ojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2785 posts, RR: 23 Posted (11 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10314 times:
A holiday in Singapore is something I cannot resist, having flown that route on SQ, IT, AI earlier I was keen enough to try 9W on this route. Having flown the 9W ATRs B737 variants, B77W I thought it would be a good opportunity to try the remainder type in their flight the A330-200.
Jet Airways is India's leading private carrier and needs no introduction to people who have flown to/within India. Having flown them a multiple times on the BOM - DOH/DXB sectors, it was time to find out how well they fare on routes to SE Asia. Of course flying their B737s to DXB and DOH just seemed as good as a domestic flight within India, it was time now to try a wide body service internationally.
Jet Airways started it's operations to Singapore back in 2004 with a B737-800 and as of now it has 3 daily flights to SIN each from DEL, BOM and MAA. The first 2 being A330-200 operations and the last being operated with a B737-800.
The itinerary I shall report here is:
9W 012 BOM - SIN 2330 0725+1
9W 011 SIN - BOM 1905 2200
First Leg of the journey: Mumbai - Singapore
Flight no.: 9W 012
Code Share: QF 3950
By the time I arrived from my incoming flight from DXB, it was already time to check-in for my 9W flight. At BOM 9W uses Gate A for all its international departures. Check-in queues were empty as majority of the Gulf flights were about to depart and there was still enough time till check-in for CMB, HKG, BRU would open. At that moment check-in for MCT and SIN flights were in progress.
Walking through the doors I presented myself to one of the check-in desks. With rejections from 3 JetStaff, finally Anuradha accepted my passport and tickets to check me in. Within a few minutes my boarding pass was issued and my bags tagged to SIN. With the boarding pass, next I was to go to the nightmare of BOM at that hour: Immigration and Security.
While Immigration didn't take much time, just around 10-15 minutes given the peak departure time, the security lines were terrorising everyone resembling the queues at some govt office. After grinding myself through the procedure, I finally was into the duty free area and breathed normally.
The departure area wasn't that crowded as it was meant to be thanks to enough seating available for most passengers. Given my frequent travels to and out of BOM I just settled down near the designated gate and dozed off rather than wandering around the airport.
Now knowing this was Gate 2A, I figured out in advance that we would be bussed to our flight. As a result, premium passengers boarding first, zone wise boarding and all that went for a toss. A Jetbus was ready to ferry us to our aircraft which was parked somewhere near the runway. Without discriminating between J and Y passengers all were stuffed into one bus and driven to our aircraft. Some movie actors were cribbing all their way in the bus for not getting a special bus/car and starting bitching and moanining "arrreey this bus is so dirty no ... ".
Now, somehow I'm always unable to find a good place to stand in such scenarios, be it in a local train in BOM or in a crowded MRT in SIN. As usual, I was somewhere sandwiched in the middle unable to see a window or something and only the jerks of the bus giving indications that we have started moving. When finally the bollywood glitterati stopped their incessant bitching, I figured we reached the steps of the plane. After stepping out of the bus I realised we were very near to the runway and the pushback to airborne procedure would barely take few minuutes. Upon boarding the plane we were welcomed by the crew and they guided me to my designated seat
First impressions of the aircraft was extremely positive, aircraft was well maintained, clean, good legroom and a comfortable new generation seat giving a decent recline. Headsets and blankets were already present at the seat and fter settling down we were briefed by the captain that our flight would be for approximately 5 hours and that we would have a smooth ride throughout the flight. Reassuring that updates would be given prior to landing, all passengers were looking forward for their flight. We pushed back from our remote stand and within no time we were lined up on the runway for departure. After letting AF217 land from CDG, we zoomed our way into the skies and with a U turn we were on our path to SIN.
After leveling off, the first service the crew came with was that of landing cards in SIN ....ugh ... no hot/cold towels like what their rivals offer on the same route. The second time the crew came around were with the drinks cart, I chose to have a glass of red wine while most of my co passengers emptied the JW Red Label. Unlike SQ, the crew did not come for refills (which is fine can't expect all airlines to be like SQ ), but no complaints on that. After about 1.5 hours the meal service started. The main course was chilled and somehow the combination of a Chinese main course and South Indian dessert did not go down well with me. Not only was the potion small, but somehow 9W assumed that since we are going to SIN everyone should be served an oriental meal (veg/non veg). 9W is operating this route for almost 9 years and I'm sure that they have researched that desis have desi food only no matter what part of the world they are in, except for a handful of food enthusiasts. Adding to that, this was the worst ever meal I had on any airline in recent times, just better than Biman. I have had some really good meals on 9W on domestic and ME routes and I was thoroughly disappointed with the appalling cost cutting technique they adopted in the F&B department. Once the almost unutilised meal tray was cleared I ventured to explore the next aspect of my flight, the IFE; While the crew were offering Tea/coffee to passengers.
JetScreen is 9Ws IFE, with a good collection of Indian movies and TV shows, moving map, music etc. While it is no ICE of EK, I liked what they had on offer including regional Indian movies in Tamil, Malayalam and Marathi. The touch screen controls were easy to navigate and overall I was pleased with the IFE. I do not remember when I went off to sleep, but when I woke up we were already near Malaysia. Again remembering the service of SQ, there was not any round of water/juice prior to arrival, which just further added to my disappointment. Actually, until not too long ago, 9W would offer a sandwich and a canned juice snack prior to arrival on its BOM - SIN flights.
We finally touched down into Changi and docked at Terminal 3 thus completing the journey. Before we could disembark the ground staff announced that our bags would be arrive on belt 47. Immigration was swift, and by the time we reached the baggage belt, bags had already arrived and within 15 minutes I was out of the airport.
A departure from Changi airport and that too T3 just has to be perfect without any hassles and so was our check-in for 9W. Hardly any queue, within a minute the SATS agent checked me in and I had my boarding pass and passport returned with a message of a pleasant journey. Immigration was swift as anticipated and all I did was wandered around the duty free to shop and do some plane spotting.
After the security check at gate B6, we entered the waiting area where all passengers were ready to board the flight. Business class passengers, and passengers with special needs were invited to board first followed by Economy class passengers in a zone wise fashion. Upon entering the aircraft we were greeted by an FA who guided me to my seat. Headseats and blankets were already there on the seat. After settling down, we waited for all other passengers to board. The first officer welcomed us on board while informing us that our flight time would be for approximately 4 hours and 45 minutes. Similar to my aircraft earlier this plane too was extremely well maintained, shining like a new aircraft. We pushed back on time and after reaching to a particular point we halted as SIN ATC had stopped Runway operations for sometime. After ATC gave the clearance we took off and were air borne by 1945hrs.
I believe this is an A380 gate.
After levelling off, true to the service protocol landing cards were distributed first. Yet again no hot/cold towel service and the drill of service was similar to the inbound flight into Singapore. Drinks, followed by an awful meal and no juice/water round prior to arrival. Relatively uneventful flight, here are some pictures
We disembarked the plane using the stepladders and once again all of us were stuffed into 2 buses without any discrimination yet again between J and Y passengers. Having said that being bussed to the terminal upon arrival in BOM is a blessing in disguise as they directly drop you infront of the immigration counters unlike when using an aerobridge. If your plane is docked at some godforsaken corner, the walk down to immigration would make you feel you actually came walking from your point of origin itself.
Immigration was again a breeze as passengers had not piled up in front of the counters. My bags came on time, passed through the customs screening and I walked out again to catch my EK flight to DXB.
ojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2785 posts, RR: 23 Reply 2, posted (11 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10290 times:
Jet Airways' standards have deteriorated from what they were a couple of years ago. Being a regular on their India - Gulf flights I can assert that the service standards have become like Air India on that route and somehow they are going downhill on the BOM - SIN route as well. The biggest disappointment being the cost cutting measures adopted in the catering department. The crew on this flight did their job well, attended to call buttons promptly and were polite in approach, however none of them were cheerful or smiling. Not that I have a problem with that, but I wouldn't simply mark them higher because of that. This route has seen much better service from Jet Airways and they are capable of delivering a better customer experience. Will I fly 9W again? Of course, however only if the price is right and I have no better alternatives.
Here are a few more pictures in Singapore.
That is the SQ down office at Orchard road
My last TR in which you could find links to all other TRs of mine:
AUSisAwesome From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 82 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (11 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 8755 times:
Uh oh! Looks like someone is a tad bit popular I can't see your pictures but you had a great report and thanks a lot for sharing! It's too bad 9W's service is diminishing. They are (or at least used to be) a great airline!
stipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 398 posts, RR: 8 Reply 5, posted (11 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 8310 times:
super nice reading ... I do not know why you're so disappointed ... what is happening in terms of cutting services in other companies 9W it looks more than average for me ... but I never flew with the subcontinental airlines so this is just my A.net perspective ... I look forward to your report from the new BOM terminal ... nice process for Indian airport infrastructure ... thanks for your time ...stipica
dc9northwest From Romania, joined Feb 2007, 1735 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (11 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 8234 times:
Hi there ojas!
Quoting ojas (Thread starter): A holiday in Singapore is something I cannot resist, having flown that route on SQ, IT, AI earlier I was keen enough to try 9W on this route. Having flown the 9W ATRs B737 variants, B77W I thought it would be a good opportunity to try the remainder type in their flight the A330-200.
That's a good enough reason to fly 9W, for sure
Quoting ojas (Thread starter): While Immigration didn't take much time, just around 10-15 minutes given the peak departure time, the security lines were terrorising everyone resembling the queues at some govt office.
Not bad for immigration. Nice pun there with the security lines, btw! A government office, hehe, we all know how that is!
Quoting ojas (Thread starter): Now knowing this was Gate 2A, I figured out in advance that we would be bussed to our flight. As a result, premium passengers boarding first, zone wise boarding and all that went for a toss. A Jetbus was ready to ferry us to our aircraft which was parked somewhere near the runway. Without discriminating between J and Y passengers all were stuffed into one bus and driven to our aircraft.
Well, I guess no priority boarding for bus gates, pretty much, it's same all over... AZ does the same AFAIK.
Quoting ojas (Thread starter): After leveling off, the first service the crew came with was that of landing cards in SIN ....ugh ... no hot/cold towels like what their rivals offer on the same route.
Hmm... Well, I guess business first, pleasure later.
Quoting ojas (Thread starter): Adding to that, this was the worst ever meal I had on any airline in recent times, just better than Biman. I have had some really good meals on 9W on domestic and ME routes and I was thoroughly disappointed with the appalling cost cutting technique they adopted in the F&B department.
I can't imagine the meal being as bad as on US airlines! I'd've been disappointed by a sub-mediocre meal though, that's for sure.
Quoting ojas (Thread starter): Having said that being bussed to the terminal upon arrival in BOM is a blessing in disguise as they directly drop you infront of the immigration counters unlike when using an aerobridge. If your plane is docked at some godforsaken corner, the walk down to immigration would make you feel you actually came walking from your point of origin itself.
Heh. Well, I guess it's good to see the positives in this crowded bus journey!
Quoting akhmad (Reply 7): I hope you will when 9W inaugurates direct flight to my home country one day.
Lets hope that happens soon
Quoting infinit (Reply 10): Perhaps the financia woes are taking a toll on the catering?
It looks so
Quoting infinit (Reply 10): Its interesting that you visited less touristy areas in Singapore, a nice break of the usual Orchard Road and Marina Bay that tourists always snap at!
Good obersvation. I have been to Singapore quite a few times and now my intention is just to go there and relax without doing much. but yes I did go to the Casino at Marina Bay Sands and won 600SGD!!!
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11): another interesting report from you! I'm really disappointed about 9W's performance on your flights. I had two great flights last year with good food and wonderful crews. If you want to compare:
Well I never had any issue with the crew, they are humans after all. You were lucky to have a good set of crew, mine were just a regular bunch, doing their work .... but they weren't rude or anything.
But yes, when you point out India's finest ... there 9W is a big letdown. I fly them often between ME and India and they are big letdown. On certain ME flights they have stopped switching on the IFE.
A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep