I flew Air costa for the first time this week, from Ahmadabad to Chennai.
This post shares my experience flying Aircosta and where possible compares it with other budget airlines like Indigo.
Good things about Air Costa
- No middle seats. Only 4 seats per row, two on each side. So it is a bit more convenient. Air Costa uses a fleet of Embraer E190 jets, which are smaller than an A320 (a reliable workhorse used by most carriers for short haul flights) but has a jet engine (not propeller) so can travel as fast and as high as an A320. So no compromise in travel time or convenience.
- Air costa planes can seat about one third less passengers than an A320- this means shorter queue and less waiting for everything
- Pre-booked meals are served first (unlike Indigo where there is no such preference).
- On board food is much cheaper than Indigo. (Upma and Bisi bele bath costs Rs 120 in Air costa, while Indigo charges Rs 200. Similarly a cup of tea is Rs 70 in Air costa, Rs 100 in Indigo. Air costa offers lots of ready to eat (add hot water n wait for few mins) food from Maiyas (brand by Sadanand Maiya, who built the MTR empire before selling it off and starting from the scratch again with Maiyas.
- They seem to be running some online contests, where winners can win free tickets by posting selfie with AirCosta brand image.
- In Indigo and other carriers bottom part of the seat is fixed. In Air Costa, bottom part of the seat slides forward as you recline backwards
- Web check-in opens only 24 hours prior to departure, not 48 hours like Indigo and few other carriers.
- After web check in there is no option to email the boarding pass. You need to print instantly or lose it.
- When person in row behind you eats his food, you might be asked to undo the recline on your seat and bring it back to normal position. Other airlines do not have this requirement.
- At Ahmadabad, whole airport was empty at 10.30 in the night, still Aircosta plane was parked at a distant bay and we had to take the bus. At Chennai, Air costa plane was parked at farthest parking pay possible (not sure if that is because of cost or maintenance needs) and the bus we boarded after getting down from craft circled half the airport before dropping us off at arrival gate. This causes much more delay for those who have checked in bags.
- Our flight was delayed by 1 hour- but that I think is manageable.
- Made couple of tweets to Aircosta, didn’t receive any kind of response, even after Days.
- They had listed new item Bisibele bath, but I was told It is not available and will be available only from tomorrow.
Overall it was a nice experience. Air Costa has just about 1% of market share as of now and have reportedly placed order for 50 more jets last year. We should be seeing them expanding soon. Best wishes to them.