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Thread: Indian Airlines questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default Indian Airlines questions

    Hello,

    My husband and I are flying on Air India to Delhi, and then on Indian Airlines to Kathmandu.

    We wonder what experiences people have had flying on Indian Airlines.

    The reason we ask, is because we are unable to contact them to obtain seat assignments. We have emailed them a couple of times - our travel agent has also emailed them - and we have not heard back.

    We have searched on the internet for a phone # for them - and finally found one 91 22 287 6161 - but when we tried to call internationally, the call did not go through. We are calling from the U.S.

    We have also heard you need to confirm flights often to make sure you have a reservation secured.

    We would appreciate any insight/advice any of you might have.

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,851

    Default Re: Indian Airlines questions

    I flew them in June 07 between Delhi to KTM and return. Did not need to confrim and did not have any issue. I must admit I did not try to pre-confirm seat arrengements...

    I booked my ticket on the internet, and it worked ok. Similarly, I flew Delhi to KTM in Jan 08 with Sahara Air, the other major Indian airline plying the route.

    Obviously none of this is any guarantee...
    Often you have to go "in faith" when it comes to the subcontinent. And be flexible.

    But it should work ok, else you're quite unlucky.
    yakshaver

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Indian Airlines questions

    i'm not surprised you are having trouble confirming seats from the US.

    my advice would be to check their online flight schedule, which should hopefully provide some advice about the flight's currency (if not your booking on it).

    incidentally, when i was in India in 2007, i recall that Air Deccan were running a scam where they'd overbook their flights and once the flight was full, tell customers at check in that they were 'too late'. i saw a huge argument at India Ghandi airport at their counter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    Posts
    516

    Default Re: Indian Airlines questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan Blank
    We have searched on the internet for a phone # for them - and finally found one 91 22 287 6161
    That would be their Bombay office. Why not try the Delhi one 91 11 - 246 31 337,
    or 91 11 - 246 03 227.

    You may have to call several times though before you get through. They
    have a lot of people over there calling in, and not as many to answer.

    I have traveled Indian Airlines several times and quite like them, even if not as
    good as their big sister Air India. I know the two have merged now but it
    used to be that AI was the international carrier and IA the domestic one. AI
    got brand new planes and when they were getting a bit old they were
    passed on to IA. I don't know if that is still the case.

    Lovely music, great food and gorgeous hostesses. (And an awful lot of kids
    among the passengers.)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Indian Airlines questions

    Gone with them many times, in my experience they tent to make you feel like a supplicant, as if you are asking for a favour just by asking them to do what airlines normally do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Indian Airlines questions

    per - i think you make a good point. personally i found one of the great mysteries of asia is trying to figure out just how the hell indian airlines work. even in the airport there is little to no information available, people herding you around, everyone is wearing the same outfit so you can't figure out who to talk to, and anytime you ask a question someone is ready to give you attitude back. just a sort of bizarre hell on earth where all you can do is have faith that someone will eventually come out of nowhere and call for you.

    western standards of obtaining information and customer service do not apply. which got me thinking, how must u.s airports appear to someone seeing them for the 1st time? maybe there are rules i don't understand...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Indian Airlines questions

    have a heart. if everyone wore uniforms and gave straight answers, how would the scammers make any money?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pokhara, Nepal
    Posts
    308

    Default Re: Indian Airlines questions

    Transiting Delhi is tedious and complicated. The airlines and airport authority make it as difficult as possible. Some advice:

    1. When you get off the flight you need to go to the departure lounge and find an Indian Airlines person to get your boarding pass. There is no transfer dest and you must just keep asking people until you find the Indian Airlines person. They will then take your ticket and go out to the departure area to get the boarding pass.
    2. There is no automatic bag transfer. You must give your baggage tags to the airline person who then has to go down to the baggage carousel and find your bags, take them back upstairs to the departure area and check them to Kathmandu.

    These are not trivial tasks and you need to be a little bit forceful to get them done.

    In any event get an Indian Visa. This will allow you to bypass this circus and go claim your bags and go upstairs to check in for the Kathmandu flight. As time consuming and irritating as this is, it is the best way to ensure that you and your bags get to Kathmandu. Get a double entry visa so you can do the same on your return. Get the Indian visa in your home country.

    Next time fly via Bangkok or one of the Middle Eastern cities that has a connection to Kathmandu.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sydney
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    2,851

    Default Re: Indian Airlines questions

    Quote Originally Posted by webmaster
    Transiting Delhi is tedious and complicated.
    In any event get an Indian Visa. This will allow you to bypass this circus and go claim your bags and go upstairs to check in for the Kathmandu flight. As time consuming and irritating as this is, it is the best way to ensure that you and your bags get to Kathmandu. Get a double entry visa so you can do the same on your return. Get the Indian visa in your home country.

    Next time fly via Bangkok or one of the Middle Eastern cities that has a connection to Kathmandu.
    I did exactly this for my two passages through Delhi in in 2007 and 2008. Got a double entry visa from the Indian Consulate. Just in case (I am anally retentive like this when it comes to travel). It did help me inmenslely that I could go "ouside" the international area of the airport and actually walk with the IA and Sahara employees to look with them and find where our luggage was on the floor area where hundreds if not thousands of pieces of luggage lay in wait for their owners.

    Still, I had almost worst experiences at Heathrow, while they were doing the renovations a year and a half ago. Plus, the lines of going through customs, AND the red tape at Heathrow was definitely on par with Delhi. Maybe they are doing a bit better now, as on my last trip through Heathrow in April it seemed a bit better.
    yakshaver

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