Review: Air India A319-1, New Delhi – Jaipur

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Our fourth flight with Air India would be a short haul hop between New Delhi and Jaipur. Our every day flight would be a quicker alternative to taking the train. The flight featured straight forward catering, a quick and relatively easy experience.


This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Air India A319-1, New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport – Jaipur International Airport

“Air India provided a straight forward short haul jet aircraft experience in between two commonly traveled cities.”

Air India
Economy Class
DEL-JAI (Indira Gandhi Domestic Airport – Jaipur International Airport)
AI612 – Economy Class (S) 
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
April 17, 2015
Booked: Airbus 319
Flown: Airbus 319-1

At about T-35, we departed the Air India Marajarah New Delhi Lounge and headed down to the gate.

The Indira Ghandi Airport in New Delhi had some interesting sculpture artwork and wide concourses. We also had a view of a Star Alliance livery Air India Boeing 787 next door to our gate.

Indira Ghandi New Delhi Terminal 3 Domestic
Sculptures in the Departure Hall of New Delhi Airport
Boarding Air India DEL-JAI
Air India Boeing 787 in Star Alliance Livery
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On Board Air India:

We boarded and found a slightly newer but still an orange and red as ever aircraft. We were seated in economy class today on a paid ticket that featured a 3-3 configuration on an Airbus 319.

The seating included a monitor screen that worked occasionally, and sometimes not at all. The usual “no collection of the left over newspapers” was ever prevalent as we sat in our seats today. Almost like a train, these newspapers were left over in our seats and throughout the plane.

Air India Economy Class
Newspapers on Arrival

After settling in, the scheduled departure time came and went. We pretty much sat idle for a bit wondering what was up. There wasn’t much additional information available on the in flight screens so we just waited patiently.

In Flight Entertainment

At about T+10, the captian came on the public address system to announce that the airport was “busy” and Air Traffic Control (ATC) was holding them back from their departure slot. Approximately 5 minutes later, we headed over to the departure runway, which was completely empty except for one other aircraft holding for take off. It seemed to be another example of India Standard Time- excuses or reasons given except that the excuses didn’t really seem to match the reasons provided.

A Pair of Jet Airways Boeing 737’s at New Delhi

While we waited, I killed some time studying the in flight map. Sharp eyed readers will note that Lahore and Karachi are shown in India (not Pakistan). There is a local rule that restricts the type of map that is shown to reflect India being someone larger than it actually is. 

In Flight Map that did not show Pakistan

Departing New Delhi:

We eventually got under way and took off out of a smoggy New Delhi. We had some views of the airport as we climbed to altitude.

Departing New Delhi
Views of Indira Ghandi Airport New Delhi
A Smoggy View

A short flight due south west over some very smoggy skies. Not much to see out those windows except for the red red Air India livery. It was Beijing like smoggy!

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Food and Beverage:

Despite the flight only being around one hour, we received a small snack sandwich and a mango juice on board the flight. A small 200 ml bottle of water was also dropped off. 

Air India Short Haul Snack

Arriving to Jaipur:

We arrived to our destination after a circuitous descent into Jaipur. I was surprised to see an Oman Air B737-800 parked on the apron here, offering presumably direct flights from Muscat. 

Views on Short Final into Jaipur
Oman Air B737 on the ramp at Jaipur
Air India and Air Asia Airframes at Jaipur

We pulled into a non gate position and we were straight out onto the apron in no time. It was neat to see that the Air India plane next to us on the apron was unloading massive sacks of rice from the cargo hold.

Air India Airbus 319
Disembarkation

We had a quick bus ride to the main terminal and we were dropped off into a very old looking baggage hall. Oh yeah. This was the India that I was expecting. It wasn’t like the modern mega airports of New Delhi or South East Asia. It was a dark terminal that appeared a little out of date. At least the outside was nicely landscaped. 

Jaipur Arrivals Hall at Baggage Claim
Jaipur International Airport

My thoughts about Air India Short Haul:

The bottom line was that the Air India flight was a reasonable way of getting between New Delhi and Jaipur. Sure, it wasn’t the traditional train method, and probably took just as much time by the time you add the transit to and from the airport and the check ins. However, Air India also offered a jet type service instead of Jet Airways at the time which was a prop service. It also offered a reasonable flight time. Add a flight fare that was about $100 USD round trip (including bags and free seat selection) and we really didn’t have anything to complain about.


If you’ve flown Air India, did you use it for short haul travel around India (instead of a train or car?)

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