Don’t fly Air India unless it is your only option.
On my way home from Torino, Italy on Feb. 27th, 2006 I had the unpleasant experience of being delayed on the first segment of my three-segment trip,Torino-Dusseldorf-Frankfurt-Los Angeles. Since I had purchased the ticket from Air India through CheapTickets.com I asked Air India to rebook me on the next available flight to Los Angeles. They told me no, that they would put me up in a hotel for the night, and that I could leave on the next flight in 24 hours. So I asked Lufthansa also, which was the airline for the first two connecting segments, to rebook me on the next flight to Los Angeles. They said Air India had to give the OK to do the rebooking since they were the ones who sold the ticket to me. On my behalf, Lufthansa, who by the way has great service, called Air India and also received an answer of “No”.
I travel from the US to Europe and within the US several times a year. Each time I have missed my flight, even when I missed it due to my own error, the airline has booked me on the very next flight to my destination. You can imagine how pissed off I was at Air India’s response since there were several more flights to Los Angeles that day connecting through cities such as Washington D.C. Even Lufthansa was shocked that Air India would not rebook me on the next available flight.
I had an uneasy feeling about flying on this particular airline when I unsuccessfully attempted to access airindia.com to register for a frequent flyer number. Although the website showed me a generic “under construction” sign, I continued with my online booking through CheapTickets.com.
The overhead light of the passenger in the seat next to me could not be turned off. And his entertainment monitor did not display anything at all. My monitor played French in one ear and English in the other on some channels, on others the video and audio flickered in and out. When I tried to raise my headrest it broke away from my chair. The 747 fleet of Air India must be one of the oldest.
Lufhansa, PLEASE, in the future do not accept connecting flights for Air India and thereby mix your upstanding reputation with that of Air India’s.
General Flying Recommendations:
- Reduce the number of segments as much as possible, not only to reduce travel time and discomfort due to takeoffs and landings, but to reduce the probability of missing a connecting flight.
- Purchase tickets that use the same airline for all segments.