Review: Air India A319-100 Economy Class Bengaluru to Mumbai

Booking The Trip: A (slightly crazier) Southeast Asian Path to India
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Review: Air India A319-100 Economy Class Bengaluru to Mumbai
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YOUTUBE: EVA Air: Los Angeles to Taipei
YOUTUBE: UNI Air: Taipei to Seoul Incheon
YOUTUBE: Korean Air: Seoul Incheon to Bangkok
YOUTUBE: Malaysian Airlines: Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur
YOUTUBE: Malaysian Airlines: Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: SpiceJet: Pune to Goa
YOUTUBE: Air India: Goa to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: Air India: Mumbai to Bengaluru
YOUTUBE: Air India: Bengaluru to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: Singapore Airlines: Mumbai to Singapore
YOUTUBE: Singapore Airlines: Singapore to Hong Kong
YOUTUBE: EVA Air: Hong Kong to Taipei
YOUTUBE: EVA Air: Taipei to Los Angeles


My luck on this trip has been just great. I had a review of the Above Ground Level Lounge lined up. This is the lounge Air India uses in Bengaluru’s domestic terminal for its Business class passengers and Star Alliance Gold Members. It had closed for renovation the day I was flying out. So no lounge. But let’s get onto the flight.



Boarding started with priority boarding group which is Business Class and Star Alliance Gold members at which point I boarded.

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boarding

We were boarding by bus though, so priority boarding didn’t make a difference.

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airplane
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plane

I didn’t get to take a picture of the seat before boarding, so I took one after the flight was done, but the seat is still the seat.

As with all my other narrowbody Air India flights ever, the seat back was thin and hard and on this flight my back actually started hurting on the flight. The seat cushion was alright but the shining star is always the legroom. I’m 5′ 10″ (1.78 m) and the legroom was plenty enough. Given a more comfortable seat, I could’ve spent 12 hours in this seat with that legroom.

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seat



Here was the wingview.

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Wing view

We boarded our plane 1.5 hours late, to begin with, because of a late inbound plane from Kolkata, and we left just as late.

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views

Eventually we were ready for departure.

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departure
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takeoff
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climb

About 10 minutes after takeoff, the crew closed the curtains between economy and business class and began service.

Another 10 minutes later, the crew came around with the meal for this flight. Since this flight is blocked off at 1.5 hours, we are guaranteed a full hot meal. Depending on the departure time, we either get “breakfast”, “lunch”, “dinner”, or “snack”. This was a “snack”. So this is the smallest meal you’ll get with Air India on flights of 1.5+ hours. It’s still pretty much the same size of meals that United serves on 12+ hour flights.

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snack

The crew was quick and efficient with their service, though they weren’t especially friendly. Rather, they were just going through the motions of handing out meals and no interactions otherwise.

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snack service

First thing’s first, the big thing is called a Potato Pattice and the smaller darker food is a potato cutlet. Now I’ll do my best to breakdown what each is. A potato pattice  is usually a flaky (this one wasn’t flaky) pastry filled with mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, and lots of spices. It was very flavorful and spicy just the way I like it. The shell was soft, and the filling was great! The Potato cutlet is basically Mashed potatoes with peas, carrots, and spices wrapped around in bread crumbs and deep-fried. This was also incredibly flavorful and tasty.

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main course

Water was also served with each meal which is important on a flight and I greatly value.

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water

There was ketchup included which goes great with the pattice and cutlets.

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ketchup

The dessert is a typical Indian dessert called Gulab Jamun which was quite tasty for an airplane gulab jamun, and was almost as good as any gulab jamun you’d find on the ground. It was moist and sweet which is most important.

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Dessert-Gulab Jamun

Overall, this was another flavorful and well-executed meal by Air India and seriously a solid offering on a flight of this length.



Shortly after meals were served, another much friendlier crew member came and offered tea to everyone followed by the purser who came around with coffee for all. The same indifferent FA who served our meals quickly collected all trays after service was completed as well.

A short while later, we began our descent into Mumbai. It was an incredibly stormy day in Mumbai. As a matter of fact, on the first final approach, we had to go around due to wind shear and had to come back again for another shot at landing. The second attempt was very choppy, but successful touchdown onto runway 27.

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descent
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touchdown
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touchdown

We had a 10-minute taxi to the section of T2 where all the Air India planes were.

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Gate Arrival

And that’s a wrap on Air India for some time now.

Overall, this was yet again another great flight on Air India. The soft product exceeds expectations for a 1.5-hour flight (coming from the perspective of someone who flies domestically in the US a lot aka pretzels only for 4+ hour flights), flights are inexpensive, and legroom is excellent. Sure maybe the seats themselves could be better, and Air India could always improve its timeliness, but it sure is a great airline to fly with and I can’t wait to fly them again next. What I said is probably an unpopular opinion, but most people tend to remember their most negative experiences with an airline or hold onto the most negative experience of an airline they haven’t even flown on, as told by someone else. I think Air India in itself is a perfectly great airline to fly with, and given some minor changes, can be a competitive airline on the world scale. I’d happily fly them again.

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