Before I start criticizing Air India, I want to make sure that you know that these are meant to be constructive. And being an Indian, I always have flown Air India (and regretted later), so that the money goes to the country.
While the airline is losing 15cr rupees every day, I think that this airline should be sold off.
I had to prepone the ticket and the charge was $550. From Newark, I could take only one check-in luggage.
My flight was on 3rd July 2019, Runway 2 was closed in Mumbai because one Spicejet plane slipped on track and that caused the track to close down.
My flight was around 12 PM and in the morning I got an SMS saying that my flight is delayed and now the flight was supposed to fly at 10 pm.
The Air India website did not show any update. The Air India App did not show any update. The Newark airport web site was showing updated time. And when I tried calling their call center, nobody picked up. I asked my father to call India call center, nobody picked up there as well.
I got another text in a few hours saying that the flight will now depart at night 3 am. I do not recall the exact time but after 3 am. I checked the App and the website, and none of those tell me that the flight will take off after 3 am, like the text did.
Back in 2014, once Air Indian flight took off before time. When I was supposed to take the flight from Kolkata and come to Mumbai. But when I got to the airport, AI staff told me that the flight took off and they informed whoever had Indian cell #. I am being an American cell # holder, I was not informed.
Since I could not talk about this flight, I decided to be at the airport around 7 pm. And in there I found equally baffled passengers, who did not find AI ground staff, they did not get any help from call center either.
The time got updated once more, and more and more passengers showed up as we entered midnight. Everyone had the same experience. I was happy that AI does not discriminate. And thankfully I updated my cell number in their site so I was at least getting the texts, many of those passengers did not even get the texts.
Finally, after 3 am or 4 am when they started check-in, I asked them to cancel my Mumbai to Kolkata flight. And they could not, instead they told me, I will be able to cancel it in Mumbai.
In 2014, the food was good, this time Air India food was horrible too. You will get an unlimited supply of water, peanuts, and chips in kitchen or whatever they call those spaces while the flight attendants get some rest.
I do not have any complaint about those things, I did not have any expectation anyway.
We landed in Mumbai around 7.30 am and my connecting flight was at 9 pm that night. So I went to AI to cancel the ticket. They simply refused to help. Not sure what is worse, AI ground staff not being there or just being there and being useless.
I would be really happy the day Government finally bites the bullet and fires all these worthless government employees who take everything for granted.
While coming back, I got stuck because my Mumbai to Kolkata ticket was still open. And it took quite a while as one employee finished playing with a mobile phone before solving my problem.
After getting to Mumbai, I had some experience, the flight was delayed and no AI employee was there. As usual, there was no one to answer any question.
I lied down on the bench and promised myself not to fly with Air India ever again unless all these employees are fired. The flight finally took off the next day morning around 7 am.
I understand the delays and the delays happen due to legitimate issues, but how come in this day and age they get away with no service at all?