✅ Trip Verified
| After avoiding Air India for years, I was forced to spend my hard earned money on them for a round trip between IAD and MAA because of the Indian government forbidding sixth freedom traffic under the covid air bubble agreements. I had very low expectations, and Air India was as bad as I feared. The Indian government should get out of the business of running an airline as soon as possible. Every aspect of this trip was subpar, and given a choice, I cannot imaging why anybody would ever travel on this airline. Here are all the ways in which they were bad: 1) Their web site is terrible, and it wouldn't accept my Lufthansa frequent flyer number, even though there is a section for entering partner airlines membership numbers. The web site also wouldn't allow me to request a special meal, and it gave absolutely no explanation for why. From some google research, I realized this might be due to covid precautions 2) I made 2 separate calls to their customer service center to try and address the above issues. The amount of background noise during both calls made it seem like their reps were sitting in the middle of New Delhi railway station for their calls. I could barely hear or understand what the reps were saying. They supposedly entered my Lufthansa number for me, but as I could tell when I printed my boarding pass, it wasn't entered properly, and it didn't work. I had to claim my miles via Lufthansa after the flight On a separate call, the rep took my special meal request and entered it, but didn't seem to know, or didn't bother to tell me that special meals were not possible during Covid 3) My itinerary was IAD-DEL-MAA, on different B787s for each leg. I flew business class, and the product is really sub par. The seats are grimy, the upholstery was torn on one of the legs, the seat power didn't work properly. Worst of all for me, the moving maps didn't work on both IAD-DEL and DEL-IAD legs. Also, the flat bed isn't long enough for my 6'3" height. The pillow they give is a joke. The cabin crew were nice enough, but I really didn't like the heavy/greasy Indian food I was forced to eat on some of the legs. The food on the MAA-DEL leg even gave me severe digestion problems. 4) Air India lounges were open in DEL or MAA, supposedly due to Covid, but other private lounges were operating, so it seems like Covid was just an excuse. 5) On a couple positive notes, all my flights were on time, which was a blessing, and the prices of the business class ticket was well below pre-pandemic business class levels.