After having a horrible experience with Spice Jet on my way to Nepal for several reasons, I started getting paranoid about my journey way back. So after juggling through plethora of options, I finally booked myself Air India flight (Air Bus A321) to get back to India.
The Route: Nepal to India
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
The plane: Air Bus A321
Baggage Allowed (for Economy Class): 20 kg checked baggage, 8 kg carry-on baggage
My primary reason for choosing Air India over other airlines was the size of the plane and hence spacious seats. And I tell you it really lived up to my expectations. A321 is the largest among A320 family, hence seating was pretty spacious with good seat width (18 inches) and reasonable amount of recline (4.5 inches). The Economy Class has 3X3 configuration while business class has 2X2 seat plan. Though the flight duration is short, one can still accommodate comfortably with the recliner seats.
There was facility of in-flight entertainment which included well positioned movie screen playing fun Bollywood movies and comedy shows. So you can immerse yourself in healthy dose of laughter with the headphones on. (It actually helped me forget my air sickness)
Well coming to food, it was simple yet delicious. There is a large variety of meals to select from, although their menu (meal names) seemed pretty funny to me. I opted for Hindu Veg. meal which had rice, lentils, veg. kofta curry, butter & bun, salad and dessert. The food was non-spicy, flavorful and I totally loved it. By the time I finished my food, we were almost halfway. I especially liked this feature of flashing the real-time flight information including the distance we covered, airspeed, altitude, temperature etc. on our seat-back TV screens.
LTC’s Tip: Air India is a member with Star Alliance so you can earn flyer miles and redeem under Air India’s Flying Returns program. AI passengers can also avail the Web Check-In facility which is available within 48 hours of departure.
VERDICT : I was pretty happy with their temperature control systems as I hardly felt air sick (unlike in my earlier flight with Spice Jet Airlines) and thanks to the in-flight entertainment and the amazing views of Himalayas, that I was able to distract my mind feeling uneasy in any way whatsoever. I won’t comment about their hospitality as it was a short duration flight and before I needed anything it was time for touchdown. Food was excellent. The only turn off was the annoying noise during landing (which I assume was coming from the landing gear of aircraft), although the landing was smooth. I’d definitely be flying with Air India in future.