Air India is one of those airlines that only offers first class on a few aircraft including the Boeing 777 and the Boeing 747. However, unlike many first class seats, Air India is not completely private, but it’s spacious enough for a variety of activities such as eating, sleeping, working and relaxing during the entire flight.
The airline incorporates the same golden hues throughout the first class cabin as those found on all types of cultural decor to give it the right touch of luxury—from the color of the small pillow to the outlines on the side storage spaces and color of the menu. Nonetheless, Air India first class seats are bit outdated (yet still retains its comfort).
There are only four seats on the 777 and twelve seats on the 747 in the front cabin, both with a 1-2-1 configuration allowing each passenger to have direct aisle access. And for those sitting next to a window seat have an average of three windows all to themselves. Aside from the seat converting into a fully-flat bed, Air India first class seat features an ottoman opposite of the seat with a seatbelt (for a fellow traveler to sit there safely), a large entertainment screen, a full-sized closet to hang garment bags, coats and jackets, and several compartments to store your belongings—all hidden from prying eyes. There’s a good amount of space underneath the ottoman for you to place your briefcase or backpack for easy access.
The first class seats on the Boeing 777 has a width of 23 inches and a pitch of 88 inches, whereas the Boeing 747 has a width of 19.5-21 inches and a pitch of 82 inches. If you’re tall, then the difference may be noticeable between the two, but overall, perfect for most heights.
Whenever you’re about to eat or need a table to work on, there’s a very large tray table that pulls out, and beside it is another space that stores the AC and USB ports along with the controller for the entertainment system. There’s a separate controller for the seat, which allows you to position the seat exactly how you like it, but these seats don’t come with a massage function.
Other features that definitely need a makeover is the bedding, it’s not as lush and comfortable as one should expect in first class—thin blankets, no mattress and a basic pillow. However, the airline does provide comfortable pajamas in different sizes to keep you warm while you sleep. And if you’re one to overheat, each Air India first class seat has a personal air vent to keep you cool.
When it comes down to the food, Air India doesn’t disappoint. Cultural cuisine is offered onboard, with options such as roast egg of lamb and chicken curry with saffron to prawns with curry simmered in coconut milk and char-grilled cottage cheese in tangy curry with vegetables and dal. If that doesn’t make you hungry, then we don’t know what will.
Overall, the Air India first class experience isn’t horrible, but it doesn’t compare to other airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Oman and Lufthansa to name a few. The service and food are terrific, but the seats could use some updates, otherwise, the airline can’t compete with other first class products that are currently blowing us away.