I booked my e-tkt from the Jet Airways site (tht btw gives u an additional 500 JP miles!!) and was @ BLR airport at 0900 for a 1015 departure. BLR airport has improved a lot over the past 1 year.. the departure section has been beefed up to include more counters for 9W, IT , IndiGo and GoAir . Check in was as usual professional and i opted for a rear seat on the ATR-72 flight. Security check went on with no-fuss and the boarding was announced on time. BLR airport now seems to handle all the ATR flights at a remote bay and we were bussed to the waiting 9W 3537.
The cabin crew consisted of 2 male F/As .. typical smart 9W standards. The first thing tht hits you on the ATR is the stuffy heat inside. Can anybody update me as to why the Air Conditioning is switched on only after the doors are closed in an ATR?! 9W thankfully provides an asian style hand fan to be used in these circumstances..
The flight was smooth, food was excellent with a nice chicken tikka helping in the non-veg section. Personally i like the small bottles of fresh lime juice that 9W serves on flights based out of BOM.
Landing in TRV is always a pleasure, with the Arabian Sea coast running parallel to the descent path!! Kerala looks awesome from the air..
A pic of pax dis-emabrking from 9W-3537
We were again bussed back to the terminal and the baggage rolled in w/o much fuss.
The return journey was eventful, even before I reached the airport. There was a city wide Bandh/hartal/strike called in Trivandrum (Kerala has a strong communist presence and it is very common for the entire state to shut down for the flimsiest reasons!!) My folks asked me to postpone my journey, but I had to be @ work the next day. So finally my uncle agreed to drop me at the airport. My sis n me made a huge sign "AIRPORT EMERGENCY" in huge red letters, hoping to prevent the vehicle from getting stopped and ambushed..
The lack of traffic ensured that we reached the airport in abt 12 mins (a distance of abt 8 KM) and I was among the first to check in.. this time I opted for 2A .TRV airport (domestic) waiting area is pretty big, considering the miniscule amount of domestic traffic. At that point we had abt 4 IC flights and 3 9W flights daily. Most of the pax were waiting for IC flights to BOM-DEL and MAA both of which were delayed. managed to catch up with an old school mate who was waiting for the MAA flight.
9W 3538 started out on time again. This time too, two male F/As wonder if it is delibrate on this sector. The load factor on the return journey was abt 60%.
View of the cabin of 9W 3538 .. was the first pax to board.
The weather on the trip back was bad. Abt 30 mins to BLR, the turbulence was pretty bad as we crossed the Ghats. It was raining in BLR and as we landed I cud make out the traffic logged streets of bangalore with traffic backed up for miles!!
had to wait for sometime for the jet airways bus to pick us up to the terminal. The baggage came in a bit wet and soggy, luckily I had a water proof ruck-sack..
Overall 9W service is world class. I hope they start an evening flight from BLR to TRV and a early morning flight back, atleast on the weekends to tap the huge amount of Keralites working the Silicon valley of India.