Review: Air India Airbus A350 Economy Class

For now, Air India’s A350-900 aircraft are the only exciting aircraft in their fleet. As of writing this post, all six have already been inducted. Although, when I travelled for this trip, it was just the first jet in service. I usually love first flights, but I was away on a personal engagement in January when the first aircraft was supposed to be pressed into commercial service. So, I had to pass on the initial dates. However, when AI put the flights out for sale, they stated that flights on the A350 would be available only for February 2024. So, I booked some tickets to try out the jet across the various classes, including the Air India A350 Business Class.

Since then, Air India has also put the remaining A350 aircraft in service. The A350 currently operates daily flights between Delhi / Mumbai and Dubai. Also, flights operate domestically between Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi. You can check the entire schedule of flights on the A350 here.

After flying from Delhi to Bengaluru on the A350 in the Business Class cabin, I took a Bengaluru—Mumbai—Chennai flight in the A350 economy class the next morning. The flight was priced the same as a Bengaluru—Chennai flight at the time I booked it, so I figured I would rather try out more time on board the aircraft.

On the day of the flight, I arrived at the airport at about 4:30 AM for my 7 AM scheduled departure from Bengaluru Airport Terminal 2. I’d never left the airport, but I was just in the 080 Arrival Lounge for the night.

a large sign with lights on it

Bengaluru Airport Terminal 2

I hopped into the DigiYatra lane to quickly enter the airport and headed to the Air India aisles to collect my physical boarding pass. However, as it, funnily, only happens in Bengaluru, I was subject to some sort of a testing algorithm where I had to show my physical identity card, which the security personnel matched with the data he saw on the app and then waived me through. Most days, Bengaluru Digiyatra gates open just with the face and don’t need the boarding pass to be scanned in either.

Air India at Bengaluru Airport had the new branding rolled out, and I headed over to get a print of my boarding pass. The Business Class queue was empty, while there were queues in the Economy section.

Invalid request error occurred.

Bengaluru Airport Air India Check-in Aisles

Lucky enough, with my Air India Gold Tier, I could head into the Business Class queue and get my check-in done quickly.

a woman standing in front of a counter with a man standing behind her

Bengaluru Airport Air India Check-in Counter

A few moments later, I had an AI SATS Agent print out my Boarding pass for me and fill up a lounge invitation to the Bengaluru 080 Lounge.

a man writing on a piece of paper

Bengaluru Airport Air India Check-in Counter

a hand holding a passport with a red and white ticket inside

Air India Lounge Pass + Boarding Pass

Within 5 minutes, I was in and out of the queue. Air India is spending a lot of money issuing lounge access passes rather than just printing the invitation on the boarding pass itself. You’ll note that despite the flight being Bengaluru—Mumbai—Chennai, the boarding pass was issued as if the flight was BLR – MAA. This meant there was going to be no need to alight in Mumbai.

The security check was quick, and I headed to the 080 Lounge on the Domestic Pier while I waited for my flight to be called. Luckily, the lounge was not full to capacity, and there was a special counter for Air India and Vistara invitations. Remember, at Bengaluru Domestic Terminal 2, Air India will eventually have its own lounge.

a sign on a stand

080 Lounge, Bengaluru Airport T2 Domestic Pier

I headed to the gate about 1 hour before the flight, as I feared schmoozing at the lounge and missing my flight. The aircraft was right where we left it the night before.

a window with a person standing in front of it

Bengaluru Airport T2 Domestic Pier

The gate area was disciplined, with most people waiting to board the flight without feeling the need to do so in a standing position.

people standing in a line in a airport

Bengaluru Airport T2 Domestic Boarding Gates

a man standing in a airport

Bengaluru Airport T2 Domestic Boarding Gates

people standing in a terminal

Bengaluru Airport T2 Domestic Boarding Gates

a group of people sitting in chairs in a terminal

Bengaluru Airport T2 Domestic Boarding Gates Waiting Area

The AI-SATS ground handling agent eventually announced boarding about 35 minutes before departure. Business Class and Gold and above members of Air India Flying Returns and Star Alliance Gold members were asked to step forward first.

Finally, I was back on board the Airbus A350-900 aircraft of Air India, and I boarded through gate L2, the second gate on the plane. The crew was joyful and upbeat. I was back on board VT-JRA, the second time within 12 hours of setting foot on it the first time around.

Air India AI589
Bengaluru (BLR) – Mumbai (BOM) – Chennai (MAA)
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Departure (BLR): 07:05 AM
Duration: 2 Hours 
Arrival (BOM): 09:05 AM
Departure (BOM): 10:11 AM
Duration: 1 Hour 44 Minutes 
Arrival (MAA): 11:55 AM
Aircraft Type: Airbus A350-900 
Seat: 30A (Economy)
Meal Service: Breakfast (x2)

The economy cabin’s middle section was still being assigned on a payment basis, so I decided to sit in the last cabin on the plane. Here is a quick look at the 3x3x3 layout on board in Economy, which is all in red upholstery now, a departure from the previous orange and red alterations.

Invalid request error occurred.

Air India A350-900 Economy Cabin

a row of red seats in an airplane

Air India A350-900 Economy Cabin

I was in 30A, all the way at the back. I quickly found my way to my seat.

a seat in an airplane

Air India A350-900 Economy Cabin

Fortunately, the A350’s bins are massive, and I was able to put both of my bags sideways for the duration of the flight. There was enough space for everyone else.

a suitcases in a shelf

Air India A350-900 Economy Cabin Overhead Bins

Air India’s A350-900 Interiors

Air India has 264 seats in the economy section, which takes up most of the mid and aft sections of the airplane. It sits right behind the premium economy section, which is a very small area between the second and third doors on the aircraft.

a map of an airplane seat

Air India A350-900 Seat Map

Air India went with the Collins Aerospace Pinnacle economy class seat (actually, Aeroflot selected it, and AI just followed with it). The modular design gives it the lightest weight in its class without compromising comfort. With features such as the four-way headrest, high literature pocket, and easily accessible power ports, Air India will ensure you travel in comfort, sleep well in this Economy cabin, and don’t crush your knees into the person ahead of you. The seat pitch is a generous 31″, and the width is 17.5″.

a red and tan seats in an airplane

Air India A350-900 Economy Seats

There was also a coat hook on each seat.

a seat belt on a plane

Air India A350-900 Economy Seats

Air India’s Airbus A350-900 Economy Class In-flight product

I settled into my seat and noticed the 12″ in-flight screen. Working in-flight entertainment is an excellent sign for Air India. The monitor has touch controls for browsing and making choices on the IFE.

a screen on a machine

Air India A350-900 Economy Class Seatback IFE Screen

Under the seat monitor, there was a USB A/C Charging port.

a black rectangular device with a usb port

Air India A350-900 Economy Class Seatback USB Charging

On each seat, a disposable earphone was waiting.

a row of red seats with grey straps

Air India A350-900 Economy Class Seats with disposable earphones

Under the seats, AC power sockets were also installed, two to be shared between a set of three people.

a seat with a red seat and a white seat

Air India A350-900 Economy Class Universal Charging

A reasonably large tray table was also a part of the seat package. It worked with a fold, so you could have it half open for a beverage service, and fully open when you want to lay out your laptop or eat your meal

a rectangular object with a circle on it

Air India A350-900 Economy Class Tray Table Half Folded

a close up of a metal object

Air India A350-900 Economy Class Tray Table (Open)

Here is a perspective of the legroom you can expect in the A350 economy cabin of Air India.

a close up of a seat

Air India A350-900 Economy Class Legroom

I made a quick trip to the lavatory, and there was enough room in this standard-size lavatory.

a toilet in a small bathroom

Air India A350-900 Economy Class Lavatory

Invalid request error occurred.

Air India A350-900 Economy Class Lavatory

Air India’s A350-900 Economy Class In-flight service

It was a cloudy day, and I waited while looking out the window for boarding to complete. Fortunately, the whole process was swift, and we were ready for an on-time departure from Bengaluru.

an airplane parked at an airport

Bengaluru Airport T2 Apron from Air India A350 Y class

I had the lead cabin crew member, Vandana, come around and greet me and other Gold/Maharaja guests before departure. This was a different experience than the flight the night before, when no one greeted the guests, even in the premium cabins. I hope she could impart to the rest of the young crew joining Air India nowadays how professional and aware she was of the duties of a cabin crew.

a screen with a map on it

Air India A350-900 Economy Class Seatback IFE Moving Maps (by Panasonic Avionics)

While I waited to depart Bengaluru, looking outside at sister ships from Air India Express was a great view.

airplanes at an airport

Bengaluru Airport T2 Apron from Air India A350 Y class

The tailcam also had some great views of the aircraft while we waited to push back as well.

a screen with a plane on it

Air India A350 Tail Camera Views

Soon enough, it was time to push back. The cabin crew performed a manual safety demonstration as we taxied towards the runway.

the wing of an airplane on a runway

Take off from Bengaluru Airport

The crew jumped into action after takeoff, and when the flight levelled, they first served special meals. Then, about 40 minutes after takeoff, they rolled out the carts and started going around distributing breakfast. There were a couple of options (one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian). I went with the vegetarian breakfast.

food in a tray with a bottle of water and a croissant

Air India Bengaluru – Mumbai Economy Breakfast (V)

On the tray were Sambar Wada and Upma, along with croissant, some yoghurt and a chipset of butter.

food in a tray on a tray

Air India Bengaluru – Mumbai Economy Breakfast (V)

It was nothing to write home about or be disappointed with, as this is perhaps one of the most served meals in the Indian skies. Surprisingly, though, there was no beverage service after (tea and coffee). It had beautiful views outside, though. After the trays were collected, I nodded off for a bit, only to wake up once we were closing into Mumbai.

an airplane wing in the sky

Arriving into Mumbai

a map of a plane

Air India Moving Map, while lining up for arrival in Mumbai

an airplane on a runway

Taxiing into Mumbai after landing (via Tail Camera)

We landed in Mumbai and taxied past some old artefacts, such as the Air India Boeing 747-400, as we arrived at the gate.

an airplane parked at an airport

Air India A350 x Air India Boeing 747

For about 45 minutes, the plane was on the ground, and ten people were going onwards to Chennai (who had boarded from Bengaluru). A team of cleaners boarded the plane after the passengers de-boarded, and a security team checked our boarding passes and hand baggage. Subsequently, the rest of the passengers boarding from Mumbai were allowed on board. It took about twenty minutes for the plane to be filled up again, and at about 10:05, we pushed back again for our next flight.

It took us about 20 minutes to climb out with the busy Mumbai Airport.

a map of the ocean

Moving Map taking off from Mumbai.

a screen on the plane

Moving Map on board Air India A350

I was very sleepy by this point in time, so I nodded off as soon as we were in the skies. However, the crew came around serving meals almost right after take off, and this time they wanted me to try the meals from Mumbai.

I went with the non-vegetarian breakfast option this time around.  On the tray was Mango Yogurt, a croissant and a butter chiplet.

food on a tray with a bottle of water and a bag of food

Air India Non-Vegetarian Breakfast (Domestic)

In the casserole, there was Egg Bhurji, a Parantha and a Vegetable Cutlet. It was a good package, overall.

food on a tray

Air India Non-Vegetarian Breakfast (Domestic)

This time around, a tea and coffee service was provided. It was a shorter leg than BLR-BOM, but they still managed to do a coffee run.

a cup of tea with a lemon in it

Coffee Service

The flight was uneventful overall and went by quickly. Soon enough, we were in Chennai, and after five hours and the long way home, I was finally off the jet for a few hours.

a plane parked at an airport

Air India’s A350 VT-JRA parked at Chennai Airport

The Chennai Airport Terminal, which is used by Air India, was empty, but that is a story for another day.


Overall, this was a good flight experience with Air India. Domestic flights on wide-body aircraft are rare, so I try to get in when I can, but this was even more special since this product will eventually fly abroad and is the new flagship of Air India. The economy class cabin looks comfortable for 8-9 hour long flights (not sure about the US, but Europe would do just fine). All the airline has to do is bring their crew service standards to an even level.

What do you think of these A350 aircraft being added to Air India’s fleet and of the experience they offer?

Liked our articles and our efforts? Please pay an amount you are comfortable with; an amount you believe is the fair price for the content you have consumed. Please enter an amount in the box below and click on the button to pay; you can use Netbanking, Debit/Credit Cards, UPI, QR codes, or any Wallet to pay. Every contribution helps cover the cost of the content generated for your benefit.

(Important: to receive confirmation and details of your transaction, please enter a valid email address in the pop-up form that will appear after you click the ‘Pay Now’ button. For international transactions, use Paypal to process the transaction.)

We are not putting our articles behind any paywall where you are asked to pay before you read an article. We are asking you to pay after you have read the article if you are satisfied with the quality and our efforts.


+ Brand new aircraft
+ Comfortable, well-padded seats
+ Working IFE
+ Meal Choices


None, really


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. Hi Ajay,

    Indeed the Air India A-350 is a very good product and a brand new aircraft should be a great experience. Also the front wheel cam is also very interesting and gives you a different perspective when on the ground. I hope you get similar experience with any Air India aircraft sooner than later and not restricted to the A-350s which will be mostly on international routes!

  2. Hey Ajay,

    Thanks for the review..

    The Y class onboard the A359s seem pretty good and would be comfortable for flights to Europe and US..

    And it’s also good the that seating configuration in economy is 3-3-3 as well..

    Seems to be a product worth considering for long haul flights..

    Best Regards,

Leave a Reply

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