First Impression: As I was dropped at the departure terminal I was immediately solicited by a suit wearing guy on whether I was flying air-india. After confirming the same, two dudes came along carrying my bags and my passport/tickets. I jumped a long line of people entering the terminal. I was assigned to a check-in clerk. The clerk filled out that stupid immigration form for me and gave me my boarding pass. She also tagged all my bags with my name and address. These two dudes escorted me through the security check point and into the lounge. In the lounge I met up with Begum Parveen Sultana who happened to be on the same flight going for a performance. The same two dudes returned to me picked up my baggage and escorted me all the way to nearly the door of the plane.
On Board: All planes belonging to Air India's International fleet for US and Europe are brand new Boeing 777 LR or ER's. These are very quiet and stable planes. The hostesses brought food and drink. They repeatedly kept asking me if I needed anything else. The moment my glass of water was a little empty they would refill it. Coffee and candy was on overload. Granted the movie selection was a little sub-par, but, hey, it was an overnight flight and a good flat bed goes a long way.
The flight left on time and arrived 10 min early at JFK.
On the way back too both flights were on time and with the great service.
So much for the rumors that float around our airline. I'm sure it has had its share of ups and downs, but, for people to to choose the lousy service of the world worst airline 'Lufthansa' over Air India is a tragedy of sorts. I know for a fact that most all airlines flying into India use the worst aircrafts in their fleet and the worst rated staff members for this route. Why should we be treated like second class citizens when we match and surpass the dollar we pay for these flights. This is a case of discrimination in the air.