CHECK-IN I had tried to check-in the night before through
jetairways.com, but received an error message. At 7:10am I was at one of Jet Airways’ Première class counters in Zone P of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. My flight to Dubai was scheduled to take off at 9:20am. Economy JetPrivilege members check-in at Zone K. There was no queue and within minutes of my arrival I was handed my boarding pass. Had there been a line, I had the option to wait at one of the lounge chairs in this area.
There is an exclusive immigration counter for passengers of business class and upwards. Being second in queue, by 7:30am I was browsing through duty-free. There was enough time at hand to grab a hearty breakfast at the east wing of GVK Lounge near Gate 44.
BOARDING Boarding was to commence at 8:20am at Gate 69A, as was mentioned on my boarding card. However, there was no sign of the ground staff until an 8:37am announcement informed us that boarding was moved to Gate 46. I breezed through the separate line for première class passengers and was in my seat by 8:50am.
THE SEAT The première class cabin has 12 seats in a 2-2 configuration. The upholstery is in Jet Airways’ standard blue colour and a plain white cushion. With a seat width of 20.5 inches there is ample room to spread out. The only additional space, apart from the overhead stowage is the “pocket” below the armrest that can hold a tablet, a mobile phone and a water bottle at a time. It was already occupied though, with headphones provided by the airline for the in-flight entertainment (IFE). The foldable table is sturdy with enough space to hold a 15-inch laptop and a glass of water. There is no USB port or power socket.
WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE? Frankly, with just three rows, there isn’t much to choose from. If you’re planning to nap, I would suggest any of the window seats of row 3. This is only because they are farthest from the galley, which is to the front of the aircraft. There is an empty space between the economy and première cabins.
THE FLIGHT I chose apple cinnamon over orange juice for the welcome drink. A cabin crew came around shortly after with the menu card, a selection of reading material and cold towels. Once boarding was complete, we were offered, socks and an eye mask.
I declined breakfast as I had just eaten. The menu included a selection of bread, paratha, fresh juices, fruits, yogurt and cereal for the starters. Options for the main were idli, spiced oatmeal and rice pancakes (uttapam) with a tangy vegetable stew and chutney; cheese omelette with chicken, potato wedges and baked beans; and raisin and cinnamon toast with maple syrup.
Due to a long queue on the tarmac, we had to await our turn and that pushed us back about 40 minutes after the scheduled departure time. I decided to catch a quick nap and reclined my seat that tilts up to six inches. Seconds within shutting my eyes, a crew member gently pulled down my window shade — a kind gesture. However, it wasn’t long before I was politely woken up because the passenger behind me didn’t have enough room to open his tray table. I faced no such problem as I was seated in 1A.
Now wide awake, through the in-flight wifi I tried to connect to JetScreen, the airline’s wireless streaming IFE service. Unfortunately, it wasn’t working during my flight. And so I pulled out the remote and touchscreen from my seat’s armrest and browsed through movie options, which though wide, mostly included 2016 releases.
Just as we were preparing to land, I freshened up in the clean lavatory that had Chopard body lotion and body mist.
ARRIVAL We landed three hours ten minutes after takeoff. I was in my taxi within 45 minutes of touching down at Dubai International Airport.
VERDICT The staff was formal, yet warm. Overall, it was a smooth flight.
PRICE Internet rates for a one-way ticket from Mumbai to Dubai in mid-November started from AED 2,788/₹48,637 including taxes and surcharges.