Air India

I won’t detail the series of bureaucratic ineptitudes that led to Chris missing his Air India flight, and the rest of us being transferred to a different airline without permission or warning that our flight would leave TWO HOURS early, but we did spend the flight singing the famous South Park song: “Blame Air India”.

Just to be clear: Do Not Fly Air India, no matter how cheap the tickets or how intriguing the meal selection. Avoid this carrier at all cost, unless you can somehow guarantee that you will be transferred to a different airline.

Paris is beautiful. I’ve been eating like a horse. But hopefully not eating actual horse.

Snails, however, are quite good.

10 Replies to “Air India”

  1. I just found this post by Googling “Do not fly Air India” because I was curious whether anyone else had a similarly bad experience. My husband and I just returned a few days ago from a trip to Paris, as well, flying AI.

    Never. Again.

    On the way over, Air India checked only one of our bags from our connecting flight on a domestic carrier, which means that when we got to Paris, the bag wasn’t there. And since AI didn’t give us any baggage claim receipts at all, we had to rely on Air France, which we didn’t even fly on, to track down the mystery — our bag was somewhere in Newark. AF, by the way, was responsive and polite. AI, by contrast, rude at ever point and impossible to get hold of — no phone numbers either for the States or Europe, and have you seen their web site?

    Much worse was the trip back. We boarded a plane in Paris that was making its way back from some point in India, which means it was 80 percent full of people who’d already been on the plane for several hours. There was garbage in the pocket on the back of our seats, and hair all over the pillows and blankets. The bathrooms were horrendous: urine absolutely everywhere, all over the toilet seats and the floor. In one of the toilet cabins, the cabinet holding back the garbage had broken and lay up against the sink, with urine-soaked garbage spilling out of it. It was just horrifying. The last hour of the flight, the pilot kept circling the airport in a way that seemed to maximize turbulence and that rapid rising/sinking feeling. The landing was so rough that several overhead bins popped open, and I (and a couple other passengers) yelled out something to the effect of “Sweet Jesus!”

    Worst of all, my husband has been sick for four days with a stomach virus he came down with about 48 hours after boarding the flight. He’s had a fever of 101 basically all four days. We’re taking him to a doctor tomorrow if he doesn’t get better, and run a test to see just what sort of virus or parasite he picked up on that awful flight.

    Please, learn from our mistake: DO NOT FLY AIR INDIA!

    Thanks for letting me vent.

  2. I would assume that when flying at night with the lights on the airplane would become a brillant target for terrorists. Also, by lifting the shades they are saying it is time to get up and everyone can’t use the restroom at the same time. The shades have to be up during take off and landing so passengers can see out in case of an aborted take off or crash landing.

  3. I flew AI to Paris also, and while the plane was filthy, the noise level high, and none of the headsets worked, I had no other complaints, but can anyone explain to me the reason that the attendants require the shades closed the second the sun starts to set and insist they be put up again at the crack of dawn?? None of us could figure that one out and the attendants became very forceful and rude about it if you tried to open the window shade at night or close it in the morning. They literally would crawl over other passengers to get to the window and make the change themselves, all the while muttering at you.

    We had bulkhead seats, so I asked the attendant during one of the times she was buckled in across from me, why they do it and she only talked around the question and ignored me!

    I can find nothing on this and would really love to know.

  4. Hope you guys are having fun. Sure glad you didn’t lose Chris in the shuffle.

    Air India reminds me of the stories a friend used to tell of flying Trans-Texas Air Line in the early sixties. He liked getting a window seat so he could watch the rivets poping out of the wings.

  5. Oui, we are still in Paris. Doing some shopping this afternoon, and probably lots of coffee-drinking.

    Lisa: I’m looking forward to our return flight. Maybe I should bring some duct tape…

  6. “Just to be clear: Do Not Fly Air India, no matter how cheap the tickets or how intriguing the meal selection. Avoid this carrier at all cost, unless you can somehow guarantee that you will be transferred to a different airline.”

    After a couple of very interesting flights on Air Egypt, I made a similar statement. The final straw was noticing a crack in the plane, right next to the window, wide enough that I could stick a finger in and feel the air outside.

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