The only redeeming quality about Air India
I got a call on Friday morning that I had to be half way across the world by Monday morning for a client meeting so I jumped on the next flight out of JFK which happened to be Air India from New York to Mumbai via London. I was really bummed not to have a better connection on a better airline. Who wants to fly Air India!! I have no positive associations with Air India. I had flown them only once before when I was doing my undergrad at Davidson and used to make the annual trip home every summer. Air India lost both my bags and did not find them for a week. I chose not to fly them ever again if I had a choice. 12 years later, I find myself on Air India again (at least in Business Class thanks to work). I decided to have an open mind and actually looked forward to the journey.
I won't bore you with how bad the experience turned out to be yet again. I won't tell you about the seats which didn't fully recline or the lack of in-flight entertainment all together. And I won't tell you about all the other little things that these guys have just not bothered to think about while designing the customer experience. I will tell you though that the food was just fabulous. And it wasn't so tasty to me just because I love Indian food. It really was pretty outstanding. If Air India has got one thing right, it's the meal service. The cabin crew are super warm and go out of their way to make sure you have a nice drink and meal. And they don't skimp on the alcohol either. The British gentleman next to me was pleasantly surprised at how much gin he got in his G&T!
The meal in the picture was breakfast. We were served spicy potato curry, a light and airy upma with peas, baby uttapams with tomatoes and onions, plain creamy yogurt, a croissant, 3 parathas and some jam. I asked for some extra spicy pickle and was delighted when the stewardess produced a nice selection from First Class - lemon pickle, green chili pickle and chunda. Yum, yum - I could have survived on the parathas and the pickles alone!
PS - I'm on the road till mid-November and will try to post as much as possible, workload and jetlag permitting :)