Air India: My pathetic luggage check-in experience at Mumbai airport

I don't care about the money and time I've lost. I'm not going to get back either of them. But I want nobody else to suffer this misery.

BHPian SuperGirl_Dad recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

What happens when sheer incompetence meets absolute ineffectiveness - you get a transfer to Air India domestic flight at Mumbai Airport.

Air India - (noun): Incompetence; arrogant; useless; pathetic


Had a nightmare experience after reading so many positive stories about Air India.

Prelude: 2013 used Air India (then Indian) from NYC to DEL direct flight; what was a 13 hr normal flight turned out to be 18 hr, due to technical fault observed at the last minute after passenger boarding. We sat on the tarmac for 5 hours before taking off. Vowed never to fly Air India then.

After reading so many positive reviews here, booked Doha to Chennai flight on Dec 1st through Mumbai.

Perceived advantages: good timing; 25 kg domestic leg luggage.

Doha-Mumbai (Air India express) was delayed by half hour for no reason. Had 2.5 hours for transferring to Air India Mumbai - Chennai flight. We have to pick luggage and check in back to Air India domestic flight. Landing in Mumbai to be at 2:30 am and Chennai connecting flight at 5:15 am. Believed 2.5 hr was a nominal time for transferring at an airport. But what ensued was chaos and despair.

Dec 1 had the worst experience in Mumbai airport; as reported in many media:

News link 1

News link 2

They had only 6 kiosks for 5 plane full of passengers (~1000 passengers) in Immigration .

Absolutely No communication. There were 3 lines - Indian passport, Foreign passport and Baby in Hand. One poor couple (with foreign passport) stood nearly 1 hour before us with a wailing toddler, the officer had the guts to ask them to go back and stand in the foreign passport line. Any human with atleast half a brain will think twice to shout at a foreign couple with a baby for standing in a "baby in hand" queue.

Mumbai Airport - you are pathetic; sack the immigration officers for being so rude.

Completed immigration with 45 minutes remaining for domestic check in. The air India personnel said check in closes 1 hr before flight departure. But requested due to the extraordinary delay at immigration. The crazy lady at counter suggested I do carry on for all the luggage (including a 23 kg international suitcase). But security personnel did not allow that. I pleaded if they can help us. It was not only me that was affected, many people lost their connecting flight. Since boarding is not complete and i reported just after checkin close, they said they can accommodate my family in next flight at 9 am.

What happened next was even more comical if I think about it now. I had paid 15 k for Mumbai Chennai flight for 3 passengers. Now the 9 am flight was retailing for 30 k. So i believed Air India would give me those tickets if I pay the remaining 15k. But the lady at the counter insisted I pay all of 30k. I asked behind the reason for this and the reply was 15 k balance after deducting initial ticket and a "penalty" of 15 k for reporting late. I last all sense to fight these clowns. It was 4:45am in the morning and had a half asleep toddler. I paid the amount and reached Chennai at 11 am.

Advise to anybody who read this -


I don't care about the money and time I've lost. I'm not going to get back either of them. But I want nobody else to suffer this misery.

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