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Great experience in AI Business longhaul and shorthaul

Great experience in AI Business longhaul and shorthaul

Old Dec 27, 18, 6:48 am
Original Poster

2019 Secret Santa
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: BOM/DEL/LHR
Programs: SK*D
Posts: 35
Thumbs up Great experience in AI Business longhaul and shorthaul

After a fairly tiring mileage run within Europe, I was meant to fly on Christmas day from CPH-DEL on AI158 and then connect on to AI865 from DEL to BOM. The incoming flight to CPH from DEL was delayed by 2 hours due to fog in Delhi and was rescheduled to depart CPH much later. This meant that my connection time of 2hr35min in DEL was shortened to 55min. Having connected a number of times in DEL before, I was very worried that my connection was going to be really tight and reach BOM in the next flight that would arrive 3 hours after my original intended departure. A few things that really changed my perception of AI service, after having traveled with them extensively in the past:
  1. OLCI was not available for this flight, and I was supposed to checkin in person at CPH. I was worried that AI hadn't rebooked me on to a new flight and wanted to check with their ticketing agents (handled by SAS in CPH) if I could be rebooked. I was told that they cannot do anything with AI bookings and my original itinerary with the super short layover in DEL.
  2. Checkin (again handled by SAS) was a breeze but the agent insisted that I check my slightly overweight carry-on along with my regular checked bag. He was in the right, and I did not contest him on this, even though SK and LX had allowed me to carry the same bag on board on flights on the days before this. One issue I did have was that my boarding passes did not mention being in business class at all (it matters when trying to get into business class immigration and security in DEL) and also did not include my SK*G details on it. Further, the boarding passes did not mention Air India (or operated by Air India) at all anywhere and only had the SAS logo (not really an issue, just found it strange). I was unable to use the fast track security in CPH for whatever reason, but luckily the lines were short and I got through pretty quickly anyway.
  3. Not having my FF details on my boarding pass created some issues when entering the Gold lounge in CPH and the lounge agents then checked my booking and noticed that for some reason the CPH-DEL segment of my booking was not associated with any FF number at all but my DEL-BOM segment did.
  4. On board, I was given a very warm welcome by the cabin staff who immediately recognised me by name as I was offered a pre-flight beverage. As boarding was taking too long, refills on beverages were offered too, in addition to amenities kits, slippers, blankets etc.
  5. The old pink linen amenities kit has been replaced by a nicer dark blue one that looks much nicer. The insides are still the same, however.
  6. The biggest change I noticed was an all new wine list, that was actually sizeable and even included special wines that were only available on flights to/from certain sectors (such as a Riesling on Europe flights). I asked the crew about this and was told that this was a part of the new changes taking place under the introduction of Maharaja Direct. Whether the hard product was going to be improved or not was not known to them.
  7. Food, as usual, was not bad at all. I chose the Indian chicken option and was not disappointed. Inflight service was very attentive and I was offered drink refills on many occasions throughout the flight.
  8. A few hours before landing, I talked to one of the crew about my short connection in DEL and he assured me that I'll be able to make it. Further, to alleviate my concerns, he told me that he will inform ground in advance so that they can assist me in making the connection.
  9. On arrival in Delhi, I went straight to immigration, and was called by name when waiting in line by AI ground staff. He informed me that he is aware of my short connection and will assist me. As i waited to get through immigration, he went ahead and had collected my checked bags. After that, we had to go through customs and then to the domestic transfer counter. Here, I was issued a new boarding pass and my bags were rechecked in. After this, the ground staffer accompanied me to security and told where my gate is going to be after security. This was a very nice touch on AI's part. Even though I could have done this connection on my own, the fact that they sent someone to assist me made a huge difference, and I arrived at the gate with ample time to spare.
  10. The shorthaul flight was on a brand new A320neo. Nothing to write home about here, but overall this was a great experience.

Just thought I would share a positive AI story since usually it gets so much hate.
RanChin is offline  
Old Dec 28, 18, 9:31 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Delhi, India
Programs: Bonvoy Ambassador & Lifetime Titanium, IHG Plat, HH Gold, Trident Plat, DL Diamond, AI Maharajah
Posts: 26,547
glad to hear others having positive long haul experiences with ai....i thought i was the only one....

ai has been pretty good with short connections in del....i've done a few in the past & have always had ground staff to assist me....
Keyser is offline  
Old Dec 31, 18, 2:17 am
Join Date: Jul 2017
Programs: KrisFlyer Gold, Marriott & SPG Plat, Hilton Gold, ShangriLa Jade, Enterprise Plat, Taj Gold
Posts: 1,479
I’ve never had a complaint with service with AI unless theres IROPS. I find them rather good.

Broken seats & IFEs... sure. But great service especially out of BOM & DEL.
PiperAtGatesofDawn is offline  

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