Booking the Trip: Annual India Visit with Emirates and Air India
Review: Emirates Airline A380 Economy Los Angeles to Dubai
Review: Emirates Airline A380 Economy Dubai to Mumbai
Review: Pune Lohegaon Airport Terminal
Review: Air India A319-100 Economy Class Pune to Hyderabad
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Hyderabad Domestic Terminal
Review: Air India A319-100 Business Class Hyderabad to Pune
Review: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Terminal 2 International
Review: Emirates Airline 777-300ER Economy Mumbai to Dubai
Review: Dubai International Airport Terminal 3
Review: Emirates Airline A380 Economy Dubai to Los Angeles
YOUTUBE: Emirates: Los Angeles to Dubai
YOUTUBE: Emirates: Dubai to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: Air India: Pune to Hyderabad
YOUTUBE: Air India: Hyderabad to Pune
YOUTUBE: Emirates: Mumbai to Dubai
YOUTUBE: Emirates: Dubai to Los Angeles
After spending about an hour in Pune Airport, as that’s really all you need, boarding began for my Air India flight to Hyderabad.
Our boarding involved a walk out to the aircraft via tarmac.
Now I was flying economy class for this flight, but I took a quick picture of the bulkhead business class seat. Look at that seat pitch!! Very impressive! But I’ll have more details on that in the return sector as I flew business class on that.
But here’s the economy class seat.
So the seat cushion was well padded but slightly hard. The back pad was very thin and hard. Thankfully this was a one hour flight so I would not have too much time here. The head rest was a little softer, though nothing great. One thing that impressed me was the legroom. We are talking domestic economy class. This legroom was more than what I had on my Emirates flights, Etihad flights, Jet Airways flights, or any other international economy class flight for that matter. It was not as much as domestic first class, but it was still excellent leg room. There was a lot of space to stretch out.
Boarding was as usual and we had an impressively on time departure from our gate by Air India standards.
Interestingly I saw a PrivatAir 737 below. Lufthansa flies a PrivatAir 737 to Pune but not at the time we departed, so this was definitely an odd sight.
After a long taxi to runway 28, we were ready for departure. We had quite a steep climb initially to get high above all the residential areas then we leveled out a little for a normal climb rate.
Now I’m not some psycho that absolutely loves when there’s crazy turbulence to the point that the plane is dropping 500 feet here and getting pushed this way and that way, but I definitely enjoy some choppiness. That’s exactly what we had during our climb through the clouds. Remeber, it’s monsoon season in India, so there are thick clouds all over the place, and there was definitely some turbulence climbing through it.
Once over, the views were great for the rest of the flight.
And finally we leveled off.
Food service began and this is where domestic economy on full service Indian carriers is an absolute steal! This is a one hour flight in domestic economy class and here’s what we got.
There was a cheese sandwich, ketchup, bottled water, and mango juice. The cheese sandwich was nice and tasty for a simple cheese sandwich. So let’s draw some comparisons here. The distance between Pune and Hyderabad is pretty comparable to the distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the latter being larger by 40 miles. That being said, if you fly any economy class or any domestic first class between Los Angeles and San Francisco on United, American, or Delta, you will get a beverage and some snacks or “premium snacks” in first class. The cost for those flights range anywhere from $60-200 for economy and first on average. For this flight, I paid $33 USD and I get a snack box with a sandwich, water, and mango juice. You can also have a beverage of your choice, though I declined since I only wanted water. But this is very great and I commend Air India for that.
After all our trash was collected there was about another 10 minutes of cruising time left.
Then we began our descent into a cloudy and rainy Hyderabad.
We had a smooth touchdown a little early if I’m not mistaken.
We parked right next to an air India A321.
Overall, this was a great one hour flight. For the price you pay, what you get is a great value and easily cannot compare with US carrier’s offering. Even many European carriers are rather thrifty in domestic economy class, so this was certainly nice. Kudos to Air India as long as flights are on time, which in this case it was! Stay tuned for the return Plaza Premium lounge review and business class review.