It’ll be really cool if you could review Garuda, Norwegian and South African; not that many reviews about them out there.

    As for those people criticising the FA, it’s disrespectful and extremely vain. In a world that acknowledges excellence and also criticises those for unreasonably based judgments, it’s quite astonishing. Surely we should commend a person who does a job well done. I couldn’t care less if it was a 20-something model lookalike or a middle aged woman, as long as they provide good service, I’d be extremely content!

  71. I have taken AI few time and I like the service. It is great product and there new 787’s are excellent. IFA is good, the food you get in AI is much better then AirCanada, United or Delta. I recently took AI from DEL – Paris and from Paris to Toronto by Air Canada. On my second flight by Air Canada, the my daughter was mentioning, the snack provided by Air India was much better then the meal provided by Air Canada. somehow North American airlines donot know how to provide good quality and quantity India meals.

    I will fly with AI again.

  72. Loz keep hiding behind the racism argument. It seems that is what you do well, along with your potty mouth. And don’t worry about having class, its something you’ll probably never have, bought or otherwise. If anything, you’re just as racist as the people you are attacking.

    “you stated that the target demographic for this blog are the rich sort”

    You really don’t seem to get the point of this site, which just exemplifies how much of a troll you actually are. The main target audience of this site is people who aren’t rich but benefit from Lucky’s (and others) advice on how to travel in premium classes without having to pay more than a few cents on the dollar. Of course, there probably are rich people here for the reviews, and people who read it to live vicariously through Lucky and others reports. All that aside, this site is here to give people ways to experience premium travel. But ignore all that, and keep playing the angry victim act, you do it well.

  73. But seriously though Aaron, do you think comments on the appearance of the FA were warranted? Or appropriate? I feel ashamed for the commenters when they write such things. What kind of people must they be in real life? I can think of a few people in my life who’d fit the bill of those commenters.
    I guess the racism conversation here is getting out of hand, but it’s not entirely unprovoked.
    I guess this singling out of AI and its bashing on this blog will continue. Sigh.

  74. Btw Lucky, do you have the FA’s permission to use her picture on your blog? Particularly given some of the vile remarks directed at her appearance. What a shock it would be if a family member or even she herself stumbles upon this blog post.

  75. I think folks here are missing daily dose of BPA and MSG. Looks aside foil trays are the most eco-friendly way to serve Indian food. In general Indian food is messy and only way to present Indian food elegantly is to use “Indian Thali” (google it), which is impossible in-flight.

    Also Indian bread get dry and stiff very fast when left open, to keep it soft leaving bread wrapped in aluminum foil is the best option. Not great for presentation and I have seen complaints of crew being lazy/rude for not removing the foil.

    FA seems to be able, happy and proud to do her job. At least passengers need not feel guilty and offer their seat to her and push the cart, a frequently contemplated scenario on our carriers.

    Are there any stats on how many passengers scored a real(not paid) date with an young FA.

  76. @iv and all other rude people commenting on the FA ….

    I actually think she looks like a lovely and endearing lady providing warm hospitality. Look at that genuine smile. Amazing how people can be so shallow and judgmental.

  77. Aaron, this time, you are wrong on both counts.
    Loz is clearly overly sensitive but in fact also happens to be right as well as obviously accurate in his analysis.
    Read the comments as he suggested and it is absolutely crystal clear.
    However, friendly advice to both of you – it is best to move on, not moon on.
    Thank you.
    Ben, I would rethink leaving her photo up there in light of some of the massive negativity expressed in this thread. It could be really hurtful if she ends up reading it or if someone shares it with her and that result is utterly unwarranted. It’s just cruel.
    No one deserves that. No one.
    We are all way too civilized to condone that.
    Thank you for considering it.

  78. Civil Aviantion Minister describes Air India- “SO BAD” – is a true and honest observation of inefficiency mismanagement, and corruption that is widespread all over the nation. It may not be deliberate and will not be corrected by law enforcement. This is- among others- inevitably a bi-product of substandard and poor schooling. This is typical of all former colonial countries. Basically their education (schooling) scavenges on Anglo-American leftovers. This is one of the major causes of substandard training and management which is widespread and its political leadership is a victim of this cancer as well. Please be informed that we http://www.hrdsinc.org run chain of international medical schools from our corporate office in Chicago and continuously interact with Indian technocrats and Government bureaucracy. During investment meetings – Consultants caution that in India a fresh medical or engineering or management or technical graduates are not employable without long additional training. Medical graduates from India who seek employment in our medical schools we notice that despite being brilliant they lack basic training and outlook and confidence in dealing with white skin colleague in equal terms. Based on our 16 years of experience – I can say this with authority- that despite human resources of India being, not just efficient but brilliant, its education system – that is designed to deprive citizens to get education in native language- is dragging the nation backward. As long as this fact is not taken seriously and remedial measures introduced, Indian brilliance will be wasted on scavenging on Anglo-American left overs and India will remain the way it is known now- an appendage of the west. Air India like all other Indian establishments including the defense will remain SO BAD.

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