Air India B787 Executive ClassBack to Forum
Anonymous5 Apr 2015
BKK-DEL 4 April 2015
Check-in at Bangkok opened three hours before departure. Air India desks are the furthest away at one end of the terminal though you can be dropped off right outside. There was an offer for economy class passengers to upgrade to business for US$250. Given I had pain around $500 for my one-way business class ticket, the offer could work out more way expensive given last minute economy class tickets were more than the price I paid for business. Availability seems to vary wildly from day to day on Air India and even from hour to hour. I changed my dates twice as desired days became available (no change fee, just fare difference if any) and once I simply went to breakfast and came back and the price had dropped back to my original price. Even at check-in the availability is not confirmed. I was told the cabin was full but when the cabin doors closed there were 5 spare seats in business.
Executive (business) class passengers are allowed 40kg of luggage. A premium lane voucher was issued as was a voucher for the CIP lounges (Louis’ Tavern) of which there are several. The one I visited was large with a small selection of food and drinks and free wifi using a voucher. I also visited the Thai Airways Royal Silk lounge and the Singapore Airlines Krisflyer lounges given I was on a Star Alliance flight.
There’s a final bag check at the gate. Boarding was through the front door only so all passengers pass through the business class cabin. Cold (yes, not hot) towels were handed out and a choice of soft drinks offered. No amenity kit or menu. We pushed back a few minutes early and had a short taxi before take-off. The flight time was 4hrs to Delhi.
Breakfast was served…the choice being poached egg or omelette accompanied by a tub of yoghurt, a doughnut, croissant and fruit, all served together on a tray. Hot drinks were also offered and top-ups of that and water throughout the flight. There were three very pleasant and efficient cabin crew for business class.
The entertainment options were limited: 11 new release movies plus 24 “classics” from the last 20 years and some TV options. The music channel was Indian music only and there were kids and games channels. Proprietary noise-reducing headphones were available but no discernible power-socket if you have your own devices.
The seat was comfortable and wide but in bed mode was pretty tight for anyone over 6ft. I couldn’t lie flat on my back, only able to stretch whilst on my side and slightly curled up. This could be pretty uncomfortable on a long flight.
We landed 20mins early at Indira Gandhi International Airport. The walk to immigration was quite long and immigration queues looked lengthy but there was a very welcome and empty queue for first and business class passengers. Immigration was quick though there was a second passport check immediately after along with other passengers which sort of defeats the purpose. However this second check is cursory and most passengers simply waved through. The bags were on the belt by the time I got there and I was waved through customs…in all a pleasantly unexpected swift passage through the airport.
Aside: I hadn’t been back to Delhi (or India) in over 9 years. I was disappointed to learn that the Ambassador taxis which I loved are now few and far between. The chaotic streets are worse! The weather is blessedly mild. This is only a short transit stop of two nights as I head to Europe.
Summary: Air India offers keenly competitive prices and uses the Dreamliner on many routes. Not much finesse but good value for money.5 Apr 2015
Very good value fares from Air ndia.
But that surely explains why, according to a report today, that Air India loses money on every B787 route it operates.7 Apr 2015