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


Our fifth flight with Air India would be a short haul domestic hop returning from Jaipur back to New Delhi. Instead of the packed land trains, Air India would provide a no frills, but efficient method, of connecting between the two cities.

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, Jaipur International Airport – New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport

“Air India provided a no frills and straight forward short haul jet aircraft service between these two commonly traveled cities.”

Air India
Economy Class
JAI – DEL (Jaipur International Airport – Indira Gandhi Domestic Airport)
AI611 – Economy Class (S) 
5:10 PM – 6:10 PM
April 20, 2015
Booked: Airbus 319
Flown: Airbus 319-1

Before we knew it, it came time to leave The Rambagh Palace. It was around this time after six days in the country, that the famous “Delhi Belly” struck my traveling stomach. Despite eating exclusively within hotels and on property, I managed to get pretty sick at around the sixth day in India. I suspect the source was a chicken pizza that I had the night before departing at The Rambagh Palace. I would have thought that pizza would have been safe, considering that its usually cooked to a million degrees. However, all signs were pointing towards it as the source. It wasn’t really a surprise, many of the travellers that we talked to on our travels through India had gotten sick in India at one point or another. I had the Zithromax antibiotic with me, but instead I opted for a steady supply of over the counter Immodium. Little did I know at the time that I would be taking these tablets for about 9 days straight in quanitites upwards of twenty pills along with a visit to the doctor and the biomedical lab on return home, but that’s another story entirely. The moral of the story being, if you come to India, come prepared with medicine. Thankfully, I was prepared in advance and had everything with me.  

Jaipur International Airport

We booked a hotel car back to the Jaipur airport. We arrived at about 2 hours before the flight and the check in was not even open yet. We had to show our paper itinary to the military guard to be let into the airport, then additional baggage screening prior to being allowed into the check in area. The Jaipur airport was old school, even the Air India flight board was on a white erase board.

Air India Old School Flight Board
Jaipur International Airport Departures Hall

We were led over to the Air India counters. There were only two that were open and we happened to end up at the Executive Class Counter. Our expired Star Gold cards were not questioned and we were not charged any overage on the baggage fee.

Air India Executive Class Check In
Digital Flight Boards at Jaipur

We passed through the “segregated by sex” security screening and into the departure concourse. Of note, I happened to see on the Air India website that it is permitted to carry a kirpan (ceremonial dagger) with you on board domestic flights within India. I didn’t see anyone doing this, but it’s a bit of a different concept to be allowing long curved knives on board when you are usually accustomed to an ultra security conscious North American environment. Getting back to Jaipur, the departure concourse was a very tired, dirty and depressing place with a few souvenir shops and pigeons flying about the hall.

There was no lounge available of the Air India, Star Alliance or Priority Pass variety. As there was no lounge, the customers fed the pigeons inside the hall for entertainment. 

Jaipur International Airport Secure Side Departures Hall
Jaipur International Airport Departures Hall Holding Area
Birds Seem to Enjoy the Departures Area
In Airport Entertainment: Bird Feeding

While we waited, we eventually saw our flight arriving to the gate. The flight arrived on time and we were boarding at T-15.

Air India A319 Arriving to Gate
Air India Arriving to Apron Position

On Board Air India:

There was plenty of bin space for the rollies since most in this part of the world don’t seem to use rolling suitacases. The plane was the now familiar red and orange. Although it wasn’t as dirty as our Male to Delhi flights, it wasn’t exactly an example of Spic and Span either. A quick board and we were pushing back early at T-5.

Our Air India A319
Air India Economy Class Seating
Air India Boarding Card Stock

I am sure that the Health and Safety Committee would have something to say about hanging out here without being teathered in. Seems as though they were just killing time and watching the airfield go by. 

Human Resources may have something to say about this (laughing)

We had a quick climb out thanks to no traffic.

Food and Beverage:

A pre-departure beverage of a small water bottle was dropped off in order to get us started.

In Flight Water

The meal service was the same as on our way back, a small sandwich tray with a mango juice box.

A Half Sandwich and a Mango Juice Box

The flight offered in flight entertainment in the form of a moving map.

Air India Moving Map

Arriving to New Delhi:

We had a round about descent into Delhi. We landed and started walking down the long terminal of Indira Gandhi International Airport. We ended up at the other end of the international arrivals hall and passed the mudras from the opposite angle. We bypassed international customs thanks to the domestic lanes and the “D” on our boarding card.

New Delhi Domestic Arrivals
Indira Ghandi Arrivals Hall
New Delhi Mudras Hands – International Arrivals Hall
Mudras Hands at Indira Ghandi
Intricate flower carvings on the hands
Indira Ghandi Domestic Arrivals Hall

We easily found our driver and headed for the 1 hr transfer to the ITC Maurya Luxury Collection hotel. There were some interesting taxi’s outside for those that weren’t using Uber or other car services.

Pre-paid Taxi Run by the Delhi Police
Indian Taxis

We each earned a generous 36 Aeroplan Status Miles for this flight (25% of actual miles flown), which is unfortunately less than I typically get filling up my car at Esso Gas Stations in Canada. 

My last thoughts about Air India Short Haul:

Overall, I have to say it was a reasonable flight. It certainly wasn’t big on frills. We had a tea time snack in the form of a mini sandwich. The Jaipur airport was a bit of disaster but I wasn’t really expecting much. Surprisingly, Air India actually had the audacity to send me an internet survey asking, of many things, if the planes were clean. Funny!

If you’ve flown Air India domestically, did you have a similar no frills experience?

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