My Air India Experiences

I often fly to New York to visit Sri Chinmoy and my friends in the Sri Chinmoy Centre. I'm always keen to find the cheapest flight so often end up travelling with Air India.

  • My first transatlantic flight to NY, was with Air India, in the company of my good friend Brian. Brian, who is aged 67, last season still managed to take 7 wickets in an innings (cricket) - a demon medium pacer.) Anyway we both got a veggie curry. I like to eat my greens so went straight for the "haricot vert" they had placed on top of the curry. Except it wasn't a green bean, but a chilli. Having eating nothing other than mild Korma's, ingesting a whole chilli was too much for my sensitive pallette. I was dying with heat, pain and thirst. Such an experience! Brain couldn't quite grasp the gravity of the situation, thinking it all rather amusing. But lesson number 1 flying Air India.
  • Don't eat whole chilli's

  • The second experience I always remember is travelling with a friend called Bijon. Bijon is a great guy and great actor. He seems to have a prediliction for falling into water, but always takes it in good jest. However on this particular flight poor Bijon had water dripping onto his head for most of the flight. A bit of water unfortunately, didn't seem of major concern to the stewarding staff, they seemed more concerned with eating their own meals. Anyway I did feel sorry for Bijon and not a little guilty when, at the end of my flight, I realised it had been my water bottle that had been dripping on him.

  • This year after a long break I again travelled Air India. To cut a long story short I never got a ticket and thus assumed it would be an e-ticket like 99% of all tickets are these days. Anyway it wasn't an e-ticket and so couldn't fly. After 2 days of ringing round various call centres in Mumbai, and getting nothing other than redirected elsewhere, I bit the bullet and bought an eticket with Virgin and got to NY the next day. Anyway on returning to England I asked my travel agency for a refund.

They have kindly just got back to me with the news that Air India will refund me the cost of my flight.... However the refund will take 2 years to come!

Yes! 2 years, not 2 months or even 2 days. 2 years! - thats approximately 730 days.

I can't help wondering why a refund could take 2 years to process? Are they perhaps growing special trees in Scandanavia for the paper to publish the special refund paper? Are they sending the money, via a courier on foot, from their head office in Mumbai? Are they investing the £500 in a special investment fund so when I finally get it, it will be worth £2000?

Best answer wins a lifetime supply of Air India "haricot verts"