Air India Food Review

A tray of food on a plane.

On a Wednesday morning in May, I received a dreaded phone call at around 11am. I needed to get back to Australia urgently due to a family emergency. A few hours later I was on my way from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Melbourne.

A toilet in an airplane with a seat next to it.

Most of the trip is quite a blur now, but I won’t forget not having any inflight entertainment for the entire trip to Melbourne. It was quite boring.

Air India Inflight entertainment

Is Air India worth it? I’m in two minds, they have great cabin crew and the food isn’t bad. But the transit experience in Delhi, their lounge and lack of IFE is dreadful in this day and age. I know they’re trying to become a world class airline, but I feel this will take years to achieve.


I think the lack of working IFE is a common problem on Air India flights, as I’ve heard passengers and crew complain about it. But, at least I had an exit row seat on both sectors.

A monitor with a remote attached to it.

On the Delhi to Melbourne leg I got talking to one of the crew about the inoperative inflight entertainment system. She must have felt sorry for me because within a few minutes, she returned from business class with some snacks for me as a quasi-apology. I thought it was a lovely gesture.

A bag of cookies and a bag of chocolate chips on a plane.


I was pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome I received from the crew when I stepped onboard. They greeted me with a “Namaskar!” The crew were fantastic throughout the flight, always pleasant, present in the cabin, and they even had a local French crew member for any French language difficulties.

The flight from Paris to Delhi took about 7 hours, so I expected two meal services. It departed Paris around 8pm and arrived into Delhi the following morning. Pillows, blankets and headphones were all provided.

A white pillow is sitting on top of a bed in an airplane.
A bag with headphones and earphones sitting on top of a table.


The service began promptly after take off with a round of drinks offered and the crew provided some crunchy corn snacks. The corn snacks were delicious.

A tray with a cup of pepsi and a bag of corn.

Soon after the meals were distributed, there was a choice of vegetarian or non vegetarian meals.

A tray of food on a plane.

I can’t even remember the name of this meal, it was fine. Definitely not up there with fellow Star Alliance members Turkish Airlines and Austrian, but it wasn’t the worst I’ve had either.

Air India are trying to enhance their inflight service and reduce plastic waste, I appreciate that they use sustainably sourced cutlery. On flights ex Delhi economy class customers have an enhanced meal service. (More on that below)

A tray with food and utensils on it.

Before landing the second meal was offered, there was no choice. Passengers were given a meal tray consisting of a sandwich and fresh fruit. Again, nothing to write home about.

A tray with a sandwich and fruit on it.


Delhi isn’t the friendlist airport to transit in. After arriving passengers with connecting flights must visit the transfer counter and have their boarding pass stamped before being able to go through security. The staff manning the transit desk and operating the security are not the friendliest bunch and add to an already mediocre experience.

I was able to access the Air India Maharaja Lounge. I was grateful to be in a quiet space away from the crowds of the terminal. But it’s a horrible lounge, with minimal food offerings and in dire need of an update.

On a positive note the staff were wonderful, I was able to take a nap in a nap room and have a shower. (Even though the nap room may look like the inside of a prison)

A small bed in a small room.


Air India Boeing 787 cabin

On this sector Air India offered the ‘enhanced’ meal service in economy class. The airline sent out a big press release about the upgrade to economy class meals back in April this year. I do love a good PR spin, basically they have added a small salad to the meal tray and it looks like they have increased the size of the dessert.

A tray with food and water on it.
A cup of tea is sitting on a table next to a napkin.

In between meals it was possible to pour yourself a drink in the galley.

A plane with a lot of drinks and bottles in it.

Four hours after the first service the crew once again delivered another meal service. No complains about this meal tray, my favourite part was the dessert, it was very moreish.

A tray of food and water on a plane.

Three hours later the crew yet again came into the cabin to deliver a snack service just before landing. I don’t think I was hungry at this point, but gladly took the food as I was quite bored without any IFE.

A piece of paper on a table.

Overall I found the food ex Delhi to be more authentic and tastier, it makes sense though it is after all the airlines home port. Do I think Air India can become a world leading airline? I hope so. They have a bit of work to do.

However, they are blessed with hard-working and friendly cabin crew, who are willing to go the extra mile for passengers. This can sometimes be a challenge for airlines, as crew can make or break your flight. On the other hand, the transit and lounge experience was mediocre. The quantity of food provided is excellent, and they have a sustainability program in place. However, they’re not yet on par with airlines like Emirates and Singapore Airlines. I hope that Air India will achieve their new goals and become a world-leading airline.


All Material Copyright © 2023 inflightfeed

Scroll To Top