Jet Airways A330-200 Premiere (business)Back to Forum
AnonymousGuest24 Sep 2013
This was a trip from Mumbai to Singapore (about 5 hours)
CHECK-IN, IMMIGRATION & SECURITY
This flight was booked as a codeshare on QF (I wanted the miles) but operated by Jet. QF don’t have any presence at the airport – thankfully I had checked this in advance and knew I needed to go to the Jet check-in desks, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this review. The reason is that I was late arriving at the airport – a very long day of meetings and a conference call which massively overran. Despite being driven to the airport by a hotel driver with aspirations for the touring car championships, I arrived at the check-in desk one minute after the flight closed. I must have looked particularly tired and crestfallen because they took pity on me, and a couple of calls later the flight was re-opened! Hooray!
A good start, and to my increasing amazement also one of my fastest trips through immigration and security in Bombay – perhaps because this flight is an hour or two earlier than my usual routes. Indian security is – well, unusual. You have to tag your hand luggage, and remember to keep your boarding pass and passport with you (not with your belongings) as you go through the security screening, since you have to get the tag stamped and your boarding pass stamped as well (by different people). It is also essential to ensure you don’t lose the hand-luggage tag as it is checked later as you progress through the airport. Fortunately I am familiar with this, so with the short queues I was through in record time.
Despite my record speed passage through immigration and security, I didn’t have time to go to the lounge. This was not a particular problem, from my perspective – it is a shared facility (the Clipper Lounge) and unless it has improved dramatically since my last visit (admittedly a few years ago) it really isn’t worth the bother.
BOARDING & TAKE-OFF
As you may have gathered, my stressful run-up to this part of the process meant I was feeling a little jaded by this stage. Things were about to change…
The queues didn’t seem particularly well-managed but boarding was swift. Despite the apparent lack of organisation, the moment I got to the front and had my boarding pass scanned, a Jet employee scurried up and grabbed the larger of my carry-on bags. I was a little taken aback and was about to resist but the gate staff assured me it was fine so I resigned myself to having to fork out yet another tip for a porter I didn’t want (a common problem in Mumbai) although I did stop him taking my smaller bag (which has all the important stuff in). However, I confess was wrong. He smilingly escorted me onto the plane, hoisted my bag into the overhead locker and scurried off before I could even thank him – no hint of an outstretched hand at all.
The on-board crew greeted me. I was given a menu. I was offered an amenity kit and, to my considerable surprise, pyjamas (remember this is a 5-hour business class flight, not true long-haul first). I don’t often use these but since I was on my second consecutive red-eye, I thought what the heck and changed into them, and was pleased to notice cloth hand towels in the lavatories (tiny ones, but even so!). The crew took my clothes, which I had rolled up to go into the locker, and hung them up instead. They took my meal order. They offered pre-flight drinks (non-alcoholic – no booze before take-off on any flights within/from India), and asked what (alcoholic) drinks I would like after take-off. Meanwhile I was settling into my seat, and it crossed my mind that yes, I was feeling jaded – but not so jaded, either by my day or my fairly extensive long-haul travel experience, that I can’t be genuinely surprised and delighted with a new experience, particularly one so pleasant and upmarket as this.
The seats are herringbone in design, a very comfortable width, and upholstered in burgundy with cream surrounds. Although the leather armrests were slightly scuffed with wear, it looked very smart, and didn’t feel overly enclosed. The electronic seat controls, which included electric tilt of the headrest plus a lumbar massage function – were clear and well placed. Near them was a neat touch – a Do Not Disturb button which lit up a red light near the aisle to alert cabin crew – which I thought was a great idea. The headphone socket was less handily placed, near my hip. There also seemed to be a USB socket in addition to a power socket, but I didn’t use either.
The IFE featured a good sized, adjustable screen. There was a reasonable selection of movies, and I settled down to watch the end of a film which I had failed to finish on a previous flight. Video quality was reasonable but not HD, and the headphones were also decent but not exceptional. Nothing “wrong” but nothing special either.
The food service was efficient, and even though the portion sizes were huge the crew happily served me with seconds (I had had difficulty choosing, so managed to get both my preferred options!). Both meals (!) were hot and nicely presented, and very tasty. Drinks were served promptly, and refills discreetly offered when needed, rather than when the crew felt like doing a drinks run.
Exhaustion – and a couple of glasses of a very presentable sauvignon blanc – were kicking in by this stage so I lay the seat flat and settled down to sleep. The massage area felt a bit lumpy – although in fairness I realised after I woke up that there is a button which I think retracts the massage section so I suspect this is my oversight rather than a design flaw (too late to check either way by the time I realised). The seat also felt a little short for my 6’3″ frame, albeit not uncomfortably so. Despite severe turbulence I slept comfortably for most of the rest of the flight.
We landed slightly behind schedule cause of headwinds, but having been warned of this before take-off and since it was only ten minutes, no big deal. However, for some bizarre reason, despite landing in Terminal 1 the bags were delivered to Terminal 3 (requiring a short trip on the Skytrain). To avoid any confusion, there were about half a dozen ground crew, with iPads which they used as noticeboards, directing passengers. A bit of a wait for bags – probably due to the inter-terminal transit – but my priority-tagged bag was among the first on the belt.
Immigration, as always at Changi, was quick and efficient although on this occasion surprisingly sullen. Oddly, the little feedback screen behind the desk (which I beetled up to, determined to give him a frowny face for refusing even to acknowledge my polite greeting as I walked up to the desk) went blank when my finger was two inches from the screen. Very…. odd.
No arrival lounge, but I didn’t have time to go to one anyway.
It has been a long time since I went on a flight and had an unexpected “wow”. However, I definitely had that on this flight. Service standards were impeccable; there were aspects that I associate with first class rather than business class; the seat was very comfortable (as I said, the lumpiness was really my fault!); on-board amenities were very good.
Indian airlines don’t get much coverage in these pages, and don’t have a great reputation. However, I would say that this flight demonstrates that they are providing an experience better than most of the established pack. I was truly impressed.24 Sep 2013
Thanks, sparkyflyer and canucklad
Canucklad, I wish my memory were up to that, but the flight was about two weeks ago and I have taken seven flights since then! They were Indian, I can tell you that much, and also one of them involved chicken and the other one lamb and both involved rice. Beyond that, and the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed them both, I am afraid I don’t recall!24 Sep 2013
I took a GF flight from CAI to BAH a few years ago and it was wet leased to Jet.
It was just as you report, a real wow factor, as I was expecting a shabby GF Airbus and got a Jet 773.24 Sep 2013
Not to be a mood dampner here but I live in Mumbai and have been using Jet Airways since more than 9 years for most of my flying. I am a Platinum Member since a couple of years ( the highest you can get ) and took my first MUM-SIN flight a few weeks ago.
I agree/concur with you on all aspects of your flight and commend Jet Airways on the service standards/food/drinks BUT I cannot ignore the fact on the size of the seats ! I am 185 cms in height ( 6″ 1′ ) while the seats seem to be less than 6 ft in length at full stretch.
The Jet Airways crew have had several complaints about the size of the seats, I also find them very narrow. I could not sleep on my sides considering the width of the seats.
I think on this sector, Jet got it completely wrong. Sectors like LHR and HKG where they use the 777-300ER is a dream flight, they have now even moved the MUM-BRU to this small aircraft for a 9 hour flight !!
I rate Jet Airways as one of the best in terms of service amongst all carriers but a pity that labelled as an ‘Indian’ we don’t get recognition…
..Moadweeb26 Sep 2013
Moadweeb, I am even taller than you (189cm/6’3″) and although, as I said, I thought the seats were a bit short I was still able to make myself comfortable – whereas I find that very difficult in BA’s CW, for example. Anyone under 6 feet would be fine, I think. We may have to agree to disagree about the width, but then I do not like seats that are too wide (I find that if I can’t use both armrests comfortably I get a lot of tension/pain in my neck and shoulders. Mind you, I don’t normally try to sleep on my side
I haven’t tried the 777-300ER but your comments make me keen to try – perhaps you could do a review of your own as I for one would be most interested to read about it. I don’t fly Jet on the HKG route as I stick to CX (who are now using their fab new business class)
Do you have any suggestions for better operators on the BOM-SIN route?26 Sep 2013
To answer your last question first, the best Business Class for the MUM-SIN route is supposed to be SQ with the widest seats in the industry. Again, I have not experienced this since they are always way out of my budget ( usually 10-15% more than Jet Airways )
I have flown the Jet Airways 777-300 ER several dozen times to LHR over the past few years. HKG and LHR and BRU-NYJ seem to be the only routes where Jet Airways now uses these aircraft. Here too they use the Herringbone design (1-2-1) and though not much wider than the seats on the MUM-SIN A330-200, they are longer and open from one side. This just makes the seat feel roomier and bigger.
I guess I am just spoilt by the seats on the 777-300ER and is a matter of getting used to the narrower seats on the A330-200.
I will do a review later on the MUM-LHR route ( In fact now I am flying 1st class to LHR in Dec ) and will add that to my review..
On the FlipSide, I had the worse experience on Jet Airways flying the SIN-DEL route where at least till last year they used the much smaller 737-800 or 737-900 aircraft. Bear in mind that the SIN-DEL is a full 6 and half hour flight. The 737 is commonly used by Jet Airways for all domestic sectors in India and how they can get away using it for the SIN-DEL route is a big mystery !! Shame on 9W…
Moadweeb26 Sep 2013
Jet is an excellent airline.
As well on domestic as international flights.
The A330 gives more privacy if seated on the righten side of the plane, as you just see a bit of the back of the middle row.
@ Moadweeb: I totally disagree when you say that the ‘Indian’ label does not bring any recognition.. Jet Airways, Taj, Oberoi, Leela, even Trident, offer much better services than any of their westerners counterparts.
My Indian business partners and my visits in India have convinced me that this country will become not only a leading one, and will also be able to compete at the highest levels of quality.26 Sep 2013
Moadweeb – 26/09/2013 14:17 GMT : To answer your last question first, the best Business Class for the MUM-SIN route is supposed to be SQ with the widest seats in the industry
Yeah – but you know what? I don’t like them. They are TOO wide… If I can’t get both arms on armrests, I end up with neck and shoulder pain. There really is no point in all that real estate when it ends up making you more uncomfortable!27 Sep 2013