The service levels on British Airways (BA) and Air France (AF), in particular has been going rapidly downhill over the last few years. There are countless web reviews of nightmarish traveler experiences on these two carriers. Them flying jails have some nasty wardens. This week's incident, where all the Indians were rounded up in a herd and kept in a room for 16 hours with little comfort, food and drink, is just the proverbial final straw, and its about time we say NO to AF and BA. A couple of family members flew BA's flying jails a year ago (premium economy or equivalent), and the experience was so bad (rudeness bordering on racism), they discarded the return tickets, losing all the money, and just returned to the US on another airline. Losing your dignity is just not worth it. Lufthansa is not too far behind, so I have skipped European carriers for good. I dont know if they hate Indians, or just hate me :-) These airlines have taken hospitality back to the dark ages. A stop-over in Europe is a bad option for Indian Americans in the Midwest and east coast.
Despite my paranoia about the middle east, Emirates via Dubai appears to be a great alternative. The crew is more cosmopolitan and friendly and recent feedback suggests that it is the best option to get to India. Lots of cricket videos and movies for personal viewing. On-time performance is good too and its cheap. Based on current performance, it is certainly the way to go.