What Service Improvements to expect on board Air India now?

It is a done deal. The Tata Group honcho, Padma Bhushan N Chandrasekaran, walked into the offices of Air India yesterday, at Airlines House, and picked up the keys to the kingdom. As of January 27, 2022, Air India became a Tata enterprise and some of the soft touches that the Tata folks could organise without being on board Tata are beginning to be rolled out.

New Announcements on Board

One of the first things that change is the announcements onboard the aircraft. Effective today, you will be hearing new announcements onboard the airline.
a letter to an airline crew
Here is a flight operated on the Delhi – Mumbai route, in the morning of January 28, 2022, with the new announcement.

Not just that, F&B services will be also upgraded across the board on Air India flights. Remember, Air India went all vegetarian and offered only one option to save on costs back in 2017? This changes. As per the Business Standard, you should soon expect to see non-vegetarian meals in economy class cabins on domestic flights. That will leave Vistara to be the only airline offering vegetarian only hot meals on their aircraft. Hot beverages had already returned on Air India. Ironically, Vistara had, in 2017, mocked Air India on social media, by flaunting their superior meals. Now, the tables are turning.

a collage of food
On international flights, sea food, including prawns will return for first-class passengers. Other softer aspects of the service will also be upgraded. For instance, the crew is being trained on service procedures including laying out the table and serving meals course by course.

Various amenities will also return, which were cut down in the name of Covid-19. Duvets, blankets and pillows will be back on the planes, and so will be hot towels, which was the common practice earlier.

Beverage service will also return. As per a staff circular sent out earlier in January 2022, beverage service will be conducted before each meal, and a trolley will be used for service in First and Business Class.


While these are some of the soft product changes being made, the hard product changes will take longer. However, the intent is being shown for now, to upgrade the standards of Air India. You should be able to see these changes on flights domestically soon, and for the lucky few, on their Boeing 777s flying to the US in First Class as well.

What do you think of some of the changes being made by Air India to kickstart their imagebuilding as a private organisation?

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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.

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  1. Announcement aboard aircraft by Pilot/Captain needs lot of improvization..Delivery of announcement like a school boy forced to mug up.No connection with passengers in the announcement..lot of pauses during announcement and dragging of words.Captain seems unclear and nor ready to communicate.

  2. Please improve your website. Booking a ticket is an ordeal. Please compare your website to other airlines. Hopefully all rickety old B777-200 operating between SFO and DEL will be replaced. I am committed to flying only AI between USA and India. Let’s make it to the top 10 in the world.

  3. Leave service improvement aside , if they process Covid time flight booking , special service refunds and payback customer on time that will be the best they can start with . It’s been 8 months and no on responding from Air India customer service !

  4. I can see the pros and cons of this:

    1- Improved OTP
    2- Probably there might be refurbishment of the aircraft interiors
    3- In J class the food service and the seat would definitely get an upgrade (Let’s not forget, the big money makers for any airline are it’s premium customers so this is something I would expect them to enhance)

    1- Seat pitch, especially in Y class would get reduced, currently AI’s legroom in Y class is among the best so in an effort to maximize revenue and cramming seats, they might reduce legroom
    2- Baggage allowance, again this is something that is the most generous among all the airlines, expect this to get reduced.
    3- Currently AI has the 3-3-3 configuration on it’s 777 / 787 aircrafts, would they go for a higher density 3-4-3 layout ? Jet Airways used to have this layout on it’s 777s so AI might also follow suit.

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