Does This Picture Make You Want To Visit Air India’s Lounge?

Filed Under: Air India, Media

Sometimes I’m a bit annoyed by the “models” airlines use to show off their products. Like when they release pictures of a new lounge or seat and use super-attractive models in $5,000 suits and dresses. It certainly doesn’t accurately depict what the experience will be like.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Amol shared the pictures that Air India uses to showcase their lounge at Newark.

Air India uses the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Newark, and this is the picture they use to showcase the lounge:


Would it be humanly possible for them to look like they’re enjoying the lounge any less? Certainly a far cry from how much Mr. Brown enjoys the Air India experience, to the point that he flies Air India no matter where he’s going (hell, he hasn’t even ever been to India):

They use four pictures to showcase the lounge, but the above is the main one they feature. They could have gone with this one, which they also took, but apparently didn’t think was as worthy:


I assumed someone from Air India just went into the lounge and grabbed some creeper pics, but it seems this may have actually been a photoshoot, based on the same people being featured in multiple pictures:


Makes me super excited for my Air India first class adventure next week!


Speaking of which, does anyone know if Air India has a first class lounge in Delhi, or just a shared lounge for all premium passengers?

  1. Sample caption 1: “Are we having fun yet?”

    Sample caption 2: “Where the hell is the Bombay Sapphire I ordered?”

  2. Well, Air India has a first class lounge, though it is subpar and not really worth the time to visit it, But still go to take pictures
    I would prefer The Singapore airlines or lufty lounge in Delhi.

  3. I believe it is a shared lounge, though could be wrong. There might be a separate section for First. The worst part is the other lounges in Delhi (and Mumbai) are actually great! As an aside, the GVK lounge in Mumbai is one of the most beautiful lounges I’ve been in – much like the rest of the new international terminal in Mumbai.

    Based on what I have seen, I would strongly recommend spending most of your time in one of the Priority Pass lounges (Plaza Premium) in Delhi, as they will be superior to what you can expect in the Air India lounge.

  4. Air India is a Govt run airlines and am pretty sure the person in Blue shirt might be one of the VIPs or an executive from AirIndia in a higher post. 😉

  5. Either you could use the Air India Lounge (First and Business) in Delhi, or if possible the SQ lounge which I’ve not had the pleasure of trying – but I’m sure it would be better than the Air India one –

    How long do you spend in Delhi, or is it just transit?

  6. The lounge will probably be the best experience of your trip. From experience, I suggest to take some diazepam and a bottle of Old No. 7 with you on the flight. That way Air India flights are bearable.

  7. I was there a few weeks back. Big lounge with first on right, business on left. Most notable for me was the blue-light bug zapper in the middle of the buffet table. I’ve got lounge photos somewhere.

    Also, when you pass security and enter into the departures area, notice the machine gun post. Not far from the Starbucks:)

  8. Having been to the SQ Krisflyer lounge in DEL several times, not that great but better than nothing, I would be afraid to step into the Air India lounge.

  9. It is a shared lounge in Delhi, right side is First Class, left side is Biz class. Not really much there at all worth sitting there for.

  10. AI is in a dreadful state because the previous governments were nothing but incompetent and corrupt. The new, right-wing, Hindu nationalist government takes pride in the country and has been doing everything in its power to improve the standards of the country’s assets. And it’s working. They’ve only been in power for a year, so give it time.

    This post just seems completely snarky and uncalled for, otherwise. It’s a filler post about a non-issue. What exactly is wrong with the lounge, I wonder? It looks normal. Is it because a bunch of Indian men are sitting in it? Is that what you’re trying to insinuate? Are you trying to demonise them in some way or the other?

    I hope you’ll word your future AI posts more carefully instead of making it come off like you’re cracking jokes at our expense. Everything Indian-related may seem like a massive joke to you, but keep in mind that that is the global perception of America in half of the world.

  11. The ITC Green lounge is surely a good option besides the Plaza Premium or Air India lounge on Mezzanine floor of T3 in New Delhi.

  12. @Krish – I’m the one behind the tweet. I’m of Indian descent. The picture could easily be the same gentlemen but in a different setting/pose. Air India needs to do better with presentation.

  13. Maybe he was giving that look because the d***head who took the pic thought it was perfectly okay to take pictures of people and violate their privacy in an airline lounge, of all places, and not because he was in an AI lounge that looks perfectly alright, to begin with? How would you feel if someone were to take your picture like that? I bet you would’ve given the person the same look instead of like, smiling with your teeth all exposed.

    I know how this stuff works, Lucky. It’s subtle. You don’t have to teach me. The problem here clearly isn’t the AI lounge. It’s the asshole behind the picture who tried to cover up his anti-AI bias by taking a sneaky picture of someone without his permission, and then passing it off as the guy’s reaction to the supposedly decrepit state of the lounge.

  14. Amol, then you need to get a sense of self-respect and stop giving fodder to these गोरी लोग who are obviously using you as a front for their bigotry. Please learn how to take a stand for yourself and your country, and respect yourself instead of being a complete sellout. Thanks.

  15. @ Krish – that’s the point. AI can clearly take photos of an empty lounge and put that as the main pic and there would be no story there. Hell, they have a picture of the bar without any passengers which could easily be the main picture. The issue is that optics matter — Air India just doesn’t “get it” – I expect this from an upstart airline that doesn’t know what it’s doing, not a national carrier that’s part of Star Alliance. Maybe it’s just how things are done in India and it’s me being an ABCD that finds it funny.

  16. @ Krish — I think you’re really confused here. You’re saying “the a$$hole behind the picture who tried to cover up his anti-AI bias by taking a sneaky picture of someone.” This isn’t a picture which was uploaded by someone with an anti-AI bias, this was a picture uploaded by Air India… to advertise their own product! What am I missing?

  17. @Krish – Amol is really pointing out the squandering of opportunity.

    Think about it like this. We’re in January 2016. Of the BRICS, India is the only one with real economic growth and robustness. Oil is at record lows (and India is a massive importer of oil). Theoretically, the only good place in the world where you can deploy capital into a developing market is India.

    India should be getting billions of dollars in FDI right now. But it’s not. The “new, right-wing, Hindu nationalist government” is too busy (a) promoting change but not making any and (b) despite being far less corrupt than the previous government, spending way too much time on “Hindu” issues. The people of India want low corruption and actual progress – not marketing slogans. Air India needs to do the same.

    If Air India were well run, EK/EY/QR would have no market. Air India should turn DEL into a massive hub and have LAX/SFO/SEA/DFW/IAH/ORD/ATL/JFK/BOS/IAD/YVR/YYZ-DEL 1-3x daily (run whatever W patterns are needed for optimal a/c utilization) and sap EK/EY/QR of their core traffic while denting TK as well. But it hasn’t.

    There’s so much potential. Let’s hope that India actually does something with it.

  18. @ Krish – I don’t find Lucky to be bigoted here at all, and trust me, I’ve experienced what actual racism and bigotry can be in the US. Air India is providing all the fodder.

  19. @AnonChi – exactly! Ask the Indian diaspora who fly in economy how they like to get to India and the majority will say on Emirates. Yet Air India offers 3-3-3 with 34″ pitch in coach while Emirates 3-4-3 with less pitch. Why do people prefer EK? The optics, the golden halo, the whatever! It just “feels” like a nicer experience. And guess what – Emirates is owned by the UAE government, so it’s not like a privatized company. Air India is well positioned to take advantage of opportunity but seems to squander it.

  20. “and not because he was in an AI lounge that looks perfectly alright, to begin with?”

    Um, that isn’t the AI lounge…that is the Virgin Atlantic lounge in Newark…

  21. Perhaps if we let Krish to chill out and read the post with an open mind, it might be the best solution for him at this point 🙂
    There was no derogatory reference to the country in this post.

  22. “Like when they release pictures of a new lounge or seat and use super-attractive models in $5,000 suits and dresses.”

    Or when they hire people like Nicole Kidman or Jennifer Aniston? 😉 Granted, the experience might be the same as it is in those commercials, but I’m sure most of the passengers are a bit more “average” looking…

  23. Lufthansa lounge is Delhi is your best bet among the Priority Pass and Star Alliance options. Singapore and Lufthansa lounges are right next to each other and actually share the same private bathrooms.

  24. Horrible advertising! Guess thie guy is some station manager of AI who was asked to pose for impromptu pictures while in Newark on an AD90 ticket.

    Though Air India is the “national” airline of India its Emirates which is actually the default national airline of India as they carry more traffic in/out of Indian airports than any other airline.

    There is no scope for Air India unless it is privatised. The ruling party(whoever is in power)treats AI as their private airline. The situation is so hopeless for AI what with their supposedly “new” Dreamliner’s in shambles due to lack of proper maintenance. Recently they stripped a Dreamliner just for the spare parts for their other planes. I mean what bad planning.

    Though some people might find Lucky’s take on AI offensive the fact of the matter is that truth is always bitter to swallow!

  25. Well! If these comments are a taste of what to expect once Lucky posts his trip report I can hardly wait for the trip report! No doubt @krish has been given time to develop a full range of branded invective ready to hurl at Lucky!

  26. @Marcus, I can’t wait either! Having flown Air India first class twice last year and business class domestic a handful of times, I would love to see what Lucky’s experience is going to be on the ground and in the air.

    @Lucky, feel free to ping me for pointers if you need specifics on planning for the trip. My last experience was “interesting” to say the least!

  27. If the guy in the blue/white shirt had been looking at his phone instead of the camera, it would have been fine. But he looks highly annoyed at having his picture taken, and this overshadows everything else in the picture.

  28. Should I ask my Indian coworker what “गोरी लोग” means, or will he never want to speak to me again?

  29. What is up with non-US airlines using voiceovers? Bangkok Airways does the same thing in their pre-flight video.

  30. Hi Lucky,

    Air India has one communal lounge in Delhi for Business/First passengers. The funny thing is how unexclusive their domestic lounge is. Passengers from Air India economy class and even other airlines can pay just $10 to get into the lounge.

  31. @Krish, you owe Lucky and Amol an apology. Go back and read the post. These are AI’s own marketing photos.

  32. गोरी लोग according to Google translate is “white people”. Krish translates as employee of Air India.

  33. I think air India decided to show their lounge as it is without any false pretences. Most lounges have people looking like that whilst they use them – AI just decided to quit fooling everyone and show the place as it is

  34. It is so unfortunate that AI is shown the way it is. But everyone knows that AI has the potential which they do not see. @Krish : I dont think @Amol or @Lucky have done any wrong , they have the right to express thier views.

    @Lucky : I would suggest you use the Plaza Premium Lounge which you can get access to , under Mastercard India Lounge Access Program. Thats the safest bet in Delhi

  35. @Krish Are you the sourpuss in the picture? Work of AI?

    Obviously your level of comprehension is a bit lacking. (BTW, I’m a ‘desi’ immigrant to the US!) The problem lies in taking umbrage where none was intended. And @Krish is clearly a hypersensitive racist projecting his racist feelings on “white people”! C’mon man, get a clue. Call a spade, a spade — do not be an ostrich. Why did you feel the need to hide behind Hindi when writing “white people?” Pathetic!

    “Everything Indian-related may seem like a massive joke to you, but keep in mind that that is the global perception of America in half of the world.” Really? Then why are people from ALL over the world flooding to USA for education, jobs and green cards? I’m sure the queue to get Indian permanent residency is pretty long, huh?

    As a former Indian, I avoid using AI at all costs simply because it doesn’t meet any standards that international or even domestic carriers, for that matter, should adhere to. I still visit there frequently for personal and business reasons and I love India as the place of my birth, but there is a reason millions of Indian diaspora choose to live elsewhere.

    So please give us all a break!

  36. In the first picture Mr. Blue Plaid definitely looks grumpy . That was immediately and prominently noticeable . I wondered why Air India advertising department didn’t make a better choice .
    I believe they could have given a much better impression of their lounge by choosing a different picture .
    For Mr. Krish may I suggest that ” He doth protest too much . ” Have more confidence in your self and your country Mr. Krish

  37. AI does have a first class section in its lounge though its no different really than the main business portion. I’ve been multiple times to all the lounges in Delhi and as a previous poster mentioned, use the Plaza Premium lounge with Priority Pass. Next I would rank the Lufthansa lounge though its open only for a limited period due to flight schedules followed by Singapore Airlines. The food in the LH and SQ lounges is very, very similar (the “kitchen” and bathrooms are shared between the two lounges) but the LH lounge has a lot more space, is much more attractive and more comfortable furniture in my opinion.

  38. @My fellow sensitive desi ppl, What bigotry should I oppose or take a stand here, that’s clearly the worst pic Air India could possibly put up as an ad, nothing to do with nationality or any such BS. I’m an Indian living in the US, I’m proud that we are even talking so much about AI lately at OMAAT for the better or worse. Given the population, budget and corruption in politics, I’m surprised AI has atleast made it so far and not ended up with a service like Kuwait Airways. I even suggested Ben on another post to try the AI domestic 787 business class. They may be not up to the level of EK/EY/QR but definitely on par with service of UA/AA here in the US.

    Having said that, I look for my time and money’s worth, I would never travel in AI myself with the current level of service unless that’s my only option, they are attempting to be world class, but they have to improve a lot yet. Just like most American based airlines.

  39. @ Krish

    You’ve come off like a complete schmuck. Either your reading comprehension is substandard, or you were hoping to pick a fight. Either way, man up and apologize for your arrogant accusations.

  40. @phize, $10 is a fair bit in India, specially on a domestic route. I think its a great way for AI to try and monetize their lounge a bit more.

  41. @Logesh, I agree with you about J on 787; its really pretty good. I fly SIN-DEL/BOM-SIN every 4-6 weeks and almost always take AI on the red-eye back to Singapore since its so much of a better experience than SQ. SQ is excellent for the leisure traveler but their service is very annoying for the business traveler on short-medium range flights.

  42. @MT I definitely agree with you. I have myself taken advantage of AI’s lounge by paying their $10 fee. I just think that people who are travelling in premium cabins may not want the lounge to be so crowded.

  43. @Sam:

    You said: ““Everything Indian-related may seem like a massive joke to you, but keep in mind that that is the global perception of America in half of the world.” Really? Then why are people from ALL over the world flooding to USA for education, jobs and green cards? I’m sure the queue to get Indian permanent residency is pretty long, huh?”

    Speak for yourself. I haven’t set foot in the US nor do I intend to set foot there as anything other than a tourist. I don’t even know what a ‘green card’ is. I’m perfectly happy here in Bharat. Have you even visited as of late? The country has changed so much. And perhaps you should take a look at the sheer number of American ‘expats’ (or immigrants) moving to financial centres like Hong Kong and Singapore, and increasingly Japan and Mainland China and taking up citizenship here for a less biased view of the immigration statistics. Have you even read the statistics about the number of Americans renouncing American citizenship on an annual basis because of Uncle Sam’s tax laws and unstable future?

    “As a former Indian”

    You will always be an Indian, so don’t pull that ABCD/traitor stuff on me. Piyush ‘Bobby’ Jindal can try and be as American as he wants to be, but we don’t see him as anything other than a try-hard Indian. I seriously don’t understand the ABCD thought process… you belong to an ancient civilisation that is only comparable to China in its magnitude. Where is your sense of pride in that, huh? This is why people say that Indians are their own worst enemies, and people like you just keep proving it again and again.

    As for the rest of you, I owe no-one an apology. Yes, I may have been a tad defensive, but it is only natural when you’ve been (rather unfairly I might add) made the butt of the jokes for a long time. Perhaps you all should learn to be nicer first. Bye

  44. Oh Krish, keep posting, this is some of the funniest trolling I have seen since that guy who kept asking Lucky about bathroom pics on airplanes.

  45. Lucky,
    You should make Krish a guest poster. He could provide a nice counterpoint to your reviews every week. Kind of like Jebidiah Atkinson on SNL Weekend Update 😉

  46. @Krish – I don’t even know what a ‘green card’ is. Seriously??
    “I don’t even know” or “I don’t want to know”??

  47. Do Indians practice open defecation on planes like they do in India? That could present a rather smelly and messy cabin experience for their fellow travelers.

    Probably best to give Air India a pass.

  48. @Krish – well said mate. The country has changed so much. Looks like change means ‘rape – rape – rape’ , ‘odd-even side of driving’ , ‘drool-at-sunny-leone’ , ‘brag-fart-brag-fart’ . Your soldiers are treated like dirt even when they give their lives. Your neighbor toys with you by attacking you and your government does not have the ‘well-oiled-balls-in-their-desi-engines’ to take care. Yes we freaking ‘gore log’ took care of some ‘big-fart’ called ‘osama-dust-bin-laden’

    So stop this pretense on ‘era-bharat-mahan’. Air India has a long while to be world class.

  49. @Lucky, Delhi and Mumbai A/P have changed tremendously . i used the AI lounge in Delhi last November. was not bad at all, the folks at he lounge treated we well, food was good, and they had a good range of drinks.

  50. AI is a turd world airlines. Don’t expect much. I’m an Indian myself, and I’m actually surprised they managed to keep it in air, let alone a lounge in that filthy place called Delhi. Delhi airport is fine, with it’s saving grace of good architecture, but it isn’t spectacular like other airports with best architects.

    Added to this, I doubt you know the salaries of these poor air-hostesses or pilots who are mostly over-worked, maybe they believed in the beginning that they would become rich or something. Which is actually funny because India is a really exploiting place.

  51. @ lucky

    Are you finally selectivity picking comments that are provocative or criticize your articles or is my browser showing a decrease in comments suddenly?

    Don’t know why we are so fixated by the lack of quality on AI. Do we forget that we Americans also have the audacity to promote terrible airlines (ehem delta, AA, UA). Hell I never travel outside the US on our airlines. The best north american and only 4 star airline is AC, which seems like a palacial home compared to the American trio.

  52. Agree with comment above. List of airlines not eligible for business travel by my company: AA, UA, DL, AI, PIA, Aeroflot, Saudia, ML, Kuwati, and ME3. The first nine since they are on our crap list and the ME3 due to political reasons. So AI, you are not alone at being terrible. My personal experiences have taught me that baggage will be lost on AA and DL.

  53. @Tina
    Would love to see a similar ad for the US airlines with fat blokes wearing dirty torn jeans half falling off and wearing sweat shirts with Budweiser in their hands. Trying to coax my wife to make that ad for Delta whose account she manages. Wife is ROFL.

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