“Air India sucks”, “Stewardess are rude and the service is horrible” – I had heard a lot of such negative comments about the ‘perpetually in loss’ national airlines. If I could take the pictures and video of the aircraft I was on, I would have proved these people wrong. To start with the aircraft was really nice – 777 ER – with its better seat pitch and width was far better than other airlines I had flown with previously. Each seat has got its own TV with decent programming in English and in Hindi. Air-India has recently procured 777 ER and so the aircraft was new and neat. Whoever says AI-126 is a non-stop flight is lying. There is a 1 hour layover at frankfurt airport. You do have to get out of the aircraft but with kids, it is a welcome break allowing them to stretch their legs for a while. The terminal where the aircraft docks is a small one and you cant go very far from the gate as an hour goes by fairly quickly. First class has Pods for sleeping but we were in 3-4-3 seating in economy. (Check out more details at Air india Fleet page – AI 777 ER) We had taken the bassinet seat thinking we could have my 1 year old girl sleep peacefully. Seeing 2 kids with us, the stewardess (she was really nice and polite) suggested that since the flight was light (if you fly out between Tuesday and Thursday, chances are that air india flights will be really light), we should move back and take 2 rows so the kids can sleep peacefully since the bassinette seat handles are fixed and cannot be moved up. “See the bassinet seat width is less and the handles won’t move no, so better only no if you move back no”. “No” and “Na” are used as punctuation marks in Bombay – no? So we got to brush up on our Bombay English – another plus for Air India. Food was not bad either – daal, paneer, dahi – and it was piping hot.
After people moved back and forth in the aircraft looking for empty seats for the night, the captain finally announced that it was time to settle and our 17 hour journey to Bombay was on its way – “Namaskaar, welcome to air india flight 126 to Bombay….”