Another trip from back in the day..
I took this trip between the second and third trips to Colombo. So without further ado, some flashbacks from India! INTRODUCTION
As we were awaiting our clearance to move to Colombo, we decided to go on one last trip in India. This time, it would be Puri, in the state of Odisha (Orrisa), on the South-Eastern coast of India. There were quite a few options to get there. The cheapest option was a 1 stop flight on IndiGo. There were quite a few expiring Jet Privilege miles, so.....ding ding! Its Jet Airways Konnect! Since Jet usually only has two award tickets per flight, Mum and I took these, while Dad bought a full fare ticket for himself. Mum also planned on going to Kolkata on the ATR from Bhubaneswar, and back to Mumbai from there. My flights would be 30th and 31st of July 2011. 9W2061 MUMBAI - BHUBANESHWAR, 07/30/2011 B737-800W, VT-JBR
And as it happened, on the low cost domestic flight, I would finally break my duck with the international Jet Airways B737s I have described in the last three (2011) reports! Long story short - Jet Airways Konnect flights (low cost no frill arm of Jet Airways) were operated by B737-800s with 8 Premiere Class seats and 162 Economy Class seats (making it 170 seats in total), while the international flights would be operated on personal TV equipped on-demand in-flight entertainment on B737-800s configured with 16 Premiere class seats and 138 Economy Class seats (154 in total). However, some international flights would be operate by the Konnect planes (ALL my Colombo trips.
) and vice versa.
It was easy to distinguish between the two when web checking in - Konnect configuration would have 37 numbered rows in Economy, and 33 on the international. As it happened, 33 rows on 9W2061 to Bhubaneswar, yay! I selected seat 23A for this flight. Woot! DEPARTURE DAY: CHECK IN, SECURITY
The departure day was a nightmare: THUNDER SHOWERS IN THE MORNING. We arrived at the airport, well in time for the 0855 hours departure, but the boarding passes said that the departure was delayed by half an hour. Well not bad, considering the place where we got to sit: it wasn't terminal 1C, but a nice cozy spot in the coffee shop with a great view of the tarmac. VT-JGA most likely preparing Konnect serviceVT-JBT, the dedicated Colombo plane doing some other domestic services! Jetlite VT-SIZ making its arrival..Jet Airways, Jet Airways Konnect and Jetlite!!VT-JGV operating a flight to New Delhi (9W346 today is an A330 service!) This is an internationally configured planeJGV was the last plane to be painted in to the current Jet Airways colorsSaudia B777-200ER from JeddahVT-JGH (Konnect bird) performing 9W202 from Kolkata to Pune via Mumbai. I took this flight earlier in the yearBOARDING
It was 0920 hours and still no sign of boarding.... at least the 777 departures were fun! Boarding was called for the flight at around 0930 hours from gate 16. So this dude decides to push me on to the coach taking us to the plane... wow.
Dad happened to meet one of his old friends who was also on this flight! We pulled up beside VT-JBR, a pretty new B737-800W but with an old winglet - this aircraft was involved in an incident in 2010 when this bird was heading to Muscat, Oman....except that it wasn't because it clipped the wing of a Kingfisher A321 heading to Dubai. Oops!
Our coach raced with the minivan that was taking the pilots to the aircraft! To add to that, it started raining really heavily, but the driver did a great job in ensuring that the coach was parked right by the stairs, so the passengers would not get drenched at all. ONBOARD
While boarding, I saw the screen that helps set up the IFE...but since this was a Konnect flight, there would be IFE
Entering the cabin, the crew greeted us. The Premiere class seats were way different from the Konnect Select seats, but Economy was not much of a difference: a head rest, and obviously the PTV’s. I made my way to the middle of the cabin: kaboom! They guy who pushed me on to the bus was happily seated in my seat 23A!
I asked him to move, politely, but he asked me show my boarding pass. Really dude?
He saw it, asked me to sit in the aisle seat. Nah uh! Once the flight attendant showed up, the guy moved. Win for me! The middle seat was left empty, and I buckled up for my first flight on Jet Airways Konnect!
JGH off to Pune..
The safety demo was shown on the PTV, with the CFM56’s being fired up. I expected the PTVs to be switched off, but that did not happen: the white screen showed: ‘Loading, Please wait’. And then, the TV Screen said: Please touch the screen to start. I did that, and Jet Screen was working on a Konnect flight! No headphones were handed out, however. After a bit of a slow taxi to Runway 27 (quite a few AI wide bodies were around), we took off and encountered some turbulence straight after take off..
(From Dad's camera)
All set to go!
Safety demo and start up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT7E8nvumug
Taxiing towards the active (from Dad's camera)
Taxiing again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at8u7PxHTag
(note the widebodies)
Condensation filled take off: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNK8fhlDuKEINFLIGHT
As we reached our cruising altitude, sunshine filled the cabin. Prior to the buy-on-board sales, the crew handed out onboard auction booklets - not many fell for these.
Away from the clouds
Love the winglet!
And Dad got it on the other side!
Terrible image of the cabin.
Back into clouds, wasn't turbulent, though!
JetScreen, the inflight entertainment: soon to be replaced by WiFi entertainment...
Buy-On-Board service started, with a relatively empty cart. I requested for the Non-Vegetarian meal (a complete meal), which unfortunately was not there. I then asked for a Non-Vegetarian combo (chicken sandwich, a brownie and a juice), which also was not there. I then tried my luck with the Chicken Sandwich and a Fanta, which was available! I had my ‘meal’ and half way through the flight, just before the F/A’s started to clear everything.
A BoB Meal is always a rip off...
The captain came over the PA to give us the details of our flight. He mentioned our cruise height was 32000 feet. He also apologized for the delays.
The whole interior looks shabby because of these dreadful ads!DESCENT AND ARRIVAL
Decent started a few minutes later, and the PTV’s were switched off. We made a smooth approach and landed at Bhubaneshwar, about 1 and half hours late.
Yup, we are descending!
Flaps being deployed
More flaps....maybe time to switch to the video?
We made a quick exit from the runway, and stopped alongside a 9W 73G, VT-JNS. Disembarked, and walked to the terminal in some scorching heat!!
Interior of the 73H: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6I6YbYsQlA
So, long, Bravo Romeo!
Not too much activity going on...also note the 'ETOPS' marking..
At the arrivals, baggage took forever to arrive, so we tried our luck at the AVA counters (the onboard sales). This is the place where 2 airlines which include Jet Airways and its subsidiary Jetlite (on board shopping-Jet Shoppe’) and Air India (Sky Bazaar [Bazaar being market in Hindi]) have its stuff on sale. So we bought a suitcase with wheels that rotated 360 degrees, a Swiss Military bag, a Foot Massager, a set of Reebok Aviator glasses for me, and a wrist watch. We needed an extra trolley for all this! We then went to my Dad’s cousin’s house, which is right near the runway!
The delay enabled me to web check in for the following day's return flight: Konnect configuration on this one. Headed to Puri for the evening, which was a fun three hour drive (both ways). I wasn't feeling the greatest - the start of a series of sicknesses that last for nearly 2 months. Typhoid was one of them, and the other is still unknown. 9W2062 BHUBANESHWAR - MUMBAI, 07/31/2011 B737-800, VT-JNL
The next morning (departure day) I did not feel good at all. I skipped breakfast, had a small lunch, and headed for the airport. Bhubaneshwar Airport was small and old. But just like BOM, CCU and MAA at the time, Bhubaneswar had a brand new terminal coming along nice and smooth. WOZZY CHECK IN, PRIORITY IN SECURITY
As I waited in the check-in line, the world was spinning. I knew, my parents knew by now something was terribly wrong with me. As an agent in the Jet Airways counter said ‘Wheelchair, 2 passengers, 9W-2584’. He spoke really slowly. Distorted. Slow motion. I felt terribly sick, and I rushed to the washroom. I threw up like there was no ending to it. I was in a bad bad place.
I took my time in looking normal... There was a Jet Airways escort waiting for me to take me to the gate. Nothing changed - the world spun, everything went slow, the people were talking in a deep and slow voice... wow. I did manage to skip through the security line thanks to the escort! I sat by my parents. Mum was on her way to Kolkata, Dad and I to Mumbai.
I could not stand for a long time. I then saw the tarmac was completely empty, but the terminal had many people! I kept my eyes shut for the most part, but opened them up every time some thing showed up: such as the Air India A319 from Delhi (VT-SCM) A few minutes later VT-JCK, (that'd take Mum to CCU) arrived. And finally once again a bit delayed, VT-JNL, an old winglet-less Boeing 737-800 had arrived from Mumbai. I said a very broken good-bye to Mum, even if it was 4 days; I knew I was going to struggle with my terrible condition. The terminal started to get empty as the flight to CCU departed, and boarding for the DEL flight had started. When our flight was announced, I waited till everyone boarded. The A319 taxied out as I boarded the coach. BOARDING, ON BOARD AND DEPARTURE...
The coach took us to the very old looking B738. I slowly made my way to the boarding stairs. I recognized all the crew members from the previous day's flight! This flight was full. 170 seats, 170 passengers. It felt very cramped, but I was going to sleep most of the time. A Kingfisher A319 showed up. BBI looked busy, considering it was a small airport! The 2 gentlemen sitting beside had a very interesting conversation: ‘When we came here a few days back, the flight was good, and we had TVs in here!’
The old Konnect planes operated the flights on Sundays.
We made a short taxi to runway 14, and after using most of the runway, we were air borne and on our way to Mumbai. I then dozed off.
Start up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFwQgW849JE
Take off: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeuQEMN04VcIN FLIGHT
After takeoff, they must have started the service, but I didn’t bother. When I woke up, I called the F/A, who had a glass of water in his hand, I requested him to get me a 7 UP, even though service was over. He got the can within a few minutes. No issues. DESCENT AND ARRIVAL
I fell asleep again, not too long before I felt the aircraft drop. Descent had started: relief for me that I was almost home! We went through a lot of nasty looking clouds, as it was raining quite heavily. The pilots did a great job of getting the aircraft down smoothly, and avoiding bumps for the most part. We had to wait a bit for a gate to be empty - a Terminal 1C arrival for me, and the first jet bridge arrival on Jet! 9W were criticized for not using jet bridges back then. Terminal 1B had no jet bridges, while IndiGo and Go Air, the low cost carriers would take up the jet bridges. Oh well..
We docked at gate A4, and not long after doors were disarmed, the entire ground services team go to work to prepare for VT-JNL's full service run to New Delhi. Dad and I waited for every one to disembark, thanked the crew and headed towards arrivals. I was relived to be home!!
Landing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AHMLHCI6o4About 5.5 years on, VT-JNL had its last flight on February 17th 2017 from New Delhi to Mumbai as 9W384, thanks to a source. 16 years of service!
NJ and NL!! Siblings meet!!
It was a terrible few weeks after. Appetite loss, puking any form of food that I consumed, basically ruining my mum's trip to CCU, her birthday, everything. The only positive from the week from hell was the fact that I lost 3kgs.....in a week! Sleepless and shivery nights were not ideal, either. Oh well, things looked up after I started getting better.
In the following reports
-(2016) LH431 B747-8i from ORD to FRA!
-(2011) We finally move to CMB!