Anyone ever flown Air India?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Stampyhead, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    I'm going to be flying back to London at the end of July and I found a flight from Chicago (O'Hare) to Heathrow that is a bit cheaper than most other flights, but it is on Air India. I've never flown this airline before and know very little about it, apart from the mixed reviews I've found online. Anyone here have any positive (or negative) experiences flying with them?
  2. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    I don't know but I can't imagine their customer service is very good. :p

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.
  3. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
  4. Neutral Gamer macrumors 6502a

    Neutral Gamer

    ** Warning **

    Seriously mate, I haven't used them myself but I've got quite a few different family members who've "tried" Air India over the years when flying to and from Heathrow and New Delhi.


    I have never heard anything good about them either from my family or other general stories that circulate around. If you want an airline where rats have reportedly roamed the aisles and flights are regularly overbooked forcing you to delay your flight then by all means go ahead and book it.

    It's cheaper for a reason. It's a load of crap. I'm not joking when I say that even Indians (well British Indians at least) generally recognise Air India as being a POS and take the piss out of it! What more can you say? ;)

    Spend slightly more money and go with a better company (although even British Airways isn't very reliable these days). Hope that helps. :)
  5. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005


    They're actually the second best airline in the world. Number one? Everybody else...
  6. MacCurry macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2006
    Air India is good for people who are not Indians or are not of Indian origin. If you're an American or European, you'll be treated very well. If they think you're Indian, then forget it.

    Lately, they now have to compete with other India based air-lines like Kingfisher and Jet Airways, and have had to improve service. It is a government owned airline and the crew are government employees. Recently, an Air India air-hostess (stewardess for you Americans) filed a law suit because she was fired for being overweight. She lost the case.
  7. Neutral Gamer macrumors 6502a

    Neutral Gamer

    Haha. That was funny. :D
    Did you come up with that yourself? Cos it's pretty impressive if you did.

    Well, my family's Indian so that might explain their and other Indians' bad experiences that I've heard of! :D

    You're right about being treated differently, it's just not Air India, if you're white or foreign looking and go to India you'll be treated very differently to the indigenous population, but don't forget, you'll be charged a hell of a lot more as well ... ;)
  8. Stampyhead thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    Wow, that's interesting. Thanks for the replies, everyone. The "it's cheaper for a reason" comment makes a lot of sense. I don't really want a lot of extra hassle just to save a few bucks. Flying overseas is already a big enough pain. My next best option is to pay about $80 more and fly with AerLingus, making a stopover in Dublin on the way to London. I'm thinking that's what I'll probably do.
  9. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I'd go Air India for the food alone. Best airline food I've ever had was on Air India, in India. Service was fine.

    You're going to pay $80 extra for what exactly? Is the Air India flight direct? You'd pay more for a flight with a stopover???
  10. Azmordean macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    Silicon Valley
    I tend to agree with this. I've never flow Air India, but I tend to be of the view that a major airline is a major airline. In this day and age they are all equally cramped, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. Unless Air India has a bad *safety* record, which I have not heard, I'd go with the cheapest.
  11. Motley macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2005
    Maybe that's why my Indian gf treats it as an option of last resort.
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    As long as they serve the vindaloo with some milk or yoghurt, I'm good to go.
  13. Stampyhead thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    You both make excellent points. The Air India flight is direct and heard they have won awards for their food. I guess I shouldn't put too much stock in the negative comments I've read online. I've had positive and negative experiences on every airline I've flown with, and we all know that people are more likely to post bad experiences than good ones.
    Thanks again for the intelligent comments, everyone!
  14. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    I have flown with Air India twice and have had no problems — as someone above pointed out the food is very good. :D

    The only time I have every flown with an airline and felt scared was with Olympic Airlines — and that was 1974. :eek:
    With takeoff at Aswan (Air Egypt) a close second. :eek:
  15. Coprolite macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    I wouldn't worry too much about which airline. Some are stellar, but most are people movers. The quality of food will be based upon start and end point. Flying into and out of India brings different menus and different food suppliers. Given that your endpoints are not related to India, you'll probably be served by a nicer plane and top level staff.

    Give it a shot. If it doesn't work out, the suffering won't last THAT long.

    Back when I lived in India, I would always try to fly on Jet Airways. Though I do remember one Air India flight to Thailand...wasn't bad, but wasn't Singapore or Thai Airlines....
  16. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    Looks like you will be flying on the 747-400 from Ohare to Heathrow on Air India. From the looks of it, Air India only flies one flight every few day from Chicago to London.

    From the link in my first post in this thread: Other aircraft such as the Airbus A310, Airbus A320 and Boeing 747-400 aircraft do not have individual seatback entertainment, they only have a central projection screen. So if you want the personal T.V. then bump up to business class. :(
  17. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    Oh God. I've flown Air India enough times to know:


    Your flight's pretty short, so it might be tolerable. But lord, lord, lord, here's an analogy:

    Air India: Average Airline as Indian Government Bus Service: Greyhound.

    They make you feel like cattle. And the food is terrible (I mean, I love Indian food--their food makes me sick).

    And yes, as others have mentioned, South Asia's collective Stockholm Syndrome takes to the air with Air India.
  18. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    And then there's this...

    An Air India flight soared past its Mumbai destination on June 4 as its pilots allegedly dozed off in the cockpit, The Times of India reported Thursday.

    The napping pilots flew 359 miles past the airport and were still at cruising altitude when nervous air traffic controllers woke them up.

    The flight, which was on autopilot flying toward Mumbai, had about 100 passengers on board.

    "The plane took off from Dubai at 1:35 a.m. Indian Standard Time and then from Jaipur at 7 a.m. After operating an overnight flight, fatigue levels peak, and so the pilots dozed off after taking off from Jaipur," an unidentified source told The Times of India.

    Air India officials vehemently denied the report, saying the plane lost radio contact with air traffic control for some time, and only flew 14 miles off course.

    "We emphatically deny the report. No such incident took place. We've checked our records," Jitender Bhargava, Air India’s director for public relations, told The Times.

    Some pilots and air traffic controllers argue Air India is trying to cover up for the pilots’ mistake.

    "There is a strict procedure which is followed during a radio communications failure whereby the aircraft should have descended to a holding point. Instead, it flew over Mumbai," a check pilot told The Times of India. "Also, every flight has an expected time of arrival [ETA], so why did it not begin its descent even after crossing its ETA?"
  19. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    Flew once to the States on Air India: this is their premium prestige route, so you can expect things to go well. On the other hand, we also flew from Perth to Madras via Bangkok, which was alarming, to say the least. The air conditioning in the 747 broke down on the tarmac at Bangkok, and we had to sit in sweltering heat for FIVE HOURS, unable to leave the plane, while they actually bolted a fifth engine onto a wing so they could take it back to India for repairs. The aircraft was far from clean, and the inflight service was atrocious.

    Good luck!
  20. Stampyhead thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    Ha ha, I'm glad I just went ahead and booked the flight before reading the rest of your posts, or I'd probably still be sitting here making up my mind. The story of the pilots falling asleep at the wheel and missing the airport made me laugh, in a 'I'm trying not to get nervous' sort of way. If that's true it's one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time.
    Anyway, since this is a relatively short flight and originates in the US I'm guessing it will probably be tolerable enough. And if it is really bad at least I won't have to worry about coming back with them, as this is going to be a one way flight. As of July 30th I'll be officially living in London. I'm a bit nervous but overall very excited about this new adventure. Anyway, thanks to everyone for your comments. They are greatly appreciated.

    Cool, thanks for that link. I didn't know about that site.
    As far as the inflight entertainment goes, I'm not all that worried about it. I'll have my iPhone with me loaded with several movies from the iTunes rental store, so I think I'll be set.
  21. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    Junky Russian Tupolev? Ilyushin? Or did they rip one engine off and replaced it?
  22. ImNoSuperMan macrumors 65816


    Dec 1, 2005
    I flew once with Air India. The experience was nothing to write home about. Just another below average airline with below average service. Atleast thats what the general perception here in India. But since you have already booked the flight give it a try. Now that you`ve already heard enough bad about it, you might just find it OK enough.

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