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Reviewed Nov. 30, 2023
SFO-DEL is a 16-hour nonstop flight and it is expected that the quality of service would be highest on this long flight. Air India flight rates very poor compared to Emirates, Turkish, Etihad or any other airlines on this sector. The only positive is flight time- 16 hrs to Delhi. Seats are broken, Toilets are not as clean as expected, In-flight entertainment works on very few seats with majority nonfunctional, food quantity and quality is poor, snacks are very rare to find, staff is so so. Even drinks selection on flight is very poor. I will say except being non stop flight, there is nothing good about this Airlines. Overall despite TATA takeover, no change is seen. I doubt if TATA can make this airline turn around. Most Expensive Fares amongst all Airlines, Yet most poor service. You will feel cheated, looted.
Reviewed Oct. 23, 2023
It was my parents, my sister and I. We all flew business class from Newark to Bombay. The comfort, the legroom, and the cleanliness was unspeakable. However, the food I was very highly dissatisfied with. They started our journey with cold baba ganoush, and cold hummus with hard bread. I would like to say as I looked around 65% of passengers were elderly. That as a starter no one seemed to enjoy. Out of the Asian elders did not even know what baba ganoush was. An elder couple behind me asked them to help me with their order as they were wanted veg only. I was happy to help.
For the main course, it was an option between paneer or millet steak (vegetarian). As the air hostess was coming around to take our order, she tried to convince me and my family to order the millet steak saying it’s very good. I told her I would not like that, and I wanted the paneer. After two mins she came to inform us they all are out of panner and the rest of us will get millet steak. I was seating in seat number 9; I couldn’t imagine why we paid so much more for business class; when we didn’t even have a choice what we want as a main meal. The millet steak was so disgusting. Everyone behind me and towards the back of business class was upset.
Finally towards our landing, we were served frozen chat and a “veg grilled sandwich” which was in fact only bread and cold squash in it. It was making me vomiting because it was so bitter and tasted slimy and tasteless. The whole food experience was disgusting, I wish I could have at least one good item, the desserts were cold and too sweet to eat.
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Reviewed Sept. 26, 2023
Had to fly from Kochi-Chicago. Transfer in Delhi. Reached Gate number 26 for boarding. Came to know flight delayed by 9 hours. No information was shared on email regarding the delay. No accommodation nor food coupon provided at the Delhi International Airport. Sat for 9 hours like a homeless in the airport waiting for the boarding to take place. Inflight experience: Broken trays, no TV flight entertainment, no juices and water provided, economy passengers treated like **. In Chicago Airport baggage took one hour and thirty minutes to come on the belt. No Air-India staff was available. What a horrible travelling experience. Air-India is like a tuk-tuk now.
Reviewed Aug. 9, 2023
Purchased United Airlines Ticket which clearly indicated 8 check in bags were allowed, 2 per passenger and had a code share flight with Air India which was the first leg of travel from New Delhi, India to London, UK where they denied one bag for my Infant and wasted my time which could have leaded to miss my flights and caused lot of inconvenience to my baby 7 months old and I was being forced to pay for the 8th Bag which they charged almost 3 times which is the normal price of an additional bag.
My source of truth was the tickets issued by United Airlines which clearly indicated two bags for my infant which they bluntly denied. Worst experience Ever and I cannot even think of trying Air India again in future. They have staff of Babu's which go with their own pace, took almost 1.5 hours just for check in process and getting forced to purchase that additional bad when I was second in queue. Fun part, During flight, Air India did not had stirrers to mix sugar in Tea, upon asking they gave another cup and said mix it by pouring in this cup. :) Can't imagine how bad they are at their job.
Reviewed Aug. 6, 2023
Air India delayed our flight over SIX hrs. Family of 4. They provided no food or drinks. We weren't allowed to leave the airport as we were in transit. They delayed the flight due to operational needs (waited for connecting passengers). And are refusing compensation. The bathrooms on the plane were disgusting. Pee all over the seats. ZERO toilet paper, ZERO paper towel and Zero tissues in all the bathrooms. With used toilet paper all over the floor. Due to this delay we missed our connecting flight and had to rent a car to drive home.
Reviewed July 17, 2023
Sometime around 2017 I got the patriotism bug. After avoiding Air India like a plague for years, I decided to travel with Air India. Well the first time from SFO-CCU and back wasn’t bad. However, as the years have progressed, Air India has gotten progressively worse. Yes, Air India seems to have gotten worse after the takeover of Tata.
Without recounting every horror story that I have about Air India, I will simply, and briefly share my experience with Air India flying back from CCU to EWR on June 30, 2023. As we got to the airport I was prepared for the rudeness. The staff members of Indigo, Spice, etc., seemed to be treating their customers in a friendly manner, however, Air India staff seemed just sad, and pathetic. So then we get on our flight from CCU to DEL. The food is inedible, the AC doesn’t seem to be working, and the flight attendants were missing for the rest of the flight. Okay, so then we get to Delhi.
Now, I don’t if it’s just an attitude issue, perhaps something cultural, in Delhi, or Air India. But Air India staff there are not only rude but also just pathetically incompetent. Somehow, I got called in for “a secondary inspection.” Apparently having a Zippo (without fuel) is not allowed by CISF. Anyway, so after being harassed by them, I get back to the gate and the Air India staff has somehow lost my boarding pass, which they had kept when I went to see the CISF people. Instead of apologizing and reissuing a pass two Air India staff kept arguing with me that they don’t have my boarding pass. Finally, they find it. Again no apology.
So, I being exhausted, get on the flight. This time I had made sure to get on the flight early, since on my way to Kolkata, they could not find a space for my cabin luggage so I had to store them in two different overhead bins. So I was relieved when I saw the overhead bins empty (I had booked extra legroom seats). However, the moment I start putting my luggage, an anxious flight attendant runs towards me and starts scolding me. I inform her that it was my seat and I will keep my luggage there. She proceeds to tell me that the overhead bin is reserved for “oversized baggage.” So at this point, I lose my cool. So, let me understand this, instead of enforcing the rule regarding baggage size and weight, like a normal airline, Air India has decided to punish passengers who ARE following the rule. Anyway I told the flight attendant that I will be keeping my bag where it is and that’s that. She mumbled something about people bringing 4 bags instead of 2. Whatever!
However, somehow this flight attendant seemed to be the one serving my seat for the whole 14 hour flight. As expected the in-flight entertainment system did not work. Funnily the guy seating beside me had his remote literally torn off from his seat. He also said that he got very sick from eating Air India food before, so the guy literally didn’t eat anything the whole 14-hour flight. However, I regret eating the pathetic food that Air India provided. I kid you not, the salad they gave was literally rotten. Didn’t they know that Mayonnaise rots very easily, and DOES NOT need to be warmed up?
What was worse than the food was that the same flight attendant kept pushing my buttons throughout the flight. At some point, like a good passenger I had kept my trash ready to be given back to the attendant after dinner. However, when the attendant came, she seemed agitated, gestured toward the front of the flight, and said “You can throw it in the trash bin.” Really? So, Air India is quite literally punishing passengers who follow the proper etiquette of flying. Same flight attendant, later in the flight. Cut like 5 people waiting in line for the bathroom to go use it herself. No apologies and no thank yous, again. By the 7th hour the hand soap had run out, so when I went back to inform the flight attendant, the same rude flight attendant, after ignoring me and asking me to wait like 5 times, finally told me that they had no “reserves” of hand soap. Really Air India (Tata?)? Indian Rail provides better service than you, apparently.
So let me understand this, the flight have gotten worse (literally in the last 6 Air India flights that I took the inflight entertainment system did not work), the food has gotten worse, and is giving people food poisoning. On top of that, the Air India staff have somehow become ruder, and more pathetic, after a takeover by TATA. So, hey Air India, why do you think you get to charge premium prices? The only reason anyone ever flew your pathetic, Airline, and dealt with your uncivilized rude staff is because you were dirt cheap. But somehow you think now you can charge Emirates prices, based on the TATA brand, but provide service standards that are lower than the local police station in India. Sorry, I won’t be traveling with Air India anymore. Patriotism has its limits, and while I can put up with anything I cannot put up with bad service from uncivilized, and untrained flight attendants.
Reviewed July 10, 2023
Expected good service with Air India after it took over by Tata's Me and my wife flew from Newark to Bangalore. To start with Food quality served was bad. No way close to Indian Standards. Didn't have problem to reach Bombay non stop. But problem started with Air India flight to Bangalore. Original schedule was 4:00pm, but they changed departure time 3 times. The departure time moved to 9:00pm. We landed at 12:00pm, and 9 hour waiting for the local flight is insane. My friend told me similar problems for him with Air India. Now I am so sorry I didn't pay attention for my friend's advice. In future, I will not fly this Airline as well as I don't recommend any US traveler to pick this Airline.
Reviewed July 9, 2023
My wife was returning to Newark from Hyderabad via Delhi. Her travails started in Delhi airport. She had to go through the process of getting the free Wi-Fi coupon for a long time and so she was not getting updates from Air India. The monitors were showing the departure time as 2:25 am and when she went to the gate at the sched dep time, she was told that flight got delayed by 12 hours. She was told that she had to go to another agent to get hotel accommodation. All this took about 3 hours and she was running from pillar to post. After she boarded the flight the next day, to her surprise she noticed that the Inflight entertainment was non-functional. The chairs was rickety and dirty. Not a pleasant experience at all!!! Tata's please wake up and smell the coffee! You have to work customer service. Otherwise ...
Reviewed July 4, 2023
Updated on 07/31/2023: Recently I posted a comment about Air India. After my post, one of the management person wrote me that the e-mail communication was not received. I checked the e-mail address and was the same. That is the only excuse they have and not help offered. I booked the same business class with one of the best airline for less than Air India price.
Original Review: I was looking the Air India website and seen low ticket price. The next day I booked the business class ticket without checking the price thinking about the price I have seen. Remember I am an old senior citizen. When I checked my credit card, noticed they charged $250 more than the advertised price. I contacted customer service and management and received no help. I canceled my ticket lost another $300 towards cancellation fee. I received only excuses from the customer department did not try to accommodate me. No more Air India.
Reviewed June 30, 2023
I bought my ticket to USA online. Later I also got a cheap business upgrade through Air India website. They immediately charged my bank account but never allocated a seat. I have been trying to contact their customer service and have spent 7 hours with at least 7 different agents but all in vain. They have not allocated me the upgraded seat yet and claim that there was a technical glitch. I have been tossed from one agent to another. To make it worse, none of the senior official have contacted me yet to understand the customer pain. It’s the most pathetic service I have ever seen in my life. Shame on you Air India for looting people like this and causing them unnecessary stress.
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