Air India
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Air India

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Last updated: Oct. 11, 2017

216 Air India Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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.

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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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.

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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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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.

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' ( 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.

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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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.

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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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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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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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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.

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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 **.

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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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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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Dec. 29, 2016

I think Air India customer support is the worst I have ever seen. Practically there is no respect to customers. Nobody answers on the telephone #s provided on proprietary irregularity report. It rings several times and gets disconnected (all 3 numbers). I lost my baggage while travelling from London to Mumbai. I had a connecting flight to catch after 3.5 hours. The agent took 2 hours to give PIR as he was verifying several places. I missed the flight. Unfortunately I was travelling with family and had 4 kids under 10 including an infant.

We have to struggle to get accommodation on next available flight. 4 were asked to board 2.00 pm flight and the balance 8.00 pm flight. Fortunately after several attempts I was able to get hold of Roshini **, who informed that the baggage has gone back to origin country (Canada) and assured that proper communication will be made and information will be given everyday. Today is the third day with no info. I think I will be the last person to take Air India for my future travel.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 17, 2016

Luggage on flight 191 from Mumbai to Newark International, December 16, 2016, was not loaded in Mumbai for over 100 passengers. Yet the plane was delayed for takeoff over an hour. The luggage not loaded had attached tags and the information could have been e-mailed to Newark, instead, people waited at the carousels for luggage that was not loaded. The line to report missing luggage was huge and moved incredibly slow. Those with connections to other destinations would have difficulty making them. No explanation was given, nor was any apology. The fact the luggage was not loaded was not announced until the end of the flight. We had our cold weather jackets packed in our luggage and were staying on a visit to New York overnight for a visit to the city. I am extremely disappointed in Air India's service.

Original review: Nov. 23, 2016

This is to bring to everyone's notice about the pathetic service that I got from Air India during my travel from Delhi to Mumbai. My flight from Delhi to Mumbai was from 18:00 (dated 22nd Nov 2016), I reached at the Air India queue to get the boarding pass at 17:10 and at 17:26 I reached at the boarding counter. To my surprise I was told that "You are late and now it is not possible to accommodate you in current flight. For more information you can check with the Air India supervisor." I told them that my flight timing is at 16:00 and it's still more than 30 minutes to depart but the lady at counter was not ready to listen and she informed me that "this is an international flight and you need to come at-least 45 minutes before."

I was standing in the queue from 17:10 and nobody bothered to check the passengers and even there was no single announcement or an SMS. The same discussion repeated with the Air India supervisor (I spend more than an hour in the discussion) but even she was not ready to listen, I had to run pillar to post to convince them that it is none of my fault as I reached at the queue well before the time but all in vain. In the end I had to re-issue a fresh new ticket which cost me Rs. 6122.00/-. This was not my first domestic travel and I never faced this kind of service in my entire life. Being a corporate customer this was not the service expected from such high repute organization. I would never even travel with Air India In future.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 27, 2016

Air India is the worst possible airlines. I will never ever be traveling by this airlines again even if it is the last airline in the world. I was just late by 2 - 3 minutes at the check in counter they just didn't let me board the flight. I just want to ask one question. If I would have been a minister or celebrity would they treat me the same way? I just want an answer to this question. I know whatever I am writing is useless because no one cares about a common person because in INDIA YOU HAVE TO BE A VIP TO GET THINGS DONE OR THE LAST THING IS THROW MONEY AT PEOPLE'S FACE. THAT'S ALL. My only point is keep rules same for everyone don't be bias towards people because I have paid my hard earned money to buy a ticket. NOTHING IS EVER GOING TO CHANGE FOR A COMMON PERSON IN INDIA. IT'S JUST HOPELESS.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 27, 2016

I was travelling to Hyderabad with my wife & 3 year old son from Australia on 10/10/16 to attend a family funeral. My travel was smooth with Thai Airways TG331 up to New Delhi. Reached 2.15 am at terminal 3. I was waiting for the AI 0459 departing at 6.35am from terminal 3. The person at the check-in counter says that my PNR doesn't exists and is expired. He wasted my time & by the time the team leader lady came to the desk. She asked me confirm at the booking counter. The gentleman at the booking office confirmed that the PNR is valid and the check-in staff can check by themselves rather sending the passengers to them. I came back with the confirmation printout given by the booking office.

The lady in charge was good for nothing doing anything to resolve as the flight time is reaching. I told them that I am happy to pay for the tickets & I need to take the 6.35am flight as we are attending funeral. She was standing there wasting my time attending other issues. I was shouting & my wife was video recording all these. Another check-in staff checked my PNR and said he couldn't found it. I gave all my passports & the printout confirmation from the booking office. Meanwhile I forgot to take my passport pouch, which I lost now.

The lady in charge approached her manager after arguing with me & wasting my time. The lady manager told me to take the next flight after 10am. I was really pissed off & asked her to put me on 6.35am flight, if not give me a written statement saying why you couldn't able to board me the flight. They have no clue what to do or how to fix it. Me & my wife were running here & there with my little boy. No one could help us. Finally the lady manager asked her staff if they can put me on 6.35am flight if not asked me to take the next flight. I don't know how they found my PNR but finally they are able to issue me my boarding pass and asked me to take the 6.35am flight which is about to depart. They couldn't provide any travel assistance, me & my wife had to run carrying my son all the way for 5-10 minutes.

I have the video recording of the disgusting attitude & idiotic staff simply wasting the taxpayers' money for those helpless, useless, Unskilled staff at the Air India. This is how the government money being wasted & couldn't compete with the service oriented, passenger as their customer motto private airlines making profits. The untrained staff should be educated about the customer service and the value of the passenger as a customer who is paying their salaries should be treated.

The Air India staff thinks that "we work for government & whether we work or not we get paid." If government/authorities cut their jobs, they can go on strike or go to court. This is what happening with the Government service everywhere. Privatize the Airlines then they will realize what the pain in the bum will be like. I lost my passport pouch with foreign currency along with other documents & car keys. I was stressed out for that one hour and never ever would travel with Air India or suggest someone to travel. If someone is really concerned for the Airline's future, take some action, if not if you are not worried, just wait & see the game.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 13, 2016

I booked two Air India tickets for my parents to join me in US for a holiday. Unfortunately, in the mean while my mother fell ill, was hospitalized and operated on soon after. Her doctor declared her unfit for travel and recommended complete bed rest for the next three months. When I called my booking agent, they informed me that airline cancellation charges for each passenger was $150/person. Unless Air India feels that your case can have a medical waiver. I submitted all the required documents to them and was fully expecting to receive the medical waiver. However to my dismay, I learnt that Air India only waives off the cancellation charges in case of "death".

So according to them the only valid reason for not traveling is if you die. Too bad. Otherwise they see no reason not to extort money from hapless and helpless passengers. I have to say that with this negligent attitude about customer satisfaction - I am deeply distressed and disgusted with Air India. Especially when their reason makes no valid sense. I would discourage people from traveling with them unless they are 100% sure of their ability to travel - this airlines would not care if you lost a leg, or is paralyzed until of course - you're dead. Then you may not be charged.

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Verified Buyer
Original review: Sept. 28, 2016

Worst policies with this gov't. airline. Wrongly typed name on ticket with spelling mistake of just 1 character. Indigo re-corrected the name within 2 minutes and sent the itinerary but Air India being highly rude refused to change that 1 alphabet of name's spelling and asked to cancel the nonrefundable flight and book a new flight. If services are so bad and cannot help on customers on such small issues too, then why would people prefer gov't. airlines.This proves private airlines are much better than Air India. I would never again book a flight with Air India and will make sure none of my acquaintances did.

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