Home > India: Simply India! > Air India | Why I would never fly again

Air India | Why I would never fly again

Recently a family member had to use an Air India flight from the US to India. Their experience was not the best and resulted in Air India being blamed for each every little thing that went wrong. Talking about this led me back to my personal Air India experience, which I had posted on a travel forum soon after I completed my ‘memorable’ travel with Air India. My tale with a big pinch of humor and a tablespoon of sarcasm!

Airline: Air India
Travel Date:  2005
From: Delhi
via: Bombay, London
To: Chicago

This sort of experience is more a regularity than a rarity with Air India. Only because of the Government backing this airline exists. Take the government backing out and the Maharaja would land with a mighty thud, never to rise again!

Flight was a Delhi-Bombay (change of aircraft)-London-Chicago-(SFO by United – experience in question pertains to airindia).

Due to the fog effect in Delhi, my flight was PREPONED from 130am to previous evening 6pm. Well, its good, Air India is being proactive, you would say, right? NADA NADA! Air India had absolutely no such effect, preponing the flight.

Well, let me say that the check-in person (no way i can call him a man!!) just about finished my check-in process by the time check-in desks for the flight were closed. From the time that the desks opened to time they closed, this gentleman checked in a whopping, hold your breath, (drum rolllllll please….) 2 passengers!!

How can they work so hard, these guys?? Who needs hi-tech computers when you have such super robotically efficient people!

Anyway, onwards we go:
Check-in desks closed right? So that implies just 1/2 hr left for the flight, right? Need to have a bit of rush thing, right?? NADA NADA!! You guessed right. The security check line is as long as the various expletives – a few choice and amusing words, I assure you – that could be heard. Best thing is the total control all the police guys, Air India staff had. Totally calm, collected and absolutely unfazed. Not a hair out of place. Whilst the silly hapless passengers are pulling their hair out worrying about connections, baggage, seats, khaana, movies on the flight, cleanliness of the toilets. But them, Oh no!, not a hair out of place!!

Finally got into the flight at 7pm – for a flight that was to take off at 6pm! Phew. NO NO NO not so soon please! Get back to the edge of your seats please!! We finally took off, after a suspenseful hour and fifteen. Surely you dont need me to detail the onboard experience!! You folks seem sensible enough not to beg for torture!!

Welcome to Mumbai! And thats a gigantic exageration!:
Now whilst checking me in, my super efficient person, (remember the one in Delhi?) did me the honor of NOT checking my luggage thru. For what reason, doubt even HIM upstairs would know. Quite a few passengers caught in the same bemusing dilemma.
No matter, take a deep breath, calm yourself, just wait for the baggage, which should come out of that small square hole with flaps and then onto the conveyors. Should have been that easy. But man proposes, Air India disposes! Only a few cases came through.

Push was coming to shove in the mental calmness department. Shove won hands down. ENOUGH is enuff! 3-4 of us pax, went thru that very hole and to the place (for want of a better word) where they (for want of a better word) load the baggage onto the conveyor belts. Four baggage carts nicely parked (now nearly 3 hrs!) but not a soul to offload them….

Its between shifts..It will take about 30mins more!! OH puhleeeeaze! Rolled up sleeves, hitched up the belt, unlatched the trolleys, found my cases, offloaded them, carried it to the conveyor belt, put it on the conveyor belt, jumped on the conveyor belt and travelled into the next millenium through that very hole in the wall with flaps!!

I and others actually had to get our own cases from the trolleys!  And not a word of apology or explanation from unruffled, unfazed, not-a-hair-out-of-place Air India staff….’What to do, these things happen’ seems to be the ‘all-solving mantra’!

One consolation from this sordid and sad experience was a stay at a local 5-star hotel, since my connection was not before 6am the next morning, alongwith all the other such pax, with a free dinner thrown in.

Then the journey goes on. But thats for another day.

For now, only time you should buy Air India tickets is when you really want someone suffer and have them travel Air India. Me, I could not wish Air india even to my enemies!

Why I would never fly Air India again!

Sorry Maharaja!


Categories: India: Simply India!
  1. November 7, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Read my experience. I had Singapore airlines flight still I was penalised for just booking the ticket through Air India. 🙂



  2. bip
    November 12, 2009 at 7:57 am

    I don’t understand why you guys gone crazy to defame Indian airlines services.
    Everyone want comfortable where ever he might go, no matter even if he goes to grave; People just want luxury and comfortable forgetting that every time out- put result may not be same as one hopes or pre-planned. This is the truth and believe me not even the mighty God can fulfill the whole dreams of a single person. “Har din meat bath nahi milta, kabhi kabhi dal bath bhi khana parta hain.

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