Air India Vs. Jet Airways First Class: Time To Compare?

Filed Under: Air India, Jet Airways

Summer seems like it’s quickly fading, and I have so many travel aspirations. The issue is that through September I don’t have the ability to be out of the US for more than a week or so, due to poor scheduling and commitments on my part.

I have legitimate travel aspirations of going to Iceland, Sweden, and some other places in Northern Europe.

But from a curiosity perspective, I also really want to try Air India first class, as they recently joined the Star Alliance. I mean, they are “the new definition of luxury,” so how could I not fly them?


They have fairly good award availability to/from the US over the coming weeks (in particular on their Chicago to New Delhi route), so I’m trying to decide if I should make a quick trip to India soon.

The other major international Indian airline, Jet Airways, also has a unique opportunity at the moment. They ordinarily fly a two cabin A330 on their routes to the US and Canada, which just feature business and economy class.

However, they’re presently flying a 777-300ER to Toronto, which features their first class cabin. They’ll continue to operate the 777 to Toronto through September, at which point they’ll revert back to A330 service.


I guess the question is, how curious would you guys be to read a side-by-side comparison of Air India and Jet Airways longhaul first class? Enough so I should take a quick trip to India for a few days in the coming week, or is it something I should save for the future?

In terms of trip reports, now that I’m done with the US Airways 90,000 mile business class trip report, I’ll begin publishing the trip report from my most recent trip tomorrow. That’s the one where I flew British Airways first class to Brussels, then the Tomorrowland party flight from Brussels to Frankfurt to Brussels, and then from Paris back to the US on La Compagnie.


  1. Oh dear Lord, yes. That would be the most anticipated trip report of the year. I’m already drooling in anticipation. So, yes, please.

  2. Worth a comparison! And its a very apples-to-apples comparison in my mind – so yes! Please do it.

  3. It’s a service I’m planning on taking later in the year so it would be great for me! Don’t you need adequate time to get a visa before traveling to India??

  4. Please do! We’ll love to get a review, especially from Air India which I’ll be flying first class in a couple of months.

  5. DO IT!

    There is a serious dearth of review of carriers serving India in the trip report community…and an overabundance of Lufthansa / Singapore / Emirates / BA trip reports.

  6. You probably already know this but I think you still need a visa to go to India? Or are you already covered in that department?

  7. Do it. AND, although you won’t like, i think you should do a UA/DL/AA head to head comparison. Pick a route that all three fly (LAX-LHR for example) and do a side by side. Make sure it is 77W or reconfigured 767 to Zurich from AA, but i think it would be really interesting to see a side by side comparison of the US airlines on the same route with flat beds.

  8. Would love a comparison, but I only think it’s fair if you do so on a similar route. For example, departing India, you may get ground services that you wouldn’t get at an out station. Wouldn’t be fair to fly AI out of ORD, then 9W out of India.

    I’m pretty sure you have a visa from before, but if you need a flying buddy with a lifetime India visa, let me know 😛

  9. I would LOVE to read your reactions, especially to Air India…and if the people from La Compagnie read your Air India review, they may feel like they got off pretty easy 😉

  10. I’d rather see you do a review of Jetblue’s “mint” cabin and some more coverage of domestic long-haul (Delta’s ATL->JNB or UA’s LAX->SYD for example). And Kuwait biz class of course.

  11. Well Plucky, isn’t this your job?!?

    All kidding aside, go for it. Will be looking forward to the trip reports.

    Peace out.

  12. I think trip reports are your bread and butter, and one of the reasons so many people read you. In short, if you ask “Would you guys like to read this,” chances are that the answer is yes.

    Short answer, yes.


  13. Lucky – that would be great. I did a review on the AI 787 MEL-SYD-DEL earlier this year in business class. Seats we’re awesome, food pretty good and service also pretty good. Jet Airways domestic business class is pretty good in India, food usually better than AI.

  14. No Amsterdam/The Hague trip report? KLM could’ve been an interesting review ;(

  15. @ Hong Kong Airline News — Yep, that’s coming after the Tomorrowland review. But since I haven’t covered the Tomorrowland flight at all yet, I wanted to get that trip report out first.

  16. Advice on which frequent flier miles to redeem for jet airways business class would be greatly appreciated.

  17. YES please!!! Though Amol makes a good point in regards to flight route & ground services comparison. From your other blog post, you wrote Jet Airways is flying the 77W on the YYZ-BRU route. Does Jet Airways also fly the 77W from BRU to India?

  18. Definitely a comparison would be great. Also Ben, speaking of your buck list. If you are in Northern Europe head to Copenhagen. It was the absolute highlight of my trip last year. Really interesting food, bars and design. Oh and the Danes are really fun (and beautiful) people!

  19. It’s not apples to apples as one is privately owned the other is goverment.

    Having flown AI numerous times in F typically on the LAX FRA BOM route I suggest it would be a worthwhile competitor to your LAX Guanzhou trip report. AI specializes in filthy toilets, FA flooding F with friends and family, FAs not to be seen and if you dare ping the call button they would arrive with a ferocious attitude as in what do you need now?! I note your own blog noted the strangeness of AI where theilots decided to sleep in J and turned the controls over to FAs in the cockpit!

    The two best flights I have ever taken were the Jet SFO BOM flights in F via Shanghai. It was the first time I had encountered a fully enclosed suit with doors closed, pajamas, fantastic wine ( Jadot Chambertin!), food and SQ FAs! Jet used to hire ex SQ FAs once they were fired from SQ at the age of 27 or 28 as supervisors while the extremely young Indian FAs were overly stiff and formal desperately trying to impress their ex SQ supervisors! I had previously flown SQ F numerous times on the TPE LAX route and CX F between HKG LAX route but all before the suites hard product. Jet in my humble opinion was better.

    The hard product at both SQ and CX has obviously gotten much better. But the culture of an organization resists change. AI staff cannot be fired and this I don’t expect much change there. Jet, facing huge losses and needing an Etihad bailout may see some changes. Thus I welcome a Jet assessment but do nit waste your time or risk physical safety flying AI.

    All the best

  20. Don’t bother with the comparison. I’ve flown both products multiple times (AI probably a few dozen times!) and there is zero to compare. Jet wins hands down on every front, except possibly for crew IQ. You’ll get more mature and worldly cabin crew on Air India if you want to chat, while Jet will have a bunch of ditzy eye candy twenty-somethings (hmm, maybe that is your preference anyway!). You’ll probably enjoy both flights though.

  21. Lucky, would love that comparison to happen so do it sooner than later. Let’s see how Star Alliance has propped up Air India and cost cutting off-late has affected Jet Airways. My hunch is Air India will come out slightly ahead, though afraid about their lounges.

  22. From what Richklhs and Marcus are writing it looks like HAVE TO do it. Especially the AI part of the trip. As others have mentioned, this is your job 😉
    And you already knew what the answer of your fellow readers would be, when writing this post, didn’t you? 😉

    Really looking forward to a lot more entertainment! (which is what your blog mainly is for me, since I’m in Germany and cannot in the slightest participate in the points-game to the extent that US-based people can).

  23. Ben, here’s a deal that might just help you decide: Hyatt is offering straight 50% off the daily best rate at nearly all properties in India. Book 01 Aug-15 Aug and stay 01 Aug-10 Jan.
    HT: LiveFromALounge

  24. Do it Do it. But do it in Biz please!. We Chase URers cannot afford Partner F now a days. 😛
    Also, any clue when will UA start showing AI availability in their website?

  25. @ PhatMiles — They should show the availability on the website but still don’t. No clue if it will every happen.

  26. Ben- I would do it except it is monsoon season rt now. I will be hot, muggy, and rainy! The flts would be interesting to try, though. Do it but keep in mind that Nov. and Dec. are ideal weather wise.

  27. Yes, please! It’s your duty to provide your readers with entertaining reading and to do a trip report for every airline flying today.

  28. haha, YESS… this will be like watching (err ‘reading’) a train wreck in slow motion… which means, entertainment guaranteed esp for the jaded F traveler among us 😉 … damnit, cant wait for this TR, even though its gonna be a few months out.

    p.s. I wonder how these 2 will compare to the ET flight you just had and reviewed, even though that was in J.

  29. do it, you might also want to try reviewing other airlines service to and from india

    I flew LH FRA-BLR in biz in Dec and that was a lower level of service then I have had on LH biz before; friends say similar things about Singapore, Emirates. I flew UA on DEL-NEW in biz on the way back and that service was shockingly better than the LH to BLR

  30. Lucky,

    For the sake of objectivity in the blog,
    do it BOTH ways in AI – Outbound in Bz and back in F
    Then do it on 9W the same way. Only then can you do a comparison
    I have done AI once in Y a long time ago LHR-JFK and will never again do it in any class.

    I think both China Southern and AI would be a better comparison, but you can only do it after you have had both.
    Also for your own safety, blog about them well after leaving India.

  31. Hi BEN. My name is Taher. I wanted to become a pilot but I’m short of money and can’t afford it.
    I read “ONE MILE AT A TIME”. its awesome. What I understood is that:
    First of all I have to fly by paying money. Then collect the miles on that flight and then use those collected miles on other flight.
    Is that what you are saying?

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