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Air India
Overall Satisfaction Rating
1.15/5
  • 5 stars
    4
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    0
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    3
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    7
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Air India

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Last updated: Feb. 17, 2018

223 Air India Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 17, 2018

Before booking the ticket, I checked past week departure history of the flight using Air India website. The website showed departed on time which made me book the flight. While entering the airport, a security guard informed that the flight is not flying from weeks due to bad weather conditions during that season. I was shocked and worried since I needed to board an international flight from Delhi. Well, I inquired from Air India staff about today's flight status and got a diplomatic answer saying uncertainty in flying. The flight was delayed by 1 hour approximately.

After landing Delhi airport, I checked the status of the same flight online. Surprisingly, it was not updated and showing that departure and arrival are scheduled on time. The web-based flight status service was showing incorrect information again and created huge trouble for me. Not to mention that the behavior of Air India staff at inquiry room is completely unacceptable. Also, Air India did not inform me in advance about the flight status via email or SMS. In conclusion, I would definitely not recommend Air India to anyone.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Feb. 4, 2018

My office had booked a flight ticket for official work from Chennai to Bhopal (connecting flight via Mumbai) on 30th Jan 2018. I reached Chennai airport around 8.30PM and my flight departure is 9.35PM. As I met with an road accident around 8.10PM nearby airport still I manage and reached airport one hour before departure. Once I check in at Domestic Airport gate I came to realize that I need to go to international gate. It is more than 500 meters difference from Domestic airport gate, and I ask for help from Air India staff, they help in their way, ask me to ran fast to reach to get my flight. And also I managed and reached the gate at 8.40PM.

As the CISF policeman understand my situation, clear me to check in. Once I saw the Air India check in counter is empty. I went to Air India support staff room and explained my situation. They are not at all ready to help a little. It is a Rs.7697 ticket fare I request them at least cancel my ticket or reroute me, there also Air India strikes, ask me to use the second half ticket (from Mumbai to Bhopal), they guide me to go to IndiGo and book a ticket from Chennai to Mumbai. (Whether Air India had tied up with IndiGo???)

No other way for me. I again ran from International gate to domestic gate, There I check with IndiGo people, the ticket fare from Chennai to Mumbai is around Rs.8000. Lot of stress, pain and also lost my name in my office, because am not able to reach Bhopal at time, once I informed my office, they cancel the ticket but zero refund due to their travel policy. I strongly recommend to all, please not to take a Air India as your airway at any circumstances.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 30, 2018 This is absolutely the worst flight on earth. Horrendous customer service - these girls at the flight counter are extremely rude and customer service is at another level of being lame. I missed my flight and airline didn't have anything to offer. There have been instance where my friends missed flight and were simply asked to take next flight. But this cheap crappy airline refused to even refund me tax applied. I would never book from this airline for anyone in my family- would choose to

pay more for another flight than dealing with this unreasonable customer service. This corporate is at another level of cheapness and bunch of thieves. Their policies are their very own. This was extremely upsetting and I was really surprised at their cheap behavior. I WANT reimbursement for my unused ticket!!! Why am I paying flight or airport tax when I did not use the airport services??? Why is this airline eating my tax money???

2 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 12, 2018

Today, 12th Jan 2018 on flight number AI 104 I had asked for wheelchair. Firstly they made me wait for 30 minutes. Furthermore, the officer was obnoxious and gave me blunt responses every time I requested to make it fast. Then, when I said that I am going to report this she told me to go ahead. This is absolutely unacceptable behavior.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 9, 2018

In future if Air India offers me free non stop flight from US to India, even though I won't travel with them. The 1 star I gave because of their food quality only. Other than that everything is horrible. Broken TV/remotes, broken bathrooms, old planes. And the worst thing is their rude staff especially in India. US based staff still have some common sense. But India staff is purely worst. They should be fired after it becomes private. AI intentionally cancels alternate days flight or looks for the reason to cancel so that they can consolidate traffic of two days, and they don't value people's time.

I have seen them how rudely talking to passengers. My flight got cancelled on both ways from US to India via JFK... and they never cared. All of my checked in bags were lost for 5 days. When I tried to follow up with claim department... they dont pick up or take responsibility. Email response is slow or they ignore you. This AI is needed to be privatized. Pls Mr. Modi (PM of Great India) do something on this airline and fire people like Mr. ** and Meena as duty managers at Delhi Airport. They are worst AI staff... I have seen them allowing their own people coming with some jack getting seats. Or moving plane back from runaway to fit more people. For normal people they simply deny. But Mantri's or Pilot's known could get seat easily. This is horrible trend in India... I would recommend people should not use AI at all until they get privatized.

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2 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Dec. 14, 2017

My mother travelled from IAD to HYD (Via Delhi) on 13-12-2017. We booked the ticket with wheelchair option, and also notified at the time of check-in to the Air India representative, and from IAD - Delhi has provided wheelchair, but during transfer from Delhi to HYD flight...Air India not provided any wheelchair to my mother, and my mother is arthritis patient and she not even walk for 1000 yards. She requested and begged for wheelchair, Air India crew don't even have any courtesy to provide wheelchair to my mother and she suffered a lot as she walked with her luggage from terminal to terminal. It's worst experience with this Airlines. I will recommend not to travel if you are fully depend on wheelchair.

2 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 20, 2017

My family travelled to India Amritsar on Air India. On arrival they waited 3 hours along with other passengers for their luggage. When they got home they discovered their locks had been tampered with. Items had been stolen from their luggage. They've complained to the airline but we're not getting a response. Emails are being ignored. Can anyone help with how or where we can log a complaint? Phone line is terrible. Operators don't have training to deal with calls.

3 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 11, 2017

Today I received a mail from Air India about the change of schedule of my flight from Delhi. Since, I will be taking Air India as a domestic connecting flight from Delhi to Nagpur after an international flight, I don't have enough time to make it with the new schedule. I called the customer care and asked the refunding policy. They said, if the flight schedule change is more than 61 minutes, they will refund full amount. Otherwise, it is considered as a regular cancellation. (Means, I will lose more than 50% of the ticket fare!!) The flight was scheduled at 6.10 AM is now rescheduled to 5.25 AM (in effect the difference is just 45 minutes). This 45 minutes is important for traveler like me to get a connecting flight. So, I am forced to cancel my ticket by losing more than half of the ticket amount.

2 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 9, 2017

Me and my daughter travelled from Delhi to New York on 8-Oct-17 on seat number 43J and 43K. Ear phone plug was broken for us. Moreover all three lights of our row were not working. Flight attenders were very rude, with no smile at all and no solution for any problem. Usually flights try to make journeys comfortable for kids. But Air India makes it worse. My daughter had to sit in dark all the way.

6 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 9, 2017

I was to travel with my 8 months baby in Air India AI 780 flight from Hyderabad to Kolkata on 9th Oct at 13:05. The flight got delayed due to bad weather condition at Kolkata. The Air India staff didn't inform me prior arrival to the airport, otherwise I would have not travelled to airport. I haven't got any compensation for the delay. I am carrying 2 luggages and 1 cabin baggage, while asked for the cloak room they said I have to pay for using the cloak room. I asked for access to lobby as I need to feed my baby, the staff says cannot use it unless I checked in. I cannot check-in since the flight is delayed and cannot access the airport facility since I haven't checked-in.

I have wasted my time and money to Hyderabad airport paid for the to and from taxi to airport, the staff has booked my next flight for tomorrow and asked me to call the staff before starting for airport. Why the staff don't proactively inform the affected customers due to delay? The only thing they will provide is a porter service for tomorrow's flight and 2 kg extra luggage, I had already paid for extra luggage. It is a pathetic service offered to the customer in an world class international airport. There is NO special assistance provided for mother carrying babies and at last I need to bear all my expenses for the delay.

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5 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Sept. 9, 2017

In spite of hearing several complaints over the years, I decided to fly Air India from New York to Mumbai and back for a last minute emergency trip. I hoped the flight would be better than what I had heard, but I was wrong. As soon as I boarded the flight (AI 144 from Newark to Mumbai), I realized my seat (23A) was broken. The under side of the seat had been ripped out with the life vest lying on the floor. I tried to tuck in, but the life vest kept popping out. When I complained to the flight attendant, he tried to tell me to fix the life vest by cramming it under the seat! Seriously? It was an uncomfortable 16-hour flight with the life vest pressing against my legs the entire flight.

To add to the misery, the screen was broken as well. It was pixelated with RGB color cubes splashed across the screen. The flight attendant's response was "let me reboot the system!" which seemed like a generic response that they are conditioned to say every time people complain about screens. Of course nothing happened and I had to travel 16 hours with a broken seat and no entertainment. The food was subpar and looked and tasted stale. At one point they served a pathetic looking sandwich with one slice of cheese in it. I think even homeless shelters serve better food. It made me sick! I was so shocked by this incredibly ** service on a flight I spent $1100 on! Never again in my life will I fly Air India. Just unbelievable how a national carrier could be so shamelessly pathetic!

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9 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 8, 2017

I arrived from Syracuse with roughly 2 hours before connecting to Air India for a visit I had been planning for over a year. When checking in I was asked for my Visa. I thought that was already taken care of since I had never had to use one prior being my visits to other countries were done while in the Marines. I was told I needed to get an emergency Visa from the consulate on 64th street and that my baggage would be held for me while I took care of it. I took an Uber there and was not greeted with a friendly atmosphere but more with an inconvenience. I was told that I needed to get 2x2 photo and $203 exact cash. I ran around looking for an ATM and finally found one then the photo was impossible but managed to get one thanks to a teller at Citibank on 5th.

I finally get the Visa and my Uber returning to JFK takes nearly 3 hours because it is now rush hour traffic and I return after hours for the staff at Air India and have to wait until they open at 8 am according to the gentleman in the ticket office next to theirs. I am a disabled Vet with 12 herniated/bulging discs and very little labrum left in my right hip now spending the night inside JFK, that has very limited seating, for the next 12 hours until they open. 8 am arrives and I don't see anyone. I look on JFK site and notice it says 9 am. I continue to wait and nobody. Then around 945 I notice someone at the check in counter and go over there. After 7 minutes of standing in front of her, she finally asks if she can help me. I tell her I need to switch my ticket and she rudely tells me they don't open until 1045, so I go sit against the wall near there until then.

They all start to arrive and have their morning meeting where I listen to them talk about how poorly they are doing in customer service and they need to sell upgrades. I finally get to speak to someone and then go over to the ticket counter and the computer isn't working. She has to call their IT dept. I sit for another half hour while they get that working and then I am told it will cost me $650. $400 for a no-show and $250 for the flight change. I live on military medical compensation, that doesn't allot me much of extra spending money. I had been saving and booked this trip a year prior and had a set budget for it, that I already wasted mostly on the emergency Visa and Uber rides.

I am then told to talk to the manager and when I do she tells me there is nothing she can do. Says she will talk to a manager and walks away. I go sit down and a while later she comes back and asks me what I am going to do. I ask her if it's still $650, she says yes and I tell her I guess I will go home. She says she hates that I wasted all this time and money and says she will talk to her manager and walks away. The same thing about another 20 later. She then says she will see about "waiving" the no-show fee. I agree and never see her again for another 45 minutes. At this point, I grab my luggage and leave. Head to JetBlue and pay $200 for a flight home. I still dream to visit India but will figure out another airline somehow. Maybe even another city/state to fly out if I have to. I have never been treated so poorly by someone from in a customer service position like this!! I will continue to post this review and many other complaints for a while.

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9 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 18, 2017

On August 15, 2017 I was travelling from Mumbai to Delhi AI 660i and onwards to Toronto Canada on a business class ticket. Air India Staff informed me my baggage allowance on business class was one piece 23 kgs. However online on check in it is clearly stated 2 pieces - 32 kgs each. I informed counter staff and Manager on duty that I had called Air India and also referred to their website. They refused to accommodate my request were rude and insisted I pay for excess baggage which I refused. As a single female travelling by myself they caused me severe stress at the counter and they kept calling some people to show me they were trying. I waited for over an hour and nearly missed my flight. Finally I got help through a family member who called the General Manager and he allowed me to catch my flight.

The counter staff were rude and the Manager refused to even listen or believe that I had travelled to India from Canada on the same ticket on business class with 2 pieces of baggage. I was so mentally stressed and felt harassed by Air India staff over an issue that should not have really been an issue with a business class ticket. Further to add insult to injury I was issued a business class boarding pass for Mumbai to Delhi and two onward boarding passes were issued on economy. When I got to Delhi I was informed by lounge services I was travelling economy as Air India had issued economy boarding passes. I got to the flight and Air Canada informed me that Air India had changed my confirmed seat to another seat although my boarding pass showed my seat number.

I felt mentally tortured and literally no avenue to access any help by Air India staff at the counter at Mumbai Airport. If it was not for the kind intervention of the General Manager, the Duty Manager walked away without even offering a solution or accommodating my request. I would not recommend anyone to travel on Air India. The aircraft was not cleaned, the seats were dirty and soiled. In addition the headrest disposables had oil stains and showed signs of prior use by other passengers. The food quality was abjectly poor. This experience has made me vow never to fly with this airline and never to recommend anyone to fly Air India again.

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8 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 16, 2017

I had to travel India on an emergency to perform final rites to my deceased father in India. I am the only son to my parents; I received the news of my father’s death around 17:30hrs on May 01, 2017 and I had to make necessary travel arrangements so as to, perform my father’s final departure from this planet. I take this opportunity to appreciate my ticketing agent Mrs. Ekta ** of (SKYROUTE TRAVELS SCARBOROUGH), for her tireless effort in response to my request of travel. A confirmed e-ticket was booked for travel - flight number AI7316 dated May 01, 2017 at 23:10hrs, operated by AIR CANADA.

I reached Toronto International Airport-Toronto at 20:00 hrs on May 01, 2017. At the check-in counter; after submitting my travel documents at check-in, ticketing clerk informed that she was unable to see any booking for AI-7316, she did explain that she was able to see the onward journey bookings confirmed. I was in blue funk, when the ticketing clerk said she was not able to see any booking on the above mentioned flight. I spoke to the Airport supervisor and explained the situation. The flight supervisor was very sympathetic to me, explained that they were able to retrieve booking numbers for onward journey (London) Heathrow-Mumbai. Unfortunately, they were unable to see my booking from Toronto-Heathrow.

Air Canada Airport Manager, my travel agent and the check-in clerk were trying to find different ways to help me with the situation. Everyone, were on my phone having conversation on the status. The fact remains that, I was denied travel on AI-7316 dated May 01, 2017, due to Airport systems not showing Toronto-Heathrow. Hence, status is deemed as NOT-CONFIRMED. With utmost grief and no solicit for help from Air-India at the Airport counter along with financial loss of Air Tickets being canceled. I had to take the next available flight to perform my father’s final rites. I had to make other travel arrangement for the same.

I regret that, my experience was the most frustrating with Air India. Why do you issue a confirmed e-ticket, when your systems are not in synchronized with the Toronto Pearson Airport systems? Is this the way Air-India operates whilst code sharing? No Air-India personnel were present at the Airport. Even after 4 months of travel, I was not provided with full refund of my ticket. My agent was following up with the same and sans response from Air-India. With this letter, I would request you to consider the circumstances and the evidences provided to you for a full-refund of Air tickets. Air India is not even apologetic to anything? What a service is this.

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9 people found this review helpful
Original review: July 9, 2017

From booking they restrict you. Shows online rates but when you click they say not available, means you must book it from bookies. Things are never safe if you are giving in. Air india steals my things but when you give complaint no one react or anything. It's normal for them anyways. Worst airline to choose or fly from.

5 people found this review helpful
Original review: July 5, 2017

We flew Air India on 27th June from Delhi to London, seat number 30J and 30H seats were so uncomfortable. We told flight staff to change our seats but they didn't and TV screen wasn't working. That was reported to flight staff. He try to reboot few time but he couldn't make it work. 9 hours we were without any entertainment.

6 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 4, 2017

Team, 3 issues so far before even they reached to USA now. 1. Flight delayed and no communication on this. Very poor service. 2. Reserved seats and confirmed with AIR INDIA and when they onboarded, they give different seats in different places for my parents, which is very bad for seniors to travel for a long trip with cheating behavior.

3. Since parents very senior citizens, opted wheelchair assistance and confirmed that, however they didn't even provided wheelchair assistance, simply said "Walk." What is the point to opt this and why to book AIR INDIA, I thought it's our INDIAN flight and helping our seniors. Now I realized, other country flights are more cooperative and assist better for the seniors. None of the customer support team is useless, simply say "Sorry, we can't do anything." If we ask to escalate, "Sorry no service like this." What is this and who help in case of more assistance to work with them to get a service when they travel. I recommend don't go in Indian Airlines, and I am totally disappointed how they are behaving. Please don't book from AIR INDIA anymore for anyone. Wasteless, useless and worst airlines and support. We never get support for sure from Air India for any reason.

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6 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 19, 2017

They just do what ever they like!!! If you are choosing them to travel anywhere that means you are fully responsible for the risk or whatever. They don't take any responsibility whatsoever??? They cancelled the ticket one night before and didn't even bother to inform their passengers. My mum got to know her flight is cancelled actually when she reached the Air India counter. Missed her next flight and then also connected flights. She had to travel 2 days later and also had to pay $800 extra charges to further international flights... I don't recommend them at all.

9 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 5, 2017

I flew Air India on April 29th. As soon as I entered the plane I went to my seat. The monitor was not working. I can do anything in the plane. I went all the way to Korea from Delhi, had no TV. They will not even move me. I told them they made a report, never apologized didn't do anything. They treated me like I was some kind of crap didn't exist. This was the worst service I could imagine in my life. 3 staff really mean to me. They gave me a used blanket when I asked for a blanket. When the plane stopped in Korea I noticed they were cleaning up the plane and they were folding up the same blanket which people have used, the dirty ones. I got so disgusted I threw up in the bathroom.

I asked the lady flight attendant if she could give me a clean one. She said "I don't have it." They got off the plane and someone didn't care at all, nobody cared. I waited to get a form work and make a complaint. They gave me a piece of paper saying that "this is what you could do." I was all like "Can you please take my phone number and have somebody contact me?" They said this is not the policy. This worst, worst, worst service I can imagine. Air India is the lousy plane. The employees are ridiculous. They don't know what they're doing. They have the worst rudeness you could imagine in them. They don't care. They don't even provide you with a glass of water when you asked for it. I rang the bell 3 times, nobody came to me. I was shocked. I was thirsty and I was dizzy.

I just didn't know what to do. All I have to say is that I hope your India gets better service better employees who cares about people and clean blankets. The staff was lousy. If I could have somebody contact me my phone number is ** from Air India. I feel like I want to go in the news media in India and tell them how disgusting Air India plane is. They give you the blanket that people cough, draw food and everything. When they stopped to clean the plane and career remember that they don't give you clean blankets in the blankets and not in the plastic. Please do not use the blanket. Do not, those are the same used disgusting blankets when people have used on the flights.

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14 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 28, 2017

I recently discovered that my round trip ticket was cancelled at the last moment. We booked our ticket on November, and I called twice on customer care but they refused to do anything regarding this and willing to refund money. But who the hell is responsible for this loss, They have earned a big interest from our money and yet we still have to seek for other flights on costlier rate. This time I have to do something. I will definitely report to consumer appeal. I will never prefer Air India again in future.

6 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 17, 2017

Again another surprising initiative by Air India. They are giving 50% discount on Senior Citizen ticket. Discount terminology is '50% of Economy "M" RBD basic fare' (http://www.airindia.in/senior-citizen-concession.htm). I have a plan to visit Delhi during this winter so I try to avail this discount from AI website for my parents. I noticed that for CCU-DEL round trip the concessionary passenger's base fare is 18,512 INR where as the non concessionary passenger's base fare is 3999 INR. So if I apply 50% Senior Citizen concession on the base fare, it will be 9256 INR. I was surprised and call AI customer care, they clarify me that this discount is only applicable on Maximum Economy fare. I am amazed.

11 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 27, 2017 Air India- the worst experience ever. This is my first time writing a negative review but I was so pushed from within to have my voice heard. My mom had a flight from New Delhi to SFO non-stop and Air India harassed my mom so much on the airport. She was given boarding pass and her luggage was checked in and she said goodbye to her family but when it was time to board the plane ,they said that my mom didn't had the flight that day. My mom was questioned and harassed

that whole night with comments like she did a fraud trying to board the plane when her flight was two weeks later.

My mom requested them that she got the ticket from Air India and if there is any mistake she needs to contact her family (as my mom doesn't keep phone with her). But none of the staff member helped her. My mom borrowed a phone from someone and asked her family to come Back to pick her up but they took her passport and green card and questioned her for 8 hours and my mom was in tears literally, asking them to give the passport and luggage back.

Well my question is if her flight was not that day then how was she even given the boarding pass and why was her luggage checked in? All in all, this is harassment in my eyes and if they don't respect an older woman, who are they gonna spare. This is the worst customer service experience I have ever heard of and would never recommend or board this airline ever again.

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11 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 22, 2017

We were flying from Singapore to New Delhi on Air India. When we arrived at the airport we learned that we needed a visa (which we didn't have) to stay in India. The Customer Services Supervisor (Malisa **) was WONDERFUL in helping us to change reservations so we could fly on our original flight and connect to another the same day. We found the flight attendants to be very responsive. This was the best airline food I have ever eaten (It should be noted that we were in business class)!!! We will fly Air India in the future and would recommend our experience to others.

7 people found this review helpful
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Original review: April 13, 2017

I used to think bad reviews of Air India is overhyped. But I was so wrong. I flew from London to Mumbai via Delhi and this has been the worst travel experience ever! Flight delay is probably the least severe issue there is with Air India. The toilets were so dirty. Absolutely unusable. It was the Boeing 787 Dreamliner... Which is supposed to be the most latest and advance aircraft. But Air India made it look so terrible I started doubting Boeing.

On arriving at Delhi I was told by Air India staff that I need to collect my luggage and go through customs. This is height of stupidity. Because of this I almost missed my flight but thanks to Air India's consistent delay I was able to board the flight... During the whole process the staff was rude, illogical, arrogant and utterly stupid. They do not care about customers. Worst mistake to travel with Air India. It's high time we take some action against these so called staff. Stop flying with them. It's a wastage of our tax money.

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11 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: April 13, 2017

An Incredible Journey from India. It had been a great family holiday, no plans, warm seas, good food and everyone spending time doing just what they wanted. My wife and I have always loved India and the Goa coast offered just enough Europeaness for our girls of 12 and 8 to find areas where they were not overly challenged by too many cultural shocks. Having spent many years working India it was always part of my intent to introduce our girls to a special and ancient land at an age when they would remember it and I know that India did not disappoint them.

Holidays have to come to an end but three full weeks had left us all relaxed and looking forward to most of what we have at home, just the idea of a Slovene winter and temperatures well below freezing was not so inviting. We left the hotel in plenty of time to journey through unpredictable roads to the airport arriving over 3 hours before take-off. The multiple security checks of documents took less time than I have sometimes experienced and soon we were checking in with happy smiles from a very helpful lady called Valerie who didn’t mind our carry-on bags being a couple of kilos overweight.

I noticed on the gate information board that our 1410 flight was already showing an estimated departure time of 1510 but didn’t think to ask why, after all we had 23 hours to wait in Delhi so what did the odd hour matter. Actually I was looking forward to the 23-hour wait as I had booked a simple hotel near Indira Gandhi Airport and had arranged to meet up with some business colleagues from my many previous visits to the city.

It was about 20 past 3 when I first wondered what the estimated time of departure time actually meant and I noticed a few groups of people around us were talking rather heatedly to some of the airline staff. I still don’t know what the real reason was but joining one of these groups I discovered that our flight was no longer going to materialise and that there were a number of options for alternative routes to Delhi, one of which worked for me as a 1800 flight to Mumbai would connect us to a flight for Delhi, arriving there by about 2100. OK still no reason to panic, just one of my meetings to cancel.

We were asked to go back to check-in, collect our checked-in bags and book onto whatever flight suited us best. I should mention here that most of the other passengers were Indian nationals travelling home too but obviously for them this was not so challenging. There must have been about 20 or so international passengers who were intending to leave India and some obviously found flights to take them to their destinations for we never saw some of them again.

Having found our way to check-in it was a still smiling Valerie who told us what was actually available and it quickly became clear that the suggested 1800 departure was not available and the only remaining seats to Mumbai were on a flight leaving Goa at 2250. This clearly meant that I had some arrangements to change as not only would my evening meeting have to be cancelled but also I needed to contact the hotel I had booked, as we would not get to Delhi that evening. Further I wanted to know what was going to be provided by the airline as so far during the 6 hours of waiting we had been offered simply the one sandwich and a bottle of juice from the trolleys of the non-departing aircraft.

The other information provided was that our trip to Delhi would be completed on a flight leaving Mumbai at 0705! Now I also wanted to know what arrangements were available in Mumbai for a family of 4 including two quite young children who hadn’t eaten anything substantial since 0830 and were becoming sleepy! At this point I was referred to a supervisor who agreed that we need to rest and said that he would pass our names to his counterpart in Mumbai who would have transport to a nearby hotel for this 6-hour wait.

My children are more resilient than my wife and I, as so far they had not complained once, in spite of the fact that, not being allowed into the departure gate area, meant we were basically sitting or laying on the stone floor in the check-in area. Both girls had plenty of reading matter and thanks to Harry Potter and others they were well amused even though they were reading some books for the third or fourth time!

At about an hour into our rather uncomfortable enforced wait, Valerie had taken it upon herself to leave her check-in desk and come to ask us if we needed anything. She quickly returned with the largest samosas I’ve ever seen; this was one of the real highlights of the whole experience, a little bit of personal care that ensures you know that there are many people who want to make others’ lives a bit more comfortable. About an hour later I noticed the supervisor again and asked if something more suitable for our children to eat could be provided, the response was some large burgers and cans of drink, not that healthy but at least the girls had something.

We were finally allowed through security into the departure area, where at least there was somewhere to sit, and at 2230 and after a reasonably speedy boarding were actually on an airplane to begin our trip out of Goa. It was during this process that we met the other 12 international passengers that would be with us all the way to Delhi and we all realised that it was only the domestic Indian passengers that had been able to get on the 1800 flight and would have reached Delhi at a reasonable time on the same day, it made me wonder if the international passengers were less of a priority, for me this would have been perfect allowing us to return to our original schedule. The flight only included the standard sandwich and water/juice so by now a lot of bread had been consumed but little else!

On reaching Mumbai and deplaning we had the difficult job of finding the place where we would meet our supervisor who, we had all been promised, would quickly ensure we were able to take a shower and obtain a reasonable rest. Mumbai is a very large airport, beautifully decorated with many interesting features, a huge leap from my memories of the rather disorganised and even dirty place of 10 years ago.

Certainly we were not greeted at the plane and we must have asked 4 or 5 people before we were allowed past three check-points to get to an Air India desk. Here the person who appeared to be in-charge (there were several talking animatedly to each other) seemed to know nothing of our ordeal or the plans for our 6-hour wait at the airport. We were eventually led to an office area where we discovered the other 12 passengers and told to wait on the 6 seats. One passenger, who clearly had a health problem and needed to lie down, complained that if he was not allowed to rest soon he would need hospital care. Nothing was offered but the passengers found him a carpet and he was at least horizontal.

After about 30 minutes one of the passengers asked what was to be arranged and what was the time-table, to be very curtly told that we had asked for a hotel and this would take, along with suitable transport, at least an hour to arrange. It seems the promise of the supervisor in Goa to ensure all was pre-arranged was not to be fulfilled, we were clearly in hostile hands now. I cannot be sure of the exact time but it must have been close to 0145 before we were asked to follow another person who led us back through the airport to 2 mini buses into which we and our carry-on bags were loaded and sped through the eternally frantic traffic of Mumbai, to a hotel that seemed to have no other guests. Then came the nearly 1 hour process of checking in. Three A4 pages of questions for every passenger, photo-copies of visas and passports and photos of each of us all had to be secured before we were allowed to cram 5 or 6 at a time into a lift clearly marked for 4 persons and be escorted to our rooms.

The hotel was OK, clean and functional, if slightly damp smelling, but certainly welcome with a comfortable bed. Unfortunately, however, no food was available on check-in or at departure in the morning. The following day at 0500 we returned to the airport, feeling a little rested and calmer, at least in the knowledge that we would soon be transported to Delhi and back to our original schedules to reach our various European destinations.

Mumbai airport was slightly less busy at this early time and it may have seemed laborious to get through the many checks of our documents but soon we were all checking through security into the gates area to load onto the flight. I must admit confusion as to which flight we were on as our arrival at the gate greeted us with a destination I had not heard of, Indore. On asking if I was in the correct place I understood that the departure of this flight would be immediately followed by the departure of our flight, a total misunderstanding as in fact it was the same plane; our flight was to Indore and then onwards to Delhi, clearly not just 2 hours then, was my morning meeting in Delhi at risk now?

It was an uneventful two flights the stop in Indore must have been about 45 mins and we were served with 2 more sandwiches and 2 bottles of juice/water, that’s now over 26 hours of no greens or fruit and actually no opportunity to obtain anything ourselves! In Delhi at about 1030, collect bags (for some reason we were not allowed to check-in bags or have the boarding passes for the whole journey to Vienna) and proceed to check-in for the final 1455 flight. Well that’s how it was supposed to work. We stood around in baggage reclaim for about 20 mins before we realised that the other 12 Goa passengers were also still there and no more bags were appearing. Ah! Our bags had not reached Delhi!

Quite quickly two people from the airline approached us and asked where we had come from. No problem they said, our bags would be on the next conveyor in about 10 mins as they had been placed on a different aircraft. This aircraft and its passengers came and went. The staff approached us again and said maybe the labels had been lost from our bags, all 14 of us? They took away the stubs from the labels to try to sort things out. We Sat down to wait.

After another 30 mins. I decided to visit the baggage office. I was asked to sit down, there were at least 6 others in this small office. I waited 20 mins. Eventually I lost my patience. Without being rude or offensive I stood and in a loud voice asked if anyone would please talk to me. Silence, (rare in Indian airports) so in an assertive voice I stated I would wait no longer; they had my details and the luggage tags I was off to check-in to my next flight, and I gave them the flight information and left.

I walked back to the luggage belts to collect the family, who here at least had seats to wait on, and we started to walk out of the area; we were quickly stopped by a supervisor from the luggage area, who very calmly suggested that we wait in a cafe in this area and had some lunch as we had over 2 hours before our next flight and in any case they would liaise with check-in and provide someone to escort us through. I asked if he was paying for our lunch, the smile was kindly given, but clearly lunch was not, so anyway we did just that and after about 28 hours on a bread diet we finally had some good nutritious food.

Actually we hadn’t even finished lunch before he came and found us and asked me to follow him. Yes, they had our bags, and so I joyfully re-joined the family finished my food and suddenly our spirits were back to normal as we happily went to the check-in area to get our boarding passes for the final stage of our journey home. I might add that the escort was not forthcoming and the promised arrangements had not been made as we were to discover.

Almost no wait and we were facing the check-in clerk who took my itinerary details and passports and looked at his computer screen, silently, for about 5 mins. Then without any apparent emotion he told me the flight was already full. This was too much, for the first time the whole family were visibly shocked. This was one roller coaster ramp too much. “How is this possible?” I asked, “this is part of a complete booking of five flights from Vienna to Goa, returning from Goa to Vienna and now we have already done 3 flights just to get to Delhi.” I continued, “Air India knows where we are, that we have started this return route but were sent via Mumbai and Indore to get here, that the airline lost our luggage but surely the system knows all that, that we were on the flights from Mumbai and that we have been waiting in the airport.”

Suddenly a supervisor behind him who was listening to all this said in a very loud voice, “It's quite legal for Air India to over-book by 10%”. “So what is your solution?” I asked. The reply was that we could fly at the same time on Wednesday. I replied that this was not an option that we could accept. We had to reach Slovenia for my work, for the children to return to school. Further my wife as a Senior Court Judge explained that the cost and difficulty of rearranging court days each affecting many other people and the facilities of the Slovene judiciary would be immense. Nothing to be done was the reply.

There was clearly no sympathy for our situation. In fact I felt we were now seen as a nuisance, and not the only people to be in this situation why should we be treated any differently. At this point my wife broke down, this was clearly too much, she simply Sat on the floor with her children and tried to comfort them. The supervisor went away. The check-in clerk was sympathetic, he was clearly embarrassed by the response of the supervisor, indeed he turned out to be the second hero of our story, the first being the samosas, as he was clearly prepared to spend some significant time and effort in looking for alternative solutions. It took him almost half an hour but he left his post and did some serious negotiation. He eventually returned with a solution that would take us quickly to Dubai and on to Vienna with two other airlines.

It seemed an eminently effective solution, one that would ensure I was happy with Air India as they were prepared to spend a little effort and keep customer concerns at the forefront. However with his best will to solve he was quickly over-ruled by a supervisor and a less effective solution was finally offered. It did mean we would take a further day to reach home but at least it wasn’t three extra days. We traveled the following morning from Delhi to London and then 2 hours later on to Vienna, all on Air India flights. The problem was resolved through compromise (although I don’t really think we should have been asked to compromise after such a bad chain of events) and although we were late home it was not too bad.

Unfortunately the story doesn’t quite end there. We now had to wait until Monday 0230 to fly to London and without asking I was offered a hotel from this point, about 1600, until 0030. Again we were taken to another area where the hotel and transport would be arranged, a process which took another hour. We were now completely exhausted, as much emotionally as physically, everything seemed to be in slow motion and finally, about an hour later we were delivered to the Star Hotel.

Nothing special, clearly like many such hotels in a permanent state of being renovated with wires hanging from ceilings and a mix of furniture and decor styles clearly spanning 30 or more years. The reception was friendly and simple, here a copy of the passport and a signature was all that was required and we were told that the airline would pay for a meal, which would be served at another hotel a few doors down the road. The room was as bad as any I have stayed in, and I’ve stayed in a lot! The biggest problem was the toilet and shower area which was quite unclean and, for the girls, too unpleasant to enter. I tried the shower but it was not possible to get water out in more than a few drips (honestly not an exaggeration) so I splashed myself from the sink and quickly closed the door. No-one else wanted to wash and change here so we rested on a huge bed and at least felt a little more relaxed.

At 1930 we walked to the meal, along the road, though strange corridors and stairs such that you wondered where it would lead but when we finally found the dining room we discovered kind helpful Indians, just as you do everywhere in this country. The food was really basic, simple but quite delicious. Rice, dahl, a meat dish, a vegetarian dish and some naan bread, all properly cooked food, probably as good as the best (partly because of its simplicity) most honest food we had had for three weeks. The owner was delighted that we enjoyed his chef’s food and the Indians eating around us were quick to engage us in conversation and the whole experience quite beautiful. What really rounded the evening off was one dear friend from Delhi had managed to come and join us, it meant that our whole horrible journey ended on a great high leaving only good memories of a great country, just not enough sleep!

Sad that during all these problems and delays there was never a word of apology or concern over our inconvenience. The only person to express surprise was a flight attendant who needed to make an extra check at Heathrow on our boarding the final flight as our passes did not seem to be approved by the computer system, when told that this was the last flight of a complex and unexpected journey she seemed visibly shocked. One further observation that might have made a difference, this is the first time that I have traveled without being issued with boarding passes for every leg of the journey at the start of the first. On this occasion we had to queue for them at check-in for each leg, why? No apologies, no response from Air India customer services, no consideration from anywhere we might be allowed some compensation for our disastrous journey.

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6 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 24, 2017

Extremely disappointed with my recent and probably the only flight experience with Air India between US and India. Zero customer service and utmost disgusting cabin and restrooms. I understand that the passengers are responsible for the mess but the crew didn't take any effort to stop or clean it up. The ground staff was clueless during onboarding and displayed poor management and coordination.

Good that they have multiple checkpoints for security and passport/visa but I feel that can be better managed. Being a direct BOM-EWR flight, it's a good option for senior citizens or passengers with kids but I would definitely fly some other airline on my next trip. Sorry, forgot to take pics of broken tray tables and worn out seat cushions, but please enjoy these.

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4 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 11, 2017

I tried making a booking from Delhi to Chicago 3 times from Air India website and all the times my money got debited and I never received a confirmation back and I have to face lot of issues calling Air India again and again about my money but nobody helped me at all. Air India call center did not help, just giving false commitments that the money will be back in 24 hours, wait for another 24 hours etc. The Call Center Floor Manager Prem have fixed sentences on all the things you say to him, "Sorry Sir I cannot do anything" and when I asked for the escalation email he said "we don`t have any escalation email or complaint email". And when I asked him to transfer my call to this supervisor he said he is the top management and he will not transfer my call. Because of the Air India website issues, I lost my money 3 times. The customer care does not help. The refund department does not help.

7 people found this review helpful
profile pic of the author
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 15, 2017

Air India is the worst airlines I have ever seen. They misbehave, shout at you, shout at foreign tourists and also the refund of canceled ticket is ZERO. They never accept their mistakes and never provide correct answers. I had my ticket canceled at Mumbai Airport by the immigration and Air India officer. They told me that my refund will be done and luggage was off-loaded. I got my luggage back the next day despite they had told me that I will get after 1-2 hrs. It was ridiculous. Also till now I did not get my refund as I was traveling from Mumbai to New york. They never care for passengers like other airlines do. Days are not far when Air India will be in extinct like Kingfisher due to their attitude and rudeness. My e-ticket no is **.

9 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 29, 2017

It was an absolute shame to see how the passengers were treated by staff. India the land of hospitality represented by the most inhospitable staff, too bad management doesn't do anything about it. My own experience of ground staff was horrendous. My bags were a couple of kgs over the limit, I was asking staff so that I could move items around so as not to pay the 100 dollars extra. The ground staff by the name of Vinod told me that I was troubling the staff. The air cabin staff were extremely rude to passengers.

When the passenger next to me asked for an extra drink, he was barked at a loud 'NO' by cabin crew by the name of Percy. The person was not at all intoxicated. The same with the air hostess who grunted and made a face at a passenger when he was asleep and did not have his seat belt on. When I asked for a feedback form, they did not one for me and yet they announce to fill out their feedback forms. Horrible airline, never again!!! No courtesy for passengers, they always run out of non-veg food. From being a great airline it has gone to being one of the worst ever, a shame for the country really.

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9 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 11, 2017

A worst experience with Air India. I would strongly recommend NOT to travel with this airline unless you are left with no other choice. I traveled from Indore to Dubai via Mumbai (on 10-Jan-2017 with Flight) with my mother on wheelchair with a fractured leg. Very first disappointment was 1.5 hours delay in the flight for Indore - Mumbai. All the layover time lost in the delay and we had to rush with elderly person on wheel chair with so much of difficulties. Why the hack they schedule transit journey if they are worst in terms of timing. The second disappointment was the allocation of passengers with wheelchair in the flight. How come they allocate the middle chair for such passengers? I really don't understand. Though I called up Air India office and one unprofessional customer service person assured me that it’s with the big legroom and near the gate.

The third big disappointment was that there is no wheelchair available in the flight in Dubai as they claim that their system is not showing, although I had called up customer service and made sure that the wheelchair will be available in the flight. How come they are so casual about the wheelchair passengers? I thought its over but one more surprise was left when we were waiting for our luggage at the Dubai Airport and it did not come. Then too no announcement. It’s me who called up air India again and they said the luggage is not arrived. Worst was not over as the walker for my mother was taken in the luggage... one can imagine how we managed once we reach home... It’s a worst airline. I believe it should shut down...

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9 people found this review helpful

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