I had planned to travel to Mumbai, India in Sept 2015. Wanted to reach Point A to B faster as I had limited time. There are many options but decided to give a try with Air India.
I had flown with AI during 1980's and then domestically within India. Wanted to fly the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
This was my first time travelling through Delhi hub. I had many questions about travelling on Air India via Delhi, searched the Web, Youtube. Nothing useful.
Hope this travel report is informative for those wishing to fly with Air India.
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Below is the detailed report.
Started from home at 6.30 in the morning. The drive to the airport was busy with traffic on the motorways. Reached airport around 7.30 and then spent another 20-25 mins looking for parking. Finally found a parking spot.
It was a beginning of running everywhere till I reached my destination.
I reached the counter around 8.10 am. Check-In had commenced and there was a queue of about 20 ahead of me.
Took about 30 mins for my turn. When it came, my check-in bag weighed 19.5 kgs, well below the 30 Kgs allowed. Staff checked my visa to India, handed boarding cards for Delhi and Mumbai flight, Gate number told and wished me pleasant flight.
I wanted to claim GST, had completed the documentation online using the app, GST service stopped 30 mins prior to gate closing.
It was time for immigration, the place was packed with queue closer to the door. I was directed towards the e-immigration. The machine was running slow, there were 3 people ahead of me. The machine malfunctioned, had to change the queue. Took 30 mins for the whole process.
Security queue took time, had a full body scan. By the time I was out of immigration and security, it was 9.30
I checked the GST counters, was packed. flight closing time was in 10 mins, decided to skip the GST and head for the gate 28. While walking towards the gate, I heard my name called out along with few others. On getting closer, realised it was a bus gate Which meant taking the escalator down. The escalator was not working, another round of brisk walk. Other flight passengers waiting too. I showed my boarding pass and was put on a bus.Many of the passengers were transitting heading for India to Bangladesh, Nepal and Europe. An acquaintance was flying to Milan with AI in the following week of my travel.
Bus ride [Video]
Air India VT-ANU in "Star Alliance" livery
Boarding the bird
Boeing 787-8 Wings
Boarding was through stairs. The flight was full with no empty seats. My seat was occupied by a couple. They moved when I told them, the seat is allocated to me.
Settled in my seat
Seat was stocked with water, blanket and headphones.
Air India Maharajah
Aircraft features video
Waiting for pushback
Pushback was delayed by 45 mins. Departure time 10.30 a.m
Taxi to runway
Aircraft was parked close to runway at a remote bay.
Taxi to runway
Actual departure was 10.45a.m due to air traffic in Sydney. China Southern, Cathay Pacific, Garuda departed ahead of AI.
Airborne, shades were darkened
Sydney Airport Aerial view
It was around midday, the window tint blocks the sun rays.
Air India - member of Star Alliance
After reading the reviews online, I had decided to use the toilet in the earlier part of the flight. I used them later too, they were kept clean. Part of the problem are the type of passengers, won't write more about this.
Maharajah - Air India Mascot
Passengers busy with onboard entertainment.
Shubh Yatra [Happy Journey] - Inflight magazine
Air India Fleet information
Mid-Day Tinted Window
Breakfast was served within 1 hr of departure.I was hungry as I didn't get time in the morning to have breakfast.
Option was Veg and non-veg. I opted for the non-veg.
Breakfast - Omlette and Sausage
Trays were cleared after the service within reasonable time.
It was time for entertainment. watched a few episodes to Big Bang. Then 2 Broke girls.
2 Broke Girls
Used the leg massage roller. Felt good. Unlike on SQ, these don't hog your leg space.
Rego - VT-ANU
In about another 2-3 hrs, drink service
Air India Logo
Had enough of entertainment, flying somewhere over Western Australia, it was time to snooze. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
Must have slept for 3-4 hrs, checked the flight information.
Close to the midpoint of journey
Decided to watch a movie to pass time.
It was lunch time soon - lunch was served Indian mid-day time.
Lunch service had began.
Option was veg and non-veg. Chose the non-veg option. It was pasta and separate chicken curry.
Avoiding the thunderstorm clouds.
Closer to India
Window control released by flight crew
Snack was provided 2hrs prior to landing
Snack- Croissant and cheese with fruit salad
Food was tasty, I didn't eat the fruit salad.
Closer to Delhi, flight was 1 hr late.
Arrived at gate at 6.50p.m. It was warm outside, sweating and worrying about my connection.
Arrived at gate
Disembarked it was already 7 pm. I was worried about missing connecting flight to Mumbai. Ground staff was waiting at the gate for AI-International-domestic flights and international connecting passengers. I had to complete immigration, collect bag, pass customs and re-check my bags, get gate number for the flight. Walked briskly to the immigration.
There were 4 people ahead of me, immigration staff took their own time in the queue I was waiting in. Another 15 mins lost. Showed my visa to India, had passport stamped. Had to show passport stamp before being let out to collect bag.
Bag didn't take long. I was rushing towards Green Channel when Customs guy asked where I was coming from. I said "Sydney". He let me pass without stopping.
I headed to the Transfer Check-In, it was 7.30. Showed my boarding card and passport to security. I was the only one to Check-In. Didn't take long Counter staff checked my bags and told me to go level 2 for departure for the next flight to Mumbai.
I hope you enjoyed the trip, Thanks for reading. :)
Sydney - SYD
New Delhi - DEL
Overall Air India flight went well other then arriving an hour late in Delhi. Food was tasty, cabin was new and clean. Sydney parking and immigration was a nightmare. Delhi Airport had few counters open, immigration was slow.
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