I don’t know about Mumbai, but I understand that in HK the airport charges are the same whether you get a remote stand or a skybridge – so that would be bad luck, not parsimony on Jet’s behalf. I have recently had two “bus” experiences in HK, one on CX and the other on sister airline Dragonair – it really is the luck of the draw.
I suggest you try Kingfisher on this route – I have only done it once but it was the most enjoyable flight I have had in a long time – spent most of the flight in the bar drinking excellent cocktails (they have a bartender who is there for the entire flight), and chatting to other passengers. Even during turbulence we stayed in the bar, we just moved from the barstools to the sofas as they have seatbelts (no, I am really not kidding about this). Although the IFE was very limited compared to CX, I had no other complaints – oh, except that I couldn’t get just one zone of the massage seat working, I could only get all five massage zones working at once. Boo-hoo. Better timing for the return flight to HK than CX’s timetable, too.
Food was delicious too, although I have to admit I am a curryholic – but then, if you object to the smell of curry, you are probably going to the wrong place and on the wrong nation’s airlines…