Journey of Disappointment: A Business Class Nightmare on Air India For Pune Based Passengers 

Journey of Disappointment: A Business Class Nightmare on Air India For Pune Based Passengers

Journey of Disappointment: A Business Class Nightmare on Air India For Pune Based Passengers

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Mahesh and Sunita Kulkarni’s eagerly awaited return journey from Chicago to Pune turned into a series of frustrations with Air India’s business class service. From unexpected aircraft changes and absent amenities to broken seats and subpar food, the couple’s experience raises questions about Air India’s service quality post-Tata takeover.

Mahesh Kulkarni shared his experience with Pune Pulse through an email. He said, “My wife (Sunita) and I recently travelled from Chicago to Delhi by Air India (AI 126) and then Delhi to Pune by Air Vistara on April 30. This was our return journey back home and we were eager and anxious to see the service of Air India. In the past, I have traveled several times on Air India business class, but I was eager to see the level of service after the takeover by Tata.”  

He further shared, “My first frustration came over when I received an email from my travel agent that AirIndia has informed that they have changed their aircraft from Delhi to Pune and it does not have a business class. They would either put us on economy but not refund the difference or put us on Air Vistara for a later time with business class. Extremely strange part. 

My second frustration came from Chicago airport where the business lounge was not there at the gate mentioned by the AirIndia person. Later, in the plane, the entertainment unit was not working for both of us. The air hostess apologised and reset it and it started working fine after 10-12 minutes. 

Sunita’s headphones were not working so they got her another one. 

Frustration Mounted Further: 

Now, series of events happened.

My wife, Sunita’s leg rest (recliner chair) was broken. The air hostess tried from her end and finally kept two pillows under her leg so that she could sleep. It was an intermediate step, however as soon as she removed her leg, the pillows fell off and the process had to be repeated again. Very frustrating to happen on a business class. 

The entire business class had only one working wash room since the other one was non operational. This was already noticed when the plane was on the ground in Chicago, but according to the air hostess, it could not be repaired there and had to be taken back to India. I could not quite understand this point as to how this cannot be repaired in Chicago. 

The other two washrooms were reserved for pilots and first class passengers and we were initially refused to use it. It was then released to us after a series of complaints from business class people. Another frustrating experience!

The toilet kit provided to every business class person was extremely cheap and in my opinion they should either give a good one or not provide something so cheap. The Air hostess again mentioned that they are currently migrating it to a different vendor and this is in the interim. The question arises – why should the interim passengers suffer? There were no hot/cold wipes given at the start and the air hostess again said that this aircraft came from India and did not have these clothes. 

The food supplied was extremely poor quality and the air hostess also agreed to it. She mentioned that they are currently migrating to a different vendor and this is in the interim. The desert was very poor quality. My question again- why should we suffer due to your migration? I want my voice to be heard by the AirIndia management. The AirIndia manager in the plane was Shephali S and she said that she has already mentioned all these points to her superior.

“I have always kept AirIndia as my plane of choice, however This was a frustrating experience and I would not hesitate to move on to a different airline. 

I want AirIndia to compensate us (my wife and I) for this entire journey,” Kulkarni concluded.  

Pune Pulse has reached out to the airline company but haven’t received any feedback yet.