Flew Jet Airways 9W
474 BOM HYD on 16/12. The flight was scheduled to depart at 1815 and having rushed through a meeting at Nariman Point by 1530, found that I reached the outskirts of the airport in 45 minutes (that it took another 15 minutes to reach the terminal is another story).
Well 1630, I am congratulating myself on being nice and early and checks in only to be told that the flight is now departing at 2000. No snack coupons or any offer to be put on an earlier flight or to IC
(I was travelling on the maximum fare possible on economy by the way). By the time I realised that a, the IC
flight to HYD is on time (1830) and b, the previous 9W
flight to Hyderabad had still not left (it also had a delay of 90 min), the que around the customer support and standby desks was so big that I decided to wait it out. A lot of other flights of Jet, Sahara and Air Deccan as well as IC
also were delayed (the continuing fall out of the localiser theft) although I noticed all Jet's flights to DEL left sharp on time. While the reason I guess was that they didnt want to risk disruption esp with the fog around in DEL at this time of the year, one couldnt still help feeling whether Jet is still recovering from the recent and not so recent brush ups with politicians (including a memorable one when one of the ministers in the previous government manhandled Jet Airways staff during a flight delay and still walked away scot free).
Incidentally no airline was making any announcement of any sort at the check in the area around flight departures PRIOR TO
SECURITY (this is certainly not the case in HYD anyway). One had to depend on what the flight status boards were displaying which even at 7 PM
was showing the very illuminating RESCHEDULED for myflight while a lot of flights with ETDs before and after that were showing SEC CHECK. Decided anyway to go through the security check and post securty heard an annoucement that the flight is further delayed to 2015.
Finally got airborne at 2030 (more than 120 min delayed) and then started the fun. The flight was packed to the gills both in C and Y (the aircraft was an 800 series) but this particular flight atleast in Economy seemed to be staffed with novices fresh out of the latest Jet cabin crew training course. We were all offered around three rounds of their pre packaged lime juice in quick succession ( a simple case of the next person forgetting which row her predcessor had finished) and 10 minutes after take off the meal service started.
I was the second person to be served by the steward. To my surprise I found that without checking with me what I wanted, a VEG meal was served. I asked for a Non veg meal and the reply was a gem. (SIR
-JET AIRWAYS SERVES ONLY VEGETARIAN MEALS ON
MUMBAI HYDERABAD SECTOR), Before I could question this, the guy had moved on. While I certainly will not die if I have a vegetarian meal, the very fact that this smart alec thought that anything will wash with passengers created a very bad impression. The very least I could have expected was an honest reply,which he gave later after my co-passenger questioned him again when came round to clear the meal trays. The real reason was that there wa a mess up with catering and very limited non veg meals were on board. Incidentally the gentleman in the seat next to me who wanted an alternate to the veg meal offered, was offered some oranges, all of which had seen better days and which he returned back to the crew uneaten with his best complements. And you should remeber that this was a full flight badly delayed with Jet Airways not even offering any meal or refreshment vouchers! And to top it all, the catering guys had messed up so badly, that there were not even the standard cloth napkins to go around with the meal. Also all through the elaborate annoucements from the flight deck and the cabin, not one word was mentioned about the two hour delay (ofcourse Jet can claim it is not their fault, but how many passengers know what a localiser is anyway! And apparently neither did the journos from Indian Express which was my hotel's newspaper of choice and carried no word of the incident).
Anyway all in all , a very forgettable flight, but to be fair, the only bad one in the four flights I have taken with them in the last one month. But still I feel it how an airline performs when things dont go according to plan which tells how good (or bad) they are !
: The fact that the crew were all greenhorns was further reinforced by another pantomime which was being enacted. The bloke in the next seat to mine returned no less than three bottles of Jet's favorite lemon juice to various crew members stating that the date stamp imprinted in the bottle cap were all showing 16/12/2004 1200 (the day of the flight).The gentleman in question claimed that since it is already 2100 hours by the time the refreshment was offered, he is being exposed to a health hazard by being offered juice past expiry date and time. All the three crew members profusely apologised and seemed clueless what to do! Since the passenger did not chose to alert his co passengers sitting next to him about the "health hazard", I suspect he knew all along what was the real case (which was that the time stamp was that of the date and time of bottling and not the expiry date!). This was not pointed out by even one of the three crew members and the senior crew member even promised to make sure that the complaint is promptly reported to her superiors!
Anyway thank you Jet Airways for atleast providing some enterainment (although unintended!).