“Avoid this airline at all costs”
Flight from Washington, D.C. to New Delhi
- Round Trip
- Number of Stops:
- 1 stop in New York City, New York
- Date of Flight:
- February 2010
- Seat Class:
Flight scheduled for day of worst snowstorm in over 10 years from DC. Chance of terrible storm prediction was 100% by three days before flight. Air India would not permit me to fly out a day early--although seats were available, or to travel to NY by train at my own cost to board in NY instead of DC (the flight was to stop in NY on the way to India.) By the day before the flight, Air India had decided to have the flight originate in NY instead of DC due to better weather in NY; and it did depart that day without problem. Air India rescheduled me for the morning after the storm--heavy snow had continued until late the prior night--and told me I could not reschedule for a later date without payment of hundreds in penalties. Due to road conditions, no airport shuttles, taxis and buses operated that day. Road conditions were terrible but my son managed to get me to the airport in his 4-wheel drive vehicle despite numerous skids on the way. The trip to the airport would normally have taken one hour but took 3 hours that day due to the need to drive slowly. On arrival at DC airport, I found that about 80% of all flights for that day had been cancelled due to conditions. Air India delayed checkin as the ground staff were initially unsure if my flight would depart despite having told me the evening before that I needed to be at the airport that morning.
Seats on the flight very uncomfortable when I did board. Food quality was poor. I rarely saw the stewards other than when serving meals. Few movies were in Engligh and most of the English movies available were old.
As bad as the flight was to India, the return flight was worse. I was in India 5 weeks and didn't get sick once. Shortly after eating dinner on the return flight, I became very ill and spent the rest of the flight running to the bathroom evry 30-60 minutes. I asked the steward for Imodium and received it after being warned that the onboard supply had expired more than a year before. It was not very helpful. I was not able to retain food for almost 5 days after that flight and eventually needed to obtain a prescription for Cipro (very strong antibiotic) to clear up my condition.
Afterwards, I found out that Air India had not credited my Lufthansa account for with frequent flyer miles for the trips despite my requests at the time of reservation, at checkin and after finding this error. I wrote to the company multiple times and supplied my tickets/boarding passes, and even phoned their office in India (about $20)but have still not received credit and it's been 4 months since I returned.