Home >> Airlines >> Air India >> Hooray!!!! Air India extends San Francisco flight to Bangalore
Air India Boeing 777-237LR VT-ALF Jharkand at New Delhi IGI airport. Photo copyright Vedant Agarwal, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
Air India Boeing 777-237LR VT-ALF Jharkand at New Delhi IGI airport. Photo copyright Vedant Agarwal.

Hooray!!!! Air India extends San Francisco flight to Bangalore

Hooray for national carrier Air India. The airline has finally connected the Silicon Valley of the San Francisco bay area with the Silicon Plateau of Bangalore via a direct flight via New Delhi.

The national carrier has synchronised one of its flights between Bengaluru and New Delhi, with the non-stop New Delhi San Francisco flight. It has also changed the flight number of this synchronised flight to AI173/AI174 which matches the flight number of the New Delhi San Francisco flight, thus provided for a direct flight, not non-stop, between Bengaluru and San Francisco.

Importantly, Air India has also provisioned for the Bengaluru passengers to clear Indian customs and immigration formalities at Bengaluru itself thus lowering the transit time required at New Delhi.

Between Bengaluru and New Delhi flight AI173/AI174 will be operated by a narrow-body Airbus A321. The aircraft will be changed to a Boeing 777-200LR for the New Delhi San Francisco leg.

On Tuesday, Thursdays, and Saturdays AI173 will depart Bengaluru at 21:15 (9:15pm) arrive New Delhi at 23:45 (11:45pm).
The flight will continue on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays departing New Delhi at 02:35 (2:35am) and arrive San Francisco at 07:00 (7am) the same day.

On Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays AI174 will depart San Francisco at 10:30 (10:30am) arrive New Delhi at 16:20 (4:20pm) the next day Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays. The flight will continue, departing New Delhi at 17:45 (5:45pm) and arrive Bengaluru at 20:35 (8:35pm).

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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  • Sahir Siddiqui

    I struggle to understand why anyone would choose to fly Air India on this long haul, when Cathay Pacific is available – probably for a lower price and far far superior travel experience. Maybe the IT crowd on their first trip to the silicon valley before they know better?

    • nimishgupta

      1. Most of the “IT Coolies” don’t have a choice on the airline, the company travel agent typically decides based on the lowest cost

      2. For *A FFPs (extensive on SFO, fewer in India), this flight will get 17,529 valuable status miles, 2 such flights and you’re Silver. A good option if the other *A options like UA/ LH are priced too high on the day you want to fly. Unfortunately AI gives only 50% status miles on lower Y fares, that will hurt UA FFPs.

      3. AI long haul is much better for the Indian parents visiting – transit in very familiar Delhi, service with very familiar good and crew.

      4. AI long haul and the DEL hub are actually very functional now. While CX/ EK are better for sure, they are not “3 times” better, maybe twice as good (very subjective I know).

      5. For Indian folks who travel a lot domestically on AI, this flight is a sure winner for them as they gain valuable AI status miles/ benefits.

    • In addition to what Nimish says below, AI has pretty decent Indian food aboard. Especially vegetarian. Many parents prefer this.

    • In addition to what Nimish says below, AI has pretty decent Indian food aboard. Especially vegetarian. Many parents prefer this.

    • Vijay Jayaraman

      1. makes total sense for people travelling to Delhi or cities in North India (Jaipur, Lucknow, Kanpur etc.).. one transit less to reach there…

      2. good food options for veggies

      3. board one flight and you are in India

      4. it was cheaper than Cathay, EK when I booked.

      5. EK and Singapore are two leagues better.. AI is probably in the same league as Cathay..

      6. Makes sense for elderly parents – more people with familiar culture around. Crew speaking in Hindi or Indian accented English to help out.. Transit in Delhi

      • Sahir Siddiqui

        Ok, I don’t dispute any of your points, 🙂 except for #5. Cathay is an awesome airline. AI is not in the same service league.

        • Vijay Jayaraman

          I’ve traveled Cathay a couple of times and it is strictly average.. Just performs its job with no bells and whistles unlike EK or SQ… I’m flying AI 174 in a couple of weeks… Will update my comments here with a comparison with Cathay

  • Moiz

    BLR-DEL flight is still not updated in Air India s website..

    • That is ET for you. The clearances in Bangalore will be for Indian customs and immigration only.

  • kEiThZ

    I don’t get the point. If you have to transit, you’ll be losing time anyway. Might as well make that time productive and go through customs and immigration. Now, BLR bound pax face the prospect of customs and immigration at the end of their 20 hr trip, as opposed to doing it Delhi while transferring.

    • Since you do not have to clear customs and immigration it saves time. For these two clearances, get in to line, then wait for bags, clear, then re-load the bags and then board the aircraft.

      • kEiThZ

        So basically parity with say changing flights in Europe. So now Air India is competitive with say Lufthansa. But still not with Etihad (which had US preclearance…. Good in theory admittedly….).

        I don’t think clearing Indian customs while in transit would be that a big deal, no? Especially since you’ve got to do it at some point anyway. Why not, while in transit? Was there some huge convenience difference other than getting your bag off the belt one more time?

        • gh79

          Having to take bags off and reload them is a BIG inconvenience. Part of the reason I hate flying into the US through a gateway other than the final destination is the US forces me to do Customs at the first airport. Seems Air India/AAI/Indian Customs are more customer friendly than US airlines/TSA/USCIS

        • gh79

          Having to take bags off and reload them is a BIG inconvenience. Part of the reason I hate flying into the US through a gateway other than the final destination is the US forces me to do Customs at the first airport. Seems Air India/AAI/Indian Customs are more customer friendly than US airlines/TSA/USCIS

    • Since you do not have to clear customs and immigration it saves time. For these two clearances, get in to line, then wait for bags, clear, then re-load the bags and then board the aircraft.

  • Shekar

    I travel this segment about 6+ times a year, and am a Star Alliance guy. I will give this flight a shot and see how it turns out. Next trip on Air India….SFO-BLR-MAA-DEL-SFO.

  • Rakesh

    Its not an extension, its neither a direct flight, BLR-DEL is operated by A321 & DEL-SFO is operated by B777-200LR. AMD-NWR & HYD-ORD are direct flights via DEL as the same flight B777-300ER originates from AMD/HYD for onward & same flight extends till AMD/HYD on return.

    • I agree, there is a change of equipment. This practice is used the most by US carriers. Same flight number, narrow body domestic and wide body international.

    • I agree, there is a change of equipment. This practice is used the most by US carriers. Same flight number, narrow body domestic and wide body international.

  • Go Chakrapani

    Not a worth. I will never travel AI. That’s my personal choice and I hate it too. I prefer Singapore Airlines all time favorites. Arrive peacefully at 1 am in Singapore take a flight from SIN to BLR the next morning SILK AIR or evening SA

  • Niladri

    AI just said they are introducing 77W connecting flights 3rice weekly to feed the 77L DEL-SFO flights. Why not this for BLR?

    Or is this the same 77W connecting flight that proceeds onwards to DEL-ORD, albeit some timing changes?

  • Niladri

    AI just said they are introducing 77W connecting flights 3rice weekly to feed the 77L DEL-SFO flights. Why not this for BLR?

    Or is this the same 77W connecting flight that proceeds onwards to DEL-ORD, albeit some timing changes?