Air India introduces new premium experience!

Air India is a case of misplaced priorities as I’ve mentioned earlier this week. While in the air they have a good business class product, it is their ground team, which does not fly as much, that fails them. What a shame this ground service team decided it was another time to spend some more of our taxpayer money on Air India after being unable to get rid of it completely.

I’ve complained in the past that Air India has a broken product. Not metaphorically, but hardware wise.  Both in the 777s (angled flat for 19 hours?) and also in the 787 now because it is not maintained well. Proof below.

Air India Business Class on Boeing 777s

Air India Business Class on Boeing 777s

Air India Business Class on Boeing 777s

Air India Business Class on Boeing 777s

Air India would unveil a revamped product was the announcement that was made earlier this week. Their stance is that currently Air India nets INR 4 Crores from premium products every day, and by revamping they can be making INR 6.5 Crores per day.

They announced that they will be revamping the first class and business class in their Boeing fleet (the 777 and 787s). For the 777s, this would be done by end of July 2018. The 777s fly to the USA for Air India.

Air India First Class

Current Air India First Class

The 787 aircraft will be revamped by the end of August 2018. It seems to me by revamp, they just mean fixing it. Given no airline in history has been able to introduce new seats in that small a timeframe.

Here is what to expect with the revamp of the Upgraded Premium Class, called Maharajah Direct:

Cabin Crew will sport a new uniform. That was the only thing that was unveiled at the event they held yesterday. Pictures via Arindam Majmudar on Twitter

Maharajah Direct uniform a group of people on a stage

This unveil seems to hide more than what it shows. There is no press release, no pictures of the new product, except we know there will be new uniforms.

Now, reupholstered seats are their duty and not really winning any brownie points with me. Unless Air India is saying that hey, we will give you a better product at no extra cost as if the amount we pay them is commensurate to broken seats.

It also beats me how bringing out a new uniform for widebody fleet (the original Air India) when the staff have not received their full pay for the last month, will be a bright idea. I mean, we really just had the last uniform switch in 2015, so is it like a top of the line priority to change uniforms right now while the staff don’t get their salaries on time?

Whose bright idea was this? And how do you feel about the new changes coming up at Air India?

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

More articles by Ajay »


  1. I traveled recently in Kochi to Mumbai by Air India Business Class in A320. The seats & lounge was better than 9W. The ground staff (outsourced) was very good. Food was better. (I have traveled 5 times in 9W biz class in past 3 months & member of Platinum tier at Jet Privilege ) Only trouble in 9W business class passengers get separate coach if their is no aero bridge which improves the experience. Of course cutlery can be better but uniform of Air India is much better the old yellow blazers of 9W. I think the babus should focus on paying salaries on time rather then this non sense of new uniform. I would be happy if the crew wears comfy jeans, T shirts to work .

  2. I think the AI premium product should improve on
    Seats and comfort of bedding
    More courteous staff in biz class
    Food presentation and cutlery etc
    Better selection of fine wines and champaigne rather than just concentrating on spirits etc
    Separate Baggage collection areas for biz class and prioritised baggage which arrives faster

    Uniforms and other token changes perhaps allow AI management to make money but not a priority for the biz pax

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *