Business Class Tickets To Delhi – Worst business class I’ve ever flown: Air India review on 777-300ER from Delhi to New York
Samantha Rosen is one of the first 20 employees at TPG. He started as the site’s first full-time social media editor and also worked as a lifestyle editor.
Business Class Tickets To Delhi
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So rather we travel back to 2017. On June 15 of that year I joined the TPG team. The other day, Zach Honig published an article about 20 things he hated on an Air India flight back to New York. I remember the story going viral, and thinking, “Who is Zach Honig?” “What is this Air India that everyone is talking about?” and most importantly, “What in the world have I gotten myself into?”
I’m still looking for an answer to that last one, but my aviation skills have definitely grown over the past three years. And now it’s time for my own review of Air India. Which Zach then wrote before to our rating system for airline reviews. What would the flag of India look like today?
Well, long distance company reviews scored an average of 79 points last year. And this flight on Air India is nowhere near you. So, fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a wild ride.
We used 75,000 American Express Membership Rewards transferred to Aeroplan to book this flight, and paid about $67 in taxes and fees. That is equivalent to $1,567 in our prices, i.e. cheap for a very long flight in a good biz class seat, which this is not.
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If you are booking on points and want to select your seat, you need to go to Air India website and call the number listed under Customer Support. I called them to choose mine, and although I had a hard time understanding the representative, it didn’t take me more than a few minutes to reach one.
Tip: Save Amex points with a card like the Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card. The former offers a welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on card purchases in your first 6 months of membership. Then, if you’re looking to fly nonstop between Delhi and New York, use those points to save a seat on United’s service to Newark. It is better than Air India.
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It started when my first flight from Male (MLE) to Delhi (DEL) with a stop at Thiruvananthapuram (TRV) was delayed. By the time we landed in Delhi, I only had 45 minutes to get to my flight to JFK. I will have three hours between the two flights, with the first landing at 10.35pm. and one to JFK that departs at 01:35.
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Thankfully (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), our original departure time of 1:35 am has been delayed to 2:00 am, giving me more time to make my connection. Fortunately, I don’t have checked luggage.
As soon as I got off the plane, an airport employee took me to the immigration desk. It turned out that he had a list of people with short connections and my name was on it. At the desk, an agent spoke on the phone for over five minutes, all while looking at my passport and printing my boarding pass. The dreaded “SSSS” (university check) is printed in the corner. Great.
I quickly got through security and into the departure terminal. Thanks to my SSSS selection, I had to take my hand and do an additional check, but it didn’t take much time and I didn’t have to go to another part of the airport.
As I walked through the terminal, I noticed how few shops were open – even though it was the middle of the night – and how clean the airport was.
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There was a business lounge, though as you might have guessed I didn’t even have a second to look. It’s an Air India lounge, and Zach was able to check it out during his flight three years ago. He noted that there is a business class section as well as a corridor where you can walk down to access the first class lounge.
At the gate, all passengers have to undergo a security check. There was a decent amount of seating at the gate, but not enough for all passengers on the Boeing 777-300ER, which seats 342 people in Air India’s configuration. There was a charging station, and people were sitting around it. Of course.
I made it just in time for boarding so I didn’t get a picture of the plane. We found in our archives a photo of the exact same aircraft, a 12-year-old 777 with registration VT-ALM, which took off from JFK in 2013.
As soon as we boarded the plane, at 2:15, we were told that there was a mechanical problem that would delay us, but it would only take about 45 minutes. At this point I was completely exhausted, so I climbed onto my flat couch (more on that in a minute) and dozed off.
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At 3pm we were still sitting on the floor and were told it would take a while.
Much longer, it turns out. We finally, finally, left at 6:48. That’s when the real fun begins.
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With a middle seat? Yes. Really! Indeed, Emirates does it too, on most of its 777s. But Air India is, well… not Emirates.
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I have to sit in a street, 12C, avoid the center. Rows 12 and 14 – the row numbers on Air India 777s are non-consecutive, by the way – are directly behind the bathroom and kitchen. Most of these small cabins have space to be found. Not in this case, although there are no passengers in the two middle rows of the small cabin because the airline reserves them for crew rest. The coach class is still behind the small cabin, without large headlines, only a curtain between the two.
The woman sitting in the window seat behind me asked if I would move with her so she could sit next to her husband. I politely declined as I stood firmly on the Aisle Group Seat. However, the mind in the window seat behind me came to change, so it all worked out well.
When I got to my seat there were a few things waiting for me including a pillow, blanket and headphones.
When they board the plane, the flight attendants provide water, juice or wine as a welcome drink. I choose water. They don’t offer champagne until recently.
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The silk-covered pillow is a good size, though not very supportive or comfortable. Maybe not pure silk, but it is silk.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This is a blanket wrapped in paper. At least the packaging is recyclable.
It’s not the worst airplane blanket I’ve ever seen, but it’s not plush or comfortable by any stretch of the imagination.
My seat has a good amount of legroom, but almost no storage space. Do you see this little bag here? That’s it. That is saved.
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To adjust the seat, you have to press one of these cute little buttons. Hard. Essentially, you have to press with the right amount of pressure and the right angle to make it work.
They put the comforters in one of the overhead bins, and when we were in the air, the flight attendant put one on my leg.
The two bathrooms available for the 35 business class passengers were not very clean by the steward. I have used both at various points in the flight and neither knows.
A redeeming device has a reaction light which changes from blue to green to red. If you didn’t know better, you might look at this picture and think that this flight is a great, cool experience. You would be wrong.
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I was in the bulkhead seat, so the screen was on the wall. The rest of the TV was behind the seats.
You have to scroll, like a computer, with a cursor. And it’s not a touchscreen. Not that there are any great movies to watch, but you get the point. I watched “The Lake House,” a 2006 movie that I’ve seen a few times. That is the only thing that really seems to me. They have a decent selection of Bollywood movies.
Additionally, they advertise a card, but every time I click on it, it says “No flight data available.” The same applies to external cameras.
Remote control would have been high tech when Clinton was president. Worse yet, because of the elbow