Air India / terrible service
Where to begin...
My husband and I set out on our first holiday to india 12 days ago flying return with air india. Our first flight was to delhi which connected to our second flight down to our destination in sunny goa. To start with the flight was delayed by three hours this has been my first long haul flight therefore I am not used to such delays as flights in europe as they don't tend to give you much grief. Anyway we landed in delhi 9 hours later.. The flight was pleasant, i'll give them that, however when we reached delhi my husband's main luggage was nowhere to be seen. We originally had seven hours between connecting flights in which we decided maybe we could look around delhi and relax. Turns out those hours were precious as we needed to somehow find my husbands lost bag and allow for the three hour delay. After about an hour to spare we finally boarded our flight to goa in hope they'd send the bag over to our accommodation and that it hadn't been stolen. Again, I can't complain about the flight itself and luckily the bag turned up in goa airport once we had arrived without notice even though my husband's phone number was clearly given on the baggage handle.
After a fantastic holiday it was time to board our first flight back to delhi 12 days later. This is where it got a hell of a lot worse. The staff don't seem to care or show any respect for their customers - particularly women which really surprises me. We all boarded plane one and sat there stationary for two hours until they discovered there was a problem with the breaks and we were all to get off and get our luggage back. This procedure was extremely unorganised.. There was an angry mob of passengers surrounding just one air india official desperate for answers and information about what we were to do about having missed our connections. Again.. The attitude of all staff was unacceptable and made us all feel very uneasy.
8 hours later we boarded our delayed flight to delhi having queued up like cattle to check our bags in again on to the same plane as before. The system was atrocious.. No barriers to organise queues, people arguing tired and irate.. Pushing in. The process was slow.. We were a queuing for at least an hour and the person at the desk had to re-enter all our ticket information individually and not just that, they could barely type and used the index finger which I guess was the reason for the speed of it all.
We reached delhi on time.. Only to then discover that we couldn't get our connecting flight to england until the following day. So there we all were changing tickets and sorting out complimentary hotel stays with a number of incredibly rude staff who didn't seem to care in the slightest. One of the women we had met had missed her virgin flight to london and had been informed she could too have a hotel stay for their # up. This turned out to be a complete lie, the manager was called and the poor lady who was also pregnant tried to fight her side but even he didn't care. We managed to look after her ourselves as no one working for air india seemed capable of this. The woman was so desperate to get home and she was offered a direct flight to london for £1000 which she accepted and paid for. To our horror.. This turned out to be a hoax... The flight was due to stop through china first and was none refundable. Eventually she gave up and stayed with us and hopefully got back the following day having paid for yet a third flight. Whether she will get her £1000 back is debatable.. From what i've seen it looks unlikely.
Anyway.. We arrived at the hotel which was a complete dump. The place was freezing, there was no bar or hot water for a shower. The only way to get a drink after our horrendous day was to ask some weird shady young man who worked there to go to the shop. The prices of the drinks were double so he was clearly pocketing half the money himself. We were given a free meal.. Curry again in an empty dining room which looked like it was made up for some awful wedding. What topped it off was the reheated curry for breakfast from the night before... Obviously we all left as early as possible and got back to the airport for a macdonalds. So there we were feeling quite happy that we may actually get on a plane to england soon.. But no. Another three hour delay.
No sympathy from any staff.. Nothing.
I'm not one to moan but the experience with air india has been truly outrageous and they continue to get away with this as they're so big around the world. I've heard numerous bad publicity since this experience and we shall never ever be using them again and hope to spread the word across the uk if not further. Don't bother with them they're a very selfish company who deserve very little.
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