ronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 52 Posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 30581 times:
I N T R O D U C T I O N
Welcome to Indian aviation! Or what I like to term as the bread & butter for almost any airline out there. With a population of over 1 billion, a thriving tourism industry, and a rapidly growing economy -all of which sound many of today's bells and whistles- "Incredible India" naturally draws a dense and rather diverse flow of traffic. At first instinct, one may only associate India with low-yielding 'plane-fillers' that Emirates et al thrive on. But let's not forget Bollywood, or the ultra-rich Indian families all over Mumbai, Dubai, or London for instance, where a First Class ticket is like a trip to the convenience store for a packet of gum.
As fruitful an opportunity as this may seem, it is also quite the challenge for the Airlines. Infrastructure constraints, an abundant supply of homebred seat capacity, and the never-ending need to protect the National Carrier Air India are just a few factors that contribute to the sheer difficulty in accessing this market. Traffic rights granted to foreign operators in India can be so specific that they are based on a precise number of weekly seats offered, and not just on number of frequency. And of course, let's not forget the five-year rule that is applicable to all private Indian airlines.
Nevertheless, all airlines foreign and local, found their ways in and out of this competitive market. Emirates, Cathay Pacific, and Singapore Airlines to name a few, were having a party in India. But the festivities would soon come to an end after Jet Airways announced its International operations -based on an aggressive Emirates-esque strategy- in 2005. Soon enough, Jet Airways with its proclaimed superb product offering made its way to the likes of Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore amongst a mere 60-plus other destinations.
The new arrival has indeed caused quite the stir in the airline arena. In 2008, Emirates launched a new service update specific to Indian flights that emphasizes new service routines designed to deliver an improved offering, and claiming this is due to "increased service competion." Similarly, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines followed suit and introduced their most premium product to India at the time, which was a drastic switch from the lowly regional tin can, to the more lavish low-density. In reality, the Jet Airways shake-up is only a natural formula that will undoubtedly entice many Indians to switch loyalty from other airlines. Why wouldn't you if your own country now boasts a top-notch carrier?
Today's times may have more of a twist to this story however. The aggressive expansion strategy that Jet Airways saw light in at one point suddenly doesn't seem so attractive anymore, and the infamous Shanghai-San Francisco celebration is almost taboo. Coupled with the usual effects of the global financial crisis, the airline's 777's now seem to be flying for everyone but Jet Airways!
This will not stop the Indian traffic from flowing however, and India will continue to grow and prosper. The JETs have arrived, and are promising the best of the best in a rapidly changing environment. India is now following, and maybe even a little more too. The world seems to have changed a little, and lately it's all about keeping up with the JETs!
A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
ronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 31108 times:
WELCOME TO MY 25th TRIP REPORT
This TR will cover the following flights on Jet Airways in Business Class:
A)Hong Kong - Delhi (B777-300ER)
B)Delhi - Dubai (B737-800)
B A C K G R O U N D
On February 11th 2010, 'JIMYVR' -a.k.a The Airline Route Blog- announced an update on Jet Airways' Hong Kong operations. From 1st of March until 1st of April, Jet Airways was to deploy the B777-300ER on both Bombay-Hong Kong and Delhi-Hong Kong flights instead of the A330-200. It is highly unlikely I will fly Jet Airways long-haul for a real purpose in the near future, so this was the perfect opportunity to try this airline's flagship product. Many have consistently raved about Jet Airways' exceptional in-flight offering, and this was my chance to see what this airline is all about!
And so, this is what created my entire vacation to Asia. Everything was planned around this flight, including the progression of Oman Air, and Cathay Pacific that lead to my arrival in Hong Kong to catch this flight. As the highlight of my trip, my Jet Airways experience will be the last of this Asia trip series.
Once the airline was selected, the battle between Mumbai and Delhi followed. I personally would have preferred a connection through Mumbai due to the longer flight time from Hong Kong. However, connections to both Abu Dhabi and Dubai were not attractive through BOM. Delhi on the other hand offered an hour connection time to Dubai and seemed like the easiest option given that I had to be back at work the following day.
The tickets were purchased on Jet Airways' website, which was a relatively easy process overall. The website is quite informative and the booking engine displays all the different fare classifications in a simplified manner. However, when it was time to purchase the ticket, the website hung up on me after submitting my credit card details. This affair was rather complicated since I first had to confirm with my bank that my card was not charged, prior to my second attempt at purchasing the ticket. Tickets eventually purchased, it was now time to fly on Jet!
O R I G I N
Checking out of the Regal Oriental Hotel in Kowloon East at 9:40am, I took the hotel airport shuttle bus to the airport.
Regal Hotels airport shuttle bus
This shuttle provided a simple means to get to the airport, and after a few stops at other Regal Hotels in the city, we arrived at Terminal 1 just over an hour later.
Terminal 1 check-in hall
At Hong Kong, Jet Airways, alongside Kingfisher, Royal Jordanian, and Philippine Airlines (amongst others), operates out of Terminal 2. This 'terminal' is not so in its own right, but only a separate check-in area that is connected to the same airside departure gates. In my opinion, this is where the Airport Authority Hong Kong has failed miserably in this airport's design.
This separate check-in area, is located slightly further away from the departure gates than Terminal 1, and would require an additional train ride to reach the same destination. Although the airport signage was clear, the process was a little complicated and quite time consuming. On the up side, Terminal 2 offers a great shopping and entertainment experience featuring an array of shops, F&B outlets, a cinema, and the infamous Aviation Discovery Centre (where I spent the majority of my time during my stay in Hong Kong).
Overview of Terminal 2 at HKG
Located in Aisle P, I arrived at the Jet Airways check-in counters at 11am to find that a long queue had already formed. There were five counters allocated for Economy Class, and one each for First and Premiere. Interestingly, Jet Airways is handled by SATS HK, the Hong Kong version of Changi's own ground handling expertise. I had no idea that SATS even existed outside of Singapore, so this was something new to me.
Jet Airways check-in counters
At my turn to check-in, the friendly agent while eager to help, seemed slightly confused. She thought that Dubai was in India and informed me that I had to collect my luggage at Delhi to clear customs first. That ordeal was eventually sorted out after a lot of paper shuffling on her desk, and a few query phone calls to her colleagues next door. She handed me back the same paper boarding passes I had printed out the day before, claiming that there is no requirement to print actual boarding cards. I was a little hesitant about this, and questioned whether these papers would be accepted in Delhi. But nevertheless, I took her word for it and moved on.
My boarding paper to Delhi
Jet Airways uses the facilities of the Air France Lounge at HKG
After check-in, I walked around Terminal 2 to take some pictures before paying a visit to the Sky Deck located in the Aviation Discovery Centre. I had spent the first few days of my vacation at the airport for this purpose, and stayed at the nearby Regal Airport Hotel. The entire airport can serve as the destination, and there could be no requirement to go out into the city, especially if you are a hardcore aviation-freak.
Views of Terminal 2 at HKIA
On my way to the Aviation Discovery Centre
The Aviation Discovery Centre is a multimedia aviation-themed centre that provides an educational experience on the history of Aviation in Hong Kong. Apart from the Sky Deck, it also features a cockpit simulator, die-cast aircraft models of airlines that have served Hong Kong in the past, and other interesting information about HKG in general. It also features a movie theatre, a PlayStation gaming area, and a 4D Motion Ride.
Inside the Aviation Discovery Centre
Views from the Sky Deck
At 12pm, I left the discovery centre and headed towards immigration and security. Before reaching the immigration counters, I arrived at a document check station where an officer checks your boarding pass and passport. The agent looked at my boarding papers with total confusion before asking me why I did not have an actual boarding card. I had informed him that I was advised by the airline that this should suffice to let me through, and after five minutes of consultation with his colleague, I was let go. By then I was beginning to question whether or not the airline had properly implemented its online check-in process at HKG. Or who knows? It could be a lackluster on Hong Kong's part too.
Once I reached airside, I spotted two female Jet Airways cabin crew happily chit-chatting away their conclusions on their layover as they waited for their colleagues to clear security before heading to operate my flight to Delhi.
"So how was it last night?"
"Oh I left at 8 only, but they carried on"
"By the way are you on Facebook?"
Perhaps it was their first time on a flight together, where the ice is usually broken on the return flight when the usual Facebook proposition arises. In any case, catching a small glimpse of the source of my upcoming service routine on Jet Airways brought feelings of excitement along with the subsequent 'butterflies in my stomach.'
Waiting to catch the first train
Inside the first train
Connecting to the second train
Arriving at the Air France Salon at 12:30pm
Typically French, the Salon was simple, elegant, and with a modest twist. It offered a very comfortable seating area with an adequate décor, and all the usual amenities associated with a typical lounge. What was interesting, and perhaps expected, is that the with the French backdrop the food and beverage selection was catered to meet the requirements of Jet Airways travelers. An Indian (veg and non-veg) finger-food selection was available as the buffet, in addition to cheesecake for dessert. However, a full buffet is the norm of a premium lounge in today's times yet, it is not found in 9W's Salon.
Comfortable seating area inside the lounge
My food selection
As this was pre-Easter, I was still fasting and the food selection couldn't have been more suitable. I chose the vegetable samosa, the eggplant quiche, and tomato and lettuce sandwich. The quiche and the sandwich were nothing to write home about, but the samosa was great. At 12:50pm, I was through with my meal and decided to leave the lounge and proceed towards Gate 43.
Terminal View after leaving the lounge
I arrived at the gate at 1pm to find that boarding had already commenced for my flight. An orderly line had already formed for Economy Class passengers in preparation for general boarding, while premium passengers were already proceeding inside the aerobridge.
Nonstop to Delhi as 9W 71
Approaching the podium, my boarding paper was scanned, and the subsequent beep signaled my permission to proceed further as the agent smiled and wished me a pleasant flight. The drum roll commenced, as curiosity almost killed the cat, when I stepped inside the aerobridge I could view from a distance the yellow uniforms actively moving over a brown Premiere background. Sounds of the APU, and the muffled apron bustle outside, served as the opening beat of what I was to expect for the next several hours; let's get on board already!
Towards the aerobridge
Arriving at Door 2L of this 777, I was greeted by Niraj from India.
"Good afternoon Mr. Hawi, welcome on board Jet Airways. Please follow me to your seat"
By 1:05pm I was on board Jet Airways, and bearing the highest of expectations.
A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
"Mr. Hawi, my name is Niraj, please make yourself comfortable and let me know if you need anything during the flight"
"Thank you Niraj"
"My pleasure sir"
First impressions on board blew my mind away to say the least. Other passengers like myself were all being personally escorted to their seats, and given the warmest of welcomes by the crew. Afrid, the dominatrix crew on today's Boeing 777 flight was standing in the middle of the Business Class cabin rather than First Class for instance. Also known as the Facebook lady, she and a female passenger were exchanging motherly advice on the upbringings of their children. As the purser for today's flight, she played the part and her royal look only signaled that nothing can go past her. On the other hand, I haven't seen a purser welcoming passengers in Business Class during boarding on a 3-class aircraft before, and so hats off to Ms. Afrid!
Looking around me, the ambience seemed a little congested, if not slightly on the dark side. The aircraft was spotless fresh with not a particle in sight however, the haywire herringbone layout and the dark colored seats suddenly brought depressing thoughts of having to go back to work the next day. Perhaps it may have been the difference in contrast between the sunny afternoon outside and the 'blah' cabin inside this aircraft. Nevertheless, this is Business Class and I shouldn't complain!
One would normally assume that a herringbone Business Class seat is narrow, cramped, and plain uncomfortable; well not on Jet Airways. To say that the seat is huge by normal standards is an understatement. Having sampled both versions of Cathay's herringbone seat (yes, there are at least two versions now), this Jet Airways seat is miles ahead of even CX's wider version. Personal space is ample, and claustrophobia-like feelings are a non-issue here, so this journey was looking to be a very comfortable one.
As the pre-departure services began, I noticed a slight change in the crew's behavior. Apart from the occasional and rather unpredictable outbursts from time to time, the warmness in general seemed to have subsided. By that time, welcome drinks were offered, and apart from the visuals on the tray of drinks in front of you, there wasn't much more to experience.
Welcome drinks offered
"Anything to drink sir? Orange juice, watermelon, water?"
"I'll have a glass of orange juice please"
After finishing my orange juice, one crew looking rather worried, was speeding down the aisle, and when noticing my empty glass, she unpredictably broke into smiles and happiness as she kneeled down on the floor.
"Have you enjoyed your drink sir?"
"Yes I did thank you"
"May I collect your glass?"
Collecting my glass, she then stood up and left the smiles behind and returning back to her 'zone' as she zoomed back into the galley.
Hot towels were distributed
Followed by menus
Meal offering on HKG-DEL
Meal offering on DEL-HKG
At 1:28pm, the doors were closed and the crew rolled out a trolley across the aisle serving newspapers and socks. Is Jet Airways a member of the 'no amenity kits in business class' club or do they not hand them out during daytime flights?
At 1:30pm, the seatbelt sign was switched on, and pushback immediately commenced after that. Afrid made an announcement to welcome us on board, and inform us that our flight time to Delhi would be a short 5 hours and 30 minutes.
As this Boeing pushed back, the engines cranked on and we eventually began our taxi to the runway. Several crew appeared in the aisles to take our meal orders.
"Mr. Hawi, welcome on board"
"We have a non-lactose vegetarian meal on board for you. Is this ok?"
"Yes, thank you"
"Would you care for some soup or salad?"
"I will take the soup please"
"And what can I get you to drink?"
"A glass of tomato juice please"
"One more thing. are you a photographer?"
"Not officially no"
"You have a very nice camera. I want to get one for myself, so perhaps next time when I am in Singapore"
Nishtha taking orders
Another crew was also taking orders from other passengers in the aisle, and I overheard her speaking to what seemed like a Muslim-Chinese lady who had ordered a special meal.
"Excuse me madam. I just wanted to confirm with you if you have ordered the Mohammed meal?"
"Great, your meal is on board, and we will serve it after takeoff"
Judging by the conversation, I figured it was a Muslim meal, though hearing it referred to as a 'Mohammed' was a definite first for me.
Lining up at the runway, VT-JEB roared into action down the centerline and powerfully lifted into the sky at 1:50pm. We were on track for the 5 hour flight to Delhi. As we reached cruising altitude, the seatbelt sign was switched off and the crew sprung into action for service preparations.
Unfortunately, by this time, the entire set of crew on this flight went into a strange 'zone' of aloofness. I was suddenly reminded of the days when Emirates had reached rock-bottom in terms of spotty service. The crew were not so much annoyed or unwilling to work, but rather in this unexplainable dimension far above our cruising altitude, where all I could see was worried looks on their faces. It felt like the flight was over, when I still hadn't been served lunch yet.
Cabin during cruise
As things were busying in the galley, I decided to explore the features of my seat. All the normal amenities were featured including power-ports, USB's, and ample storage space.
Literature rack & electronics section
My tomato juice was served with a bowl of nuts
Table linens were then placed on the tables
"May I dress your table sir?"
Serving the meals to everyone was rather slow and a little strange. The last couple of rows in the cabin were served their meals first, followed by the several front rows next, and leaving my row till the very end. Eventually my meal tray made its appearance, and it consisted of a starter of green pea soup, silverware, butter, bread plate, and salt and pepper shakers. All other trays around me had glasses of water on them, but mine didn't.
"Soup for you"
"Thank you. May I also have a glass of water and a glass of Diet Coke?"
My meal tray
The soup was a little on the cold side, but it tasted alright and did not seem to have any cream which was good. Champagne, wine, and bread were served next on a neatly presented trolley, which I thought was a nice touch.
Champagne, wine, and bread on a trolley
Very stale bread
I had finished my soup long before my empty plate was collected, and in fact, other passengers were being served their entrée already. Once finally cleared, my entrée plate was brought to my seat shortly afterwards.
"Non-lactose meal for you"
The meal consisted of a vegetarian meat that almost exactly resembled the look of a chicken breast. From the taste, it seemed like a tofu/veggie patty that was accompanied by tomato sauce and vegetables. Indian vegetarian (and even lactose-free) meals are plenty and I would have expected something more along those lines rather than something as bland as what I got. But, as this was a special meal catered at an outstation, I will not hold it against Jet Airways because the standard offering on the menu looked quite delicious.
Once through with my meal, my plate was promptly collected. I was offered Tiramisu, ice cream, or the Indian selection for dessert without any recollection of my non-lactose requirement. However, fruit was available when I requested for it, and it was brought to my seat shortly afterwards.
My Diet Coke which arrived late
Finally, hot towels and water bottles were distributed to conclude the meal service. I was feeling a little sleepy by then, and decided to find something on the IFE to fall asleep to.
Unfortunately however, the selection was rather limited, similar to Royal Jordanian. There were approximately 20 western movies -something so minute compared with today's standards- and an even smaller amount of comedy shows. The focus was mainly on Bollywood which is obviously expected, and while I would have enjoyed a subtitled Hindi movie, that was too much effort considering my sleepy state at the time. One nice feature about 'JetScreen' was the seat-to-seat SMS feature. However, I was unable to use it as I was traveling alone.
I slept for the remainder of the flight, up until 1 hour and 7 minutes before landing. I went to the lavatory to freshen up and to capture the customary moment inside.
Nice decorated bar area near the lavatory
More cabin shots
A quick drink service was carried out prior to arrival, and the crew were taking orders from the passengers.
"Can I get you anything to drink sir? some juice or maybe water?"
"Orange juice please"
My glass of orange juice
As we were nearing top of descent, I quickly got up from my seat for a quick visit to cattle class. Of course, the sudden sliding of the curtain and the appearance of the alien with his big black camera is always part of the IFE for cattle class.
Back in Business
Back in my seat, I watched a short documentary
Approximately 40 minutes before landing, Afrid made an announcement to inform us that we were to arrive at Delhi soon, and is required, lavatories should be used now because everyone has to be seated once the seatbelt sign is switched on. The crew began their preparations for landing by collecting the menus, but luckily, I was able to hide mine without any issues.
Closer to descent
At 4:05 Delhi local time, the captain made an announcement to inform us that we had begun initial descent towards Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, and were expect to land in approximately 30 minutes. Five minutes later, the seatbelt sign was switched on and sounds of seatbelt clicks were heard throughout the cabin. Blankets and headsets were collected, and the cabin was sprayed with disinfectant.
Cabin during descent
On final approach, I could see from the nearby windows that we were close to touchdown, yet the sounds of the engines were too high and it seemed that were still flying far too fast. This resulted in a very smooth touchdown at 4:33pm, followed by a very powerful and screeching break that had everyone jolting forward until the aircraft finally reached taxi speed. Quite a scary ending to this flight.
At the remote stand, I prepared for my quick transit to Delhi. Luckily I had some extra time on my hands due to our early arrival into Delhi.
At Door 2L, I thanked the crew for their efforts, and proceeded down the steps and into my hour in India!
I rarely seem to take this type of shot
A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
ronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 30876 times:
T R A N S I T
My boarding paper to Dubai
Arriving the immigration area, airport staff were located to the right side after entering the hall calling out for transit passengers. They were standing behind a very thin counter with a gathering of passengers from different flights waiting to be called out. Apparently, one has to wait until the majority of an airline's passengers have showed up before being transported by bus to the airside departures area.
Transit passenger processing at DEL
I handed the helpful agent my boarding pass, and he reconciled it with the information that he had and asked to wait for a few more minutes. I had expected the worst of the worst after reading some reviews here and on Skytrax however, the process wasn't so difficult and the bus had finally arrived to take us to the departures hall.
Eventually, I had arrived at the entrance to the Clipper Lounge at 5:20pm. Alongside myself, was a Jet Airways staff who had personally escorted me to the lounge, and informed me that he will be back before boarding to take me through security and to the boarding gate.
The Clipper Lounge at DEL
This lounge is a common-use facility by almost all of Delhi's customer airlines, and in addition to home carriers Jet Airways and Kingfisher (I am assuming that the IT banner in front of the lounge means they are using it).
A very warm and friendly lounge attendant welcomed me to the lounge. When I handed her my boarding paper, she took a look at it, and questioned whether this was my boarding pass. When confirming to her that this was the case, I was free to proceed inside.
The interior of the lounge wasn't near as bad as I had thought, or perceived from pictures I had seen on the Internet rather. In fact, I thought the ambience was rather warm and cozy. The lounge featured several comfortable couches in the seating area, a dining area, and a buffet spread which consisted of light finger foods and the usual alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Seating area at the Clipper Lounge at DEL
Magazine rack featuring magazines from different airlines
I helped myself to some tasty vegetarian kababs
I was still unsure of what procedure I needed to undertake in order to get to my boarding gate, let alone even know what my gate number was. It was 6pm already, and the Jet Airways staff hadn't returned, so I decided to proceed on my own.
Leaving the lounge, I noticed a FIDS screen located above the screening machines which listed all flights as “Security Check”, however my flight to Dubai was not showing. Not knowing if the flight information wasn't loaded on the screen yet, or whether it was already removed, I approached a security officer and handed him my boarding pass.
He refused to accept my piece of paper as a boarding pass, and had ordered me to get one issued before going through security. Not knowing what to do, I stood aimlessly for a few minutes until I found a Jet Airways agent walking by. After explaining my situation to him, he informed me that I should have received an actual boarding card, and that he would take care of that for me. All that, while the other agent who escorted me to the lounge earlier never met his promise to return and collect me.
My new boarding pass
Back at security, the officer finally let me through. My first attempt at passing security failed miserably as I had to re-screen everything again, but this time separate all electronic items from the rest. It may sound easy, but not when you have two cameras, a laptop, two phones, wires for the camera, the laptop, and the phones, and about 6 to 8 extra batteries. Everything had to be taken out, in front of everyone, and very quickly!
The officer was initially a bit dry and abrupt when he saw I had carried all those things. However, he calmed down after I had explained to him what the batteries and wires were for. I was a little overwhelmed with this, and so I began to sweat heavily hoping that I wouldn't raise any unnecessary suspicions. Of course, as a sour ending to this fiasco, the final officer noticed that my carry-on had no Jet Airways tag, and again got abrupt and angry. Apparently, this tag is of utmost importance here, as it is necessary to have an official airport stamp to show that security has been cleared. And finally, twenty minutes later, I was officially airside.
The necessary luggage tag
I really had no time to look around Delhi's airport for a critique. However, I did find it to be rather dull and old, though that is expected given that the Emirates A380 is conducting a special flight to celebrate a new facility's opening very soon. Your typical duty free scene occupies the majority of the airside space, and beyond that I found nothing special. So I proceeded to Gate 2, where I had later learned was where my flight would be boarding from.
A very crowded holding area
Boarding had commenced at 6:25pm, and was an all-call affair.
A long queue had already formed
And I joined the crowd for boarding
At my arrival at the podium, a security officer took my boarding pass and checked that my carry-on had a stamped tag. Following this, Jet Airways staff conducted a quick document check to reconcile the names on both my boarding pass and passport, and once that was through, a third document check was conducted by a final person who took my passport and boarding card to check something and place a sticker on my passport.
And finally, at 6:40pm, all the stamps, stickers, luggage tags, and what not have concluded me to be clean and secure enough to be inside the bus. As much as this transit really frustrated me, I would always prefer to go through the extra mile of bureaucracy rather than be subjected to a dodgy security breach.
A very short bus ride, and we eventually arrived at the aircraft
Up the steps, I had arrived at Door 1L of this aircraft where a very sweet Silky was standing to welcome everyone on board.
“Hi there. Welcome on board.”
By 6:45pm, I was on board.
A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
The flight was full in Economy Class, and approximately 85% in Premiere. Making my way through the boarding bustle, my first impressions of the cabin were rather negative. The aircraft was only three years old yet the interior was quite shabby. Parts of some seats were broken, while others were simply fixed back on using scotch tape. It also seemed that the flight had arrived from a prior destination as the crew seemed quite exhausted.
The seat itself however, was quite comfortable and featured enough room and amenities required for this short flight. Each seat featured a personal IFE screen, with a pillow, blanket, and headset placed on top of the seatbelt.
Scotch tape always helps!
Welcome drinks were served, and with a rather exhausted, yet willing smile.
“Hi sir, welcome on board. Care to have any orange juice, water, or lime juice?”
“Orange juice please”
I had the OJ and my seatmate took the lime juice
Santeek appeared from the galley for the first time so far, and had a tray of steaming hot towels. After serving me my hot towel, he kneeled down on the floor and said “please let us know if you need anything sir, and a very warm welcome on board”
Menus were then distributed
Meal offer on India-Dubai sector
Meal offer on Dubai-India sector
The doors were closed at 7:05pm, and the crew made an announcement to welcome us on board and to inform us of our 3 hour flight to Dubai. Pushback commenced five minutes later, and the safety video was aired as the engines cranked this aircraft back to life.
Socks were distributed during taxi
My pair of socks
We took off at 7:25pm, and after a powerful lift we began our short flight to Dubai, and out of the dark skies of India. Reaching cruising altitude rather quickly, the seatbelt sign was switched off and the crew were released to prepare for the service.
Silky commenced the service by taking dinner orders.
“Hi sir, what can I get for you to eat?”
“I ordered a special meal”
“Let me check on that for you and I will let you know. You ordered a non-lactose meal right?”
“That is correct”
“Would you like any soup or salad with your meal?”
“I'll take the salad please”
“Certainly. And what would you like to drink?”
My tomato juice came with a bowl of nuts
Tables were then dressed with linens
Service was again quite similar to my earlier flight from Hong Kong. The crew went into their zone, and nothing could really break their icy barrier. Perhaps they were tired, which I could definitely understand, but the remainder of the flight was rather quiet and uneventful.
Meal tray consisting of salad & dessert
The salad was fresh and cold, and was accompanied by a zesty dressing that sparked up a flavor to it. After serving the meal tray, the crew offered a selection from the bread basket. My salad plate was cleared as soon as I was through, and was replaced with my main course.
Very tasty Naan bread
The main course consisted of rice accompanied with a stir fry of okra and onions, and something else which seemed like a mash of vegetables. The meal was very tasty overall, although the okra was a little too oily. The best part of the meal was the dessert which was delicious.
Cabin after the meal service
As there wasn't enough time -or selection- to watch any IFE, I relaxed to the visuals of the route map which guided my way though to Dubai.
Nice JetScreen welcome
At 8:30pm UAE local time, our captain made an announcement to inform us that we had begun our initial descent towards Dubai International. The seatbelt sign was switched on afterwards, and the crew made their final preparations for landing.
Dark cabin before landing
D E S T I N A T I O N
We touched down at 8:50pm, and my Jet Airways experience had come to an end as the aircraft roared its arrival on the runway at Dubai International Airport.
Thanking the crew for their efforts, I was feeling quite sorry for them that they still had the flight back to Delhi before getting any rest. Nevertheless, they worked hard on my flight and I definitely appreciated it. Arriving into Dubai, I proceeded through the usual arrival formalities without any hassles, and was eventually in a taxi heading back home, and back to reality.
C O N C L U S I O N
I really had very high expectations of Jet Airways, and was quite excited that I was going to finally sample their 'renown' product. There are so many rave reviews out there that really had me curious. On the positive side, I found the airline's long-haul Business Class seat to be one of the most comfortable out there, even as a herringbone.
Unfortunately however, I was left with a lot to be desired overall. While the crew were polite and anything but rude, their zone-like behavior resulted in nothing but spotty service; it was neither bad, nor was it anything to write home about.
Most importantly however, their ground handling at Hong Kong seemed to have a great lack in training on Jet Airways' standards and procedures, given that they thought Dubai was in India. Furthermore, if a paper boarding pass was not acceptable in India, why use them at outstations?
Finally, I did not think that the transit through Delhi was all that bad, but the disappearing act of that Jet Airways staff can just about make things turn from confused to sour for your everyday traveler who would have normally waited.
Once upon a time I was quite excited at the subtle hints this airline was making towards an entry into the Oneworld alliance. But today, I think I am happier that Kingfisher has been invited instead. In my opinion, Jet Airways still has some ways to go.
This concludes my Trip Report. I hope you have enjoyed it, and your comments are always welcome!
sfflyer123 From United States of America, joined May 2010, 287 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 30396 times:
This is a fantastic TR! It truly is just a great, comprehensive report. Your photos are so professional quality, just beautiful, sharp, and detailed. Would you mind telling us what kind of camera that you use? Also, what kind of lens gets you that "round" effect of your photos? Thank you!
akhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2529 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 30209 times:
I remember your hint on your last CX report about a particular airline you were about to fly with out of HKG. What a nice surprise to find out that it was 9W.
I can echo others about this extensive, informative and well written report of yours. And of course without leaving a single of beautiful pictures to live up the whole experience all along. Truly fantastic!
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): This affair was rather complicated since I first had to confirm with my bank that my card was not charged, prior to my second attempt at purchasing the ticket.
A bug during the payment after booking process is just annoying. It is definitely a wise thing to do to check when you encounter such problems.
airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4386 posts, RR: 50
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 30189 times:
fantastic report once again. Great pics also! Next time tell that lady with Jet that you are a photographer indeed
Not sure about this herringbone. Definitely not my taste. And your meal quantity looks small on the 77W flight. Of course the very bad experience during transit and the hassle with your camera. I tell you, in last 2 weeks, I had to get all my camera equipment out twice, in CDG !! One time, a security officer in AMS also ordered me to do so, but I did not follow up her request and rushed everything through that x-ray machine myself and went through. Maybe next time I should not carry a special photographers-bag anymore? It makes me upset, especially when security officers are going to touch my expensive equipment (happened to me recently in MUC also!). So far, I must admit thorough security checks are neccesary, but staff is totally underskilled in many airports and never received some training how to be polite towards passengers.
I would advise you to complain strongly to Jet AW about your transit-trouble and since you're a premium customer for them, you have the full right to do so. It would be interesting to hear about their vision on this incident (or not).
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2061 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 29839 times:
Another excellent report! Really good pictures again; You really do capture every aspect of your trips!
Jet Airways looks to provide a nice service, but I find those flat bed seats on the 773 from HKG-DEL to just looked cramped! Maybe its because I haven't flown in those type of J seats before .. but I take your word for it that they are very comfortable!
The food service/menu/presentation on your 737 flight to DXB blows any type of premium class service on a 737 in the US. I'm amazed they can roll out such a detailed service in a rather small galley!
Thanks again for sharing. Looking forward to your next trip!
AI151 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 303 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 29584 times:
Hi Roni, yet another fabulous and informative TR with one of my better airlines.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): At my turn to check-in, the friendly agent while eager to help, seemed slightly confused. She thought that Dubai was in India and informed me that I had to collect my luggage at Delhi to clear customs first.
That's quite bad! I wonder what the agent does when checking-in EK passengers?!
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): After check-in, I walked around Terminal 2 to take some pictures before paying a visit to the Sky Deck located in the Aviation Discovery Centre. I had spent the first few days of my vacation at the airport for this purpose, and stayed at the nearby Regal Airport Hotel. The entire airport can serve as the destination, and there could be no requirement to go out into the city, especially if you are a hardcore aviation-freak.
I never knew about this place, will definitely have to go. What are the views like and also what zoom lens would be required?
Quoting ronerone (Reply 3): Eventually, I had arrived at the entrance to the Clipper Lounge at 5:20pm. Alongside myself, was a Jet Airways staff who had personally escorted me to the lounge, and informed me that he will be back before boarding to take me through security and to the boarding gate.
Sounded like a very personal thing to be doing.....until I read that he never turned up!
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4): Apparently, this tag is of utmost importance here, as it is necessary to have an official airport stamp to show that security has been cleared.
It happens at every airport in India whether on domestic or international flights. I don't mind this though as at least it shows that the bags have been screened. Might be more time consuming, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
ojas From United Arab Emirates, joined Mar 2008, 3080 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 29225 times:
Excellent TR yet again! Too bad you had to experience a patchy service on 9W.
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter): The new arrival has indeed caused quite the stir in the airline arena. In 2008, Emirates launched a new service update specific to Indian flights that emphasizes new service routines designed to deliver an improved offering, and claiming this is due to "increased service competion." Similarly, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines followed suit and introduced their most premium product to India at the time, which was a drastic switch from the lowly regional tin can, to the more lavish low-density. In reality, the Jet Airways shake-up is only a natural formula that will undoubtedly entice many Indians to switch loyalty from other airlines. Why wouldn't you if your own country now boasts a top-notch carrier?
It was a boon for all Indo - Gulf customers, who still have to experience crappy services on certain airlines.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): She thought that Dubai was in India and informed me that I had to collect my luggage at Delhi to clear customs first. That ordeal was eventually sorted out after a lot of paper shuffling on her desk, and a few query phone calls to her colleagues next door. She handed me back the same paper boarding passes I had printed out the day before, claiming that there is no requirement to print actual boarding cards. I was a little hesitant about this, and questioned whether these papers would be accepted in Delhi. But nevertheless, I took her word for it and moved on.
How dumb? In India .... one person may not know where Dehradun is but will definitely know where Dubai is. But with more than 1.6 million Indian residents in UAE .... was she right in thinking DXB is a part of India? :-P
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): Or who knows? It could be a lackluster on Hong Kong's part too.
I think so.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): The drum roll commenced, as curiosity almost killed the cat, when I stepped inside the aerobridge I could view from a distance the yellow uniforms actively moving over a brown Premiere background. Sounds of the APU, and the muffled apron bustle outside, served as the opening beat of what I was to expect for the next several hours; let's get on board already!
Did you step in the plane like 3 times? Did all the crew look at you one by one with camera focussing on each ones face for seconds? You should watch an Indian prime time soap opera ... and THEN will you know what a dramatic entry means
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2): this Jet Airways seat is miles ahead of even CX's wider version.
YOU actually feel so ..... WOW.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): I personally would have preferred a connection through Mumbai due to the longer flight time from Hong Kong.
Good decision, the flying time to Mumbai is higher only due to the fact that you will have to circle above BOM for an 35-40 mins and wishing why the hell even India existed. And there is no In flight service while circling over BOM.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4): The aircraft was only three years old yet the interior was quite shabby.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4): Thanking the crew for their efforts, I was feeling quite sorry for them that they still had the flight back to Delhi before getting any rest.
You really ought to and I'll tell you why.
While there is scope of improvement for the 9W B777 crew, the B737 crew of 9W and the A32S crew of IT have extremely harsh rostering patterns and it really takes a toll on the in flight service. With job insecurity from the crew point of view and with mounting losses from the airlines point of view, the resultant mix is really bad. They do a freakin turnaround to KWI, RUH, JED ... JED almost 5 hours both ways from BOM. They need our sympathetic ear.
More or less my parents experience the same service on 9W, on their DOH - BOM sectors. But due to the amazing timings and good customized Indian service .... there are hundreds of Qatari residents who know swear on 9W. It is an emotional attachment that FINALLY the Indian 'Jet' made it to the gulf. An airline we can be proud of, and an airline of India which are clear on their fundamental goals, that is $$$ (the rupee symbol is not yet on my keyboard).
[Edited 2010-07-18 19:10:00]
Great leaders don't tell you what to do ... they show you how it's done!
flightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1364 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 29009 times:
Roni, another great trip but such a shame that you had to encounter all those hassles! That whole boarding card fiasco could have been avoided, had they to issue you with the boarding card at the start. That baggage tag on your hand carry is of utmost importance at these airports sometimes as important as your passport!! The check in staff at KHI ensure you take one when leaving the counter, and ask you to put it on your baggage. When you have the final security check they always looks for that stamp, which is done when you pass imigration. Looks like this was not enforced here.
The cabin pics were great, and nicely included some FAs. Had they been more attentive and alert, you might have taken their pics, non? lol Interesting the ladies abandon their canary coats while in service, but at least the two guys in Y and the guy in J seemed to have coloured waistcoats, while the women just had the black outfits they wear underneath. Great that they kneel down and make eye contact which is I think a very personal thing, however the waist coat seems to be missing on the Dubai sector. No sure if they have different modes of dress code depending on sectors.
The food looks really yummy on the DXB sector, especially that naan bread...I had to look twice at the photos regarding the dessert. I though it was Dhaal first as a side dish, but it's actually pineapple hmm..never heard of it before. (As I type this my mouth is watering thinking of the dessert of Kheer and Shahi tukhray I had on Emirates ...they were to die for!!).
PS: Interesting photos with the spectacled woman in pensive thought out of HKG, and she seems to be in that position for a while, when everyone else around her has made themsleves comfortable in their seats! And not to miss the nose picking guy at the Delhi airport lol. Also a bit disappointed the Aviation Discovery Centre had only one pic. Would have been nice to see more.
bps3458 From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 576 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 28898 times:
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2): Apparently, this tag is of utmost importance here, as it is necessary to have an official airport stamp to show that security has been cleared.
always enjoy reading your trip reports. Had a similar experience with GOL during my recent trip to Brazil. They kept on putting tags on my hand luggage but no one ever checked or put a stamp on it. Will make sure not to tear it off next time just in case I come across an airport official who really cares. Off to PNG tomorrow flying on Air Niugini for the first time.
JCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 37
Reply 17, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks ago) and read 28831 times:
Great TR, as usual. That said I'm very surprised that their "Western course" was limited to a pasta dish. You'd think that an airline that heavily promotes itself as a link between Europe and Asia would do better than that.
vivekman2006 From India, joined May 2006, 547 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 28204 times:
Another excellent TR, Roni! Congratulations on your Silver Jubilee of Trip Reports
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter): Welcome to Indian aviation! Or what I like to term as the bread & butter for almost any airline out there. With a population of over 1 billion, a thriving tourism industry, and a rapidly growing economy -all of which sound many of today's bells and whistles- "Incredible India" naturally draws a dense and rather diverse flow of traffic.
So true! Every airline now tries to go one up on the other to make sure that they get a foothold in the Indian market.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): At my turn to check-in, the friendly agent while eager to help, seemed slightly confused. She thought that Dubai was in India and informed me that I had to collect my luggage at Delhi to clear customs first.
Was she an Indian or a HKG local?
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): However, when it was time to purchase the ticket, the website hung up on me after submitting my credit card details.
The worst time for a website to hang up, isn't it?
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): The entire airport can serve as the destination, and there could be no requirement to go out into the city, especially if you are a hardcore aviation-freak.
Couldn't agree with you more. The HKG airport and surroundings deserve atleast 2 days for an aviation geek.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): The agent looked at my boarding papers with total confusion before asking me why I did not have an actual boarding card. I had informed him that I was advised by the airline that this should suffice to let me through, and after five minutes of consultation with his colleague, I was let go.
Strange. I thought Jet Airways staff was pretty much familiar with the paper boarding pass.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): The meal consisted of a vegetarian meat that almost exactly resembled the look of a chicken breast. From the taste, it seemed like a tofu/veggie patty that was accompanied by tomato sauce and vegetables.
That meal looks absolutely puny! I would need atleast 2-3 of those to have a filling meal.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2): Unfortunately however, the selection was rather limited, similar to Royal Jordanian. There were approximately 20 western movies -something so minute compared with today's standards- and an even smaller amount of comedy shows.
One more feedback about Jet Airways' limited IFE offering. They need to seriously spruce it up if they are to compete with the best.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 3): Most importantly however, their ground handling at Hong Kong seemed to have a great lack in training on Jet Airways' standards and procedures, given that they thought Dubai was in India. Furthermore, if a paper boarding pass was not acceptable in India, why use them at outstations?
I have used the printed paper Web check-in boarding passes on atleast 3-4 occasions on 9W domestic flights. I have never faced any problems with check-in or security staff. I wonder if the problem is with international flights (as the staff at foreign countries might not accept the printouts)
mk777 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 27608 times:
Here's hoping that transiting through DEL will become smoother when T3 finally opens its door. Your experience was a bit negative but atleast the end was alright.
The 777 looked impeccable, the choice of food was average IMO and it seems the crew has become more plastic than real.
The clipper lounge at DEL looks like it has recently been renovated, thats good because the last time i was in there, it was quite tacky. Again, lounges in T3 would bring significant improvement hopefully.
I always look forward to reading your TR's and this one didn't fail to impress.
airpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 971 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 27582 times:
Wow, what can I say - those pics just blew me away! It felt as if the 9W herringbone cabin had just been waiting for a ronerone fish-eye fix all this while; I haven't seen that sort of clarity and depth before (though you are obviously betting your tad-distorted 'extras' on the sidelines aren't likely to be members of this forum! ) And also a very interesting, contrarian point of view on Jet Airways: really sorry to hear about the far-from-satisfactory experience. My first flights on 9W were also quite disappointing, despite the top-rate hardware, but service had been much better on subsequent flights (which ironically were 9W crews flying as GF) - spotty I suppose is a good way to describe it, though I am sure not everyone will agree.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1): In my opinion, this is where the Airport Authority Hong Kong has failed miserably in this airport's design.
This check-in area feels almost like an after-thought, which is surprising for Hong Kong. I used it for the first time in May and thought it was more strange than anything else - didn't even feel like HKG for the absence of crowds. And you're right, getting to the plane is a convoluted process!
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2): Having sampled both versions of Cathay's herringbone seat (yes, there are at least two versions now), this Jet Airways seat is miles ahead of even CX's wider version. Personal space is ample, and claustrophobia-like feelings are a non-issue here
Hehe... you do realize the difference now, eh? But I didn't know there were 2 versions of the lovely CX coffins...
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2): As the pre-departure services began, I noticed a slight change in the crew's behavior.
And the herringbone puts everything out on display. What I find on the few occasions I've flown in this configuration is pay more attention to the way the crew serve my fellow passengers across the aisle - it's almost inevitable given the angle of the seats. As a passenger, you're probably more aware of any service weakness in this seating arrangement than most, I think.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2): Champagne, wine, and bread were served next on a neatly presented trolley, which I thought was a nice touch.
Trolley service is always nice these days and a rarity!
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2): It may sound easy, but not when you have two cameras, a laptop, two phones, wires for the camera, the laptop, and the phones, and about 6 to 8 extra batteries.
Alas, reports like this don't come easily: I salute you my friend!
Thank you again for your latest report - fantastic as always. Well done!
Econojetter From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 430 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 27478 times:
Hi Roni, thanks for another great report. Glad I managed to catch this one.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2): Afrid, the dominatrix crew on today's Boeing 777
Wow... definitely off to an interesting start!
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2): The crew were not so much annoyed or unwilling to work, but rather in this unexplainable dimension far above our cruising altitude, where all I could see was worried looks on their faces.
That's quite an unusual (at least to me) response to a request or a thank you. Was this one person or did the others also respond in the same manner?
Quoting ronerone (Reply 3): It may sound easy, but not when you have two cameras, a laptop, two phones, wires for the camera, the laptop, and the phones, and about 6 to 8 extra batteries. Everything had to be taken out, in front of everyone, and very quickly!
A walking electronics store...
Quoting ronerone (Reply 3): Apparently, this tag is of utmost importance here, as it is necessary to have an official airport stamp to show that security has been cleared.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 3): a third document check was conducted by a final person who took my passport and boarding card to check something and place a sticker on my passport.
I don't think I will be transiting in DEL anytime soon but good to know. Sounds like quite a hassle, but necessary I suppose.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 3): They were standing behind a very thin counter with a gathering of passengers from different flights waiting to be called out. Apparently, one has to wait until the majority of an airline's passengers have showed up before being transported by bus to the airside departures area.
Looks makeshift in nature. Hope this was just a temporary arrangement.
ODAFZ From Afghanistan, joined Jul 2004, 357 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (5 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 27364 times:
It is always a pleasure and a very good way to end a Monday by reading your thoughtful trip report.
I am amazed by the quality of the pictures , i wish i was talented as you are.
BTW, loved your subtle sense of humor (Afrid the dominatrix) and i liked your menu , as i traveled once on holy friday on ME, my vegetarian meal was not as delicious as yours ( although my morther made it up later with excellent stuffed wine leaves)