I usually try flying Star Alliance (*A), especially with Air India (AI) on board. But there are still quite a few sectors where *A lacks good connections – like Portland for example. I’ve been consciously avoiding Air France (AF) after reading about their mistreatment of Indians. We did try booking easterly via Japan, but with just a week’s notice, even that was sold out. I was left with no option but to fly Skyteam all through BOM-CDG-SLC-PDX-AMS-BOM with AF-DL.
The to & fro journeys happen to be my longest 2 ever: a whopping 32 hours end-to-end to Portland, and 25 hours on the return. It also has the highest meeting-to-journey (MTJ) ratio of 28.5 hours of travel per hour of business meetings 🙂 The previous record was 15 hours. CDG-SLC also happens to be my longest sector this year – 5072 miles.
BOM-CDG on Air France
Without airline lounge access, I used the Clipper lounge which seems inferior to the new CSIA First Class lounge. We had an on-time departure around 2am. On board the A330, the crew seemed very pleasant. They distributed headphones and a night kit with an eye mask & ear muffs. The light midnight snack was the largest served by any airline that operates flights post midnight. LH, LX, VS, DL all serve a puff roll with drinks. Apart from the hot snack, AF served fruits – really help keep you hydrated on long flights – and a granola bar to munch later in the night. They used an older In-flight entertainment (IFE) system Continue reading 2 days in the air with Skyteam→
I was scheduled to fly Air India just 1 day before its Star Alliance (*A) membership went in to effect, thus depriving us of our *G privileges. Nonetheless, most of us are delighted about AIs entry to *A which allows seamless transfer of miles, lounge access, priority boarding, to name a few.
AI seems to have taken their entry seriously – knowing that memberships have been revoked in the past. Most of our 4-leg journey was as scheduled. But there’s still a long way to go. The food menu needs to be more internationalized and most importantly, legacy crew needs a mindset change. The crew on the international sector seemed more geared up than their domestic counterparts. Continue reading 1st impression of Air India @ Star Alliance→
After posting the itinerary for Bali and our experience, I have received a lot of emails with questions – primarily – around the budget, airlines, hotels, car rentals and general tips. I’ve put them as a FAQ below; hope this helps fellow travelers.
What was your budget?
Honestly, we were traveling on budget. We had planned about Rs.70,000 per head and wanted to make the most out of it. We did.
Is there a split?
This is naturally going to differ, but here is an idea.