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View Poll Results: Have the service levels improved since Tata took over?
Yes 71 55.47%
No 57 44.53%
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Old 2nd October 2022, 08:23   #1
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Default Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over

It has been a year since Air India was taken over by the Tata's. It would be most useful to all for passengers to share their views on whether quality of service has improved or not or worse gone down in this one year. Has Tata taking over added value to

1. the overall service from booking to baggage collection,
2. the punctuality
3. the cabin service
4. aircraft cleanliness and upkeep
5. the confidence in safety
6. the image of the airline

Would love to hear your feedback out of general interest in all things aeronautical.

On another note....

https://www.businesstoday.in/industr...975-2022-09-22

https://www.hindustantimes.com/busin...283480022.html

Conflicting news floating around about Vistara being merged into Air India or not. News says yes. Then Vistara CEO says no. Not unusual. A merger would make sense only if the regulator DGCA permits the main back office department - CAMO & Maintenance & line management to merge. In case of an earlier merger of Jet Airways with Sahara the DGCA in its infinite wisdom did not permit a merger of the back office thus resulting in duplication of costs, management and effort that contributed, but by no means were the main cause, to the demise of Jet Airways.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 2nd October 2022 at 08:26.
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Old 2nd October 2022, 09:10   #2
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Default Re: Air India Divestment - Tata Sons completes acquisition

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
It has been a year since Air India was taken over by the Tata's.
Time flies, it looks as if it was only a couple of months ago only. Given the unionised workforce and otherwise work culture, only Tata could have handled them (they too have now almost government-like culture )

The very smooth switchover, not many complaints by anyone, and the government is not losing month to month. They are not bothered if Tata earns or not and Tata, too, is a giant; if they keep on losing for a few more years, it won't hurt them. I don't know about the financials, but if I see the prices and availability on the overseas routes, they must be minting money. Delhi- Toronto/ Vancouver/ New York segments are always running full, with economy seats going more like business prices of 2020. War with Russia implied Air Canada and US carriers have to take longer routes/ stop the flights, and Air India could still go the shortest and price their tickets right against Air Canada and similar.

I booked Delhi- Vancouver segment in August but had to cancel it at the last hour. Booking and cancellations were easy as their new website is very fast and easy. Though the cancellation charges were very high as they charged cancellation on both onwards and returns, like what's a norm on domestic but on International, if you cancel before the first flight, it's just fixed on the ticket. The refund came next day itself.

Quote:
Has Tata taking over added value to
I flew to Chennai last week and booked Delhi- Chennai due to a favourable time of departure, and my experience was positive. They took off before time and landed early too. The meals seemed nice. With an overall positive experience, I booked the return on Air India too.

They now start boarding almost immediately even as the Aircraft is being cleaned, more like IndiGo. A couple of people (looked government officers) complained about why they had to stand so much time in queue The aircraft took off on time and landed almost on time as there was congestion in Delhi.

However, they still don't take good care of the Aircraft, in fact, it's a problem with all the airlines in India. If you travel on a 10-Year-old Lufthansa or Air Canada plane and a 2-Year-old Domestic plane, one can see the differences. VN can comment better on this aspect.

Last edited by Turbanator : 2nd October 2022 at 09:27.
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Old 2nd October 2022, 09:39   #3
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Default Re: Air India Divestment - Tata Sons completes acquisition

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Conflicting news floating around about Vistara being merged into Air India or not.
Air India and Vistara probably cannot merge ever, because of the SIA holding in Vistara. And you are absolutely right about the fact that for a merger of this kind to succeed and add value, one of the big ticket items is cost optimisation which means all the common services and back office services need to get consolidated.
I cannot for the life of me understand why we even have DGCA meddling in these things. Yes, certainly let them regulate all safety standards and other rules and regulations, but let them not meddle and interfere in the efficient running of a company, because none of those babus are qualified to do that!

Last edited by libranof1987 : 2nd October 2022 at 10:40. Reason: Broken quote tags
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Old 2nd October 2022, 11:31   #4
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Default Re: Air India Divestment - Tata Sons completes acquisition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post

However, they still don't take good care of the Aircraft, in fact, it's a problem with all the airlines in India. If you travel on a 10-Year-old Lufthansa or Air Canada plane and a 2-Year-old Domestic plane, one can see the differences. VN can comment better on this aspect.
In India, Indigo followed by Vistara are best at maintenance, both engineering and aesthetics. Air India of old had some good people {or maybe several} but poor practices. It will take time for even Tata's to turn the ship around given the babu culture they inherited. But I would not consider an Air India aircraft as unsafe. Unkempt maybe but not unsafe. Air Asia and Spicejet I will let my silence and significant at the coal face experience speak for itself. Coming to aesthetics, internal and external, to fully refurbish say an A320 to look sparkling new would cost around $400k to $600k at the very minimum with out any engineering item. It will take the machine off the airways for a month so that much revenue loss too - say Rs 15 to 18 crores a month per aircraft. So Air India first needs a big infusion of capital to do that refurb of its fleet.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 2nd October 2022 at 11:33.
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Old 2nd October 2022, 13:47   #5
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Default Re: Air India Divestment - Tata Sons completes acquisition

Before Air India even refurbishes their aircrafts, they need to refurbish the Delhi T3 Intl lounge. The small things matter. Very poor service, crooked lamps, general apathy. Food service is bad, no choices, drinks and refreshments are one fridge of cold water and sprite. The lounge dragons have been replaced by hospitable staff but they are clueless.

You can take the horse to the trough but you cannot make it drink. AI has a long way to go before it becomes a respectable airline.
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Old 3rd October 2022, 10:40   #6
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Default Re: Air India Divestment - Tata Sons completes acquisition

I had to fly to Delhi for a day, and Air India had a flight at 10am and that too an A321 where the emergency exit row has huge legroom. I thought I'd try to see if anything has changed (may have flown Air India 3 years ago and swore I'd never fly it again). I booked my ticket on their website, and even paid 1k extra for the seat.

Just before I left for the airport, I tried to check in online and got some kind of an error. I didn't think too much into this and figured I'd just go to the counter at the airport.

And boy, was I in for a surprise when I got there. The counter told me my ticket was non existent . So I was taken to the ticketing office, who put their hands up, and gave me some email IDs to escalate too. They said had I been there 90 mins before the flight they may have been able to help me.

I then booked an Indigo flight which was to depart in 1.5 hours and carried on with my journey, a little later but a little wiser too. Never again.
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Old 3rd October 2022, 11:29   #7
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Default Re: Air India Divestment - Tata Sons completes acquisition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akshay1234 View Post
And boy, was I in for a surprise when I got there. The counter told me my ticket was non existent . .
This is a very common occurrence. There are several tweets on this surprise reported on the AirIndia handle.

When you book an AI ticket, you will get the auto generated confirmation number, but the ticket is on reserved status. The payment gateway system on AI end that should debit your money from the card / bank account, does not do its job. So, after a few days, the merchant returns the funds deducted from your account.

When you get the 6 digit PNR number, you have to keep going to the site and input it to see that you have a confirmed ticket, and the E-ticket 17 digit number has been generated.
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Old 3rd October 2022, 17:12   #8
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Default re: Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over

Thanks for sharing, V. Narayan! Moving your post out to a new thread & adding a quick poll.
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Old 3rd October 2022, 18:25   #9
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Default Re: Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over

I voted NO based on my BBI-BLR flight earlier this year. Check-in at Bhubaneswar was the slowest I've ever experienced. The counter staff were lethargic but not impolite. Cabin crew were pompous and curt. I had to reluctantly pull up a male flight attendant who was being unreasonable with a lady struggling to settle her infant in.
On the brighter side, take-off and landing were really smooth and I barely felt the impact from the wheels touching down on the runway while landing at Bangalore.
Edit: One more little incident I just remembered. Tea/Coffee was being served and I stuck my empty cup out feeling a bit like Oliver Twist. Realising it was tea I thought I'd wait.
"I think I'll wait for coffee" I remarked.
No idea what put her in a foul mood but the flight attendant snarled "This is tea" and poured it anyway.

Last edited by Roy.S : 3rd October 2022 at 18:44.
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Old 3rd October 2022, 19:02   #10
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Default Re: Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Has Tata taking over added value to the overall service from booking to baggage collection, the punctuality, cabin service, aircraft cleanliness and upkeep, confidence in safety, image of the airline
I flew Air India to Delhi after 3 years.

What I found positively different

* on time departure
* a more efficient snack

What remained unchanged

* slightly diffident cabin crew - well dressed but that's about it

What I liked - typical Air India

* Excellent and clear announcements by the Captain - old school, exquisite English
* trademark smooth take off, navigation, cruise and landing
* Generous 25kg Check In baggage allowance (which I didn't use at all)

The aircraft was an A321 which arrived on time, left on time and landed at Delhi on time. After many years of flying only Indigo, I was pleasantly surprised to see red and yellow livery, business class seats, and the feeling of sinking into a soft cushioned seat in Economy Class. The Captain's announcements were top class, and I also found the engine spool up, and take off roll way different and better executed.

Cabin crew were neatly turned out, but their safety demo and instructions were devoid of energy. Cabin service was quick - a jumbo cheese sandwich and a bottle of water was all we got. Overall, a good experience. Landing was very well executed - typical Air India style. The only grouse was that for the first time in my life, I took a bus at Terminal T3. However, it was a very short walk from the arrivals gate to the exit. Here are some shots

The A321
Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over-airindiaa321_2.jpg

Entry via Business Class
Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over-airindiaa321_bizclass.jpg

Thirty two rows - 3 Business and rest Economy
Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over-airindiaa321_cabinviewfromrear.jpg

View of the cabin - front
Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over-airindiaa321_cabinviewfront.jpg

Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over-airindiaa321_cabinviewfront_3.jpg

Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over-airindiaa321_emexit.jpg

The snack
Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over-airindia_snack.jpg

In flight
Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over-airindiaa321_inair.jpg

Last edited by libranof1987 : 4th October 2022 at 08:08. Reason: Per PM
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Old 3rd October 2022, 19:24   #11
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Default Re: Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over

I flew Air India on a domestic route literally in August 2022 for the first time after 2006. While the cabin crew were okay in their service not quite like Vistara but still okay the state of maintenance of the aircraft cabin was poor, rather as poor as Air India pre-Tata. Being ex-aviation I could see dozens and dozens of shortfalls that needed to be set right from a cabin cleanliness, comfort and aesthetic point of view. All said I am willing to be patient to have Tata restore Air India to its pre-1977 glory and pristine standards.
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Old 3rd October 2022, 23:01   #12
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Default Re: Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over

Voted no.

Had my second worst in-cabin experience last month (the worst being a now discontinued airlines called Paramount, where the ac stopped working) with Air India. The aircraft in question was AI 801 from Delhi to Trivandrum on the 10th of September 2022.

The aircraft was very badly maintained and stinking, quite literally. During boarding, maintenance crew was seen walking around with air fresheners - but soon the captain apologized and said that they have received multiple complaints on this and have reported the same to the authorities, and in turn have been told to observe for one sector and report. He was quite apologetic.

Overall the aircraft looked very badly maintained otherwise as well. Was an old Airbus 321, I suspect transitioned from international to domestic service.

Will prefer Indigo and Vistara over Air India if the choice exists for that sector.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 3rd October 2022 at 23:04.
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Old 4th October 2022, 00:29   #13
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Default Re: Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over

I recently flew from Calicut to Dubai on Air India. I would say that the services have improved slightly but still, Air India has a long way to go to live up to its former glory.

The departure was on time and boarding was systematic and fuss-free. The food served on board was 8/10 and the Airbus A320 aircraft in service was decently maintained. In fact, the flight landed 15 to 20 minutes early than the scheduled arrival time.

I still hear some horror stories about people complaining about their sub-par services. I hope TATA can turn around and bring back India's national airline carrier to the title of the "World's Best Airline" which it had in the 70s.
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Old 4th October 2022, 10:21   #14
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Default Re: Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over

I've flown Air India several times in the past year. A year back, when I was a student I'd just book a student ticket on any flight and get a 25kg luggage allowance, but that's not possible anymore. Hence, every time I've shifted cities (3 times in the past 4 months now), I've booked Air India due to the 25kg luggage allowance.

My last AI flight was from DEL to CCU last Wednesday, and I was pleasantly surprised to fly in their 787 Dreamliner. I got quite a bit of legroom (which I'm deprived of, on other flights), and we had infotainment screens in front of us. Minor irritant: my screen's remote control didn't work, so although I saw everyone else on the flight enjoy various movies, I didn't even get to scroll through the system to see what was on offer. I didn't complain to the cabin crew either since I was working on my laptop, but there were several empty seats and I'm sure they would've accommodated me elsewhere had I wanted to use the infotainment. The flight took off and landed on time, and my suitcases arrived undamaged. The non-veg meal was fine too. All in all, worth the premium I paid for AI over other carriers.

Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over-img_20220928_184748.jpg
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Old 4th October 2022, 11:22   #15
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Default Re: Your review of Air India | 1 year since Tata took over

Some people have mentioned take off/ landing as part of the AI experience, which is not a fair criterion in my humble opinion. Every flight is different in terms of parameters that are too many to enumerate here.
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