Jet Airways Flight Experience: 9W69 from Bangkok to Mumbai
Jet Airways (9W) is one of India's largest airlines, and also has a reputation of being one of its premium international airlines, more so with its close association with Etihad Airways as an Etihad Partner airline. With a hub in Mumbai, Jet Airways operates flights to Asia, Europe and North America.
I have always held Jet Airways in high regard, until this flight experience, where some of the cabin crew left me with quite a bitter aftertaste. Nevertheless, other cabin crew showed genuine warmth and care for their passengers and a great enthusiasm for their job, which has to be highly commended.
So here is my experience of Jet Airways.
Jet Airways flight 9W69
Route: Bangkok (BKK) to Mumbai (BOM)
Departure: 3.25pm / 3.56pm (actual)
Arrival: 6.35pm / 6.49pm (actual)
Flight Time: 4 hours 40 minutes / 4 hours 23 minutes (actual)
Check-in at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
Check-in was a breeze as I headed straight for the web check-in counter after checking-in online. I was glad to have secured one of the few remaining window seats on my flight during the online check-in. After directing me in the right direction towards the gate, the check-in agent wai-ed me as I left her counter.
At the boarding gate, there was an additional security check, which, as signage informed, was a requirement by the Indian government.
The operating aircraft was VT-JWU, an Airbus 330-302, which features 34 seats in Business Class and 259 in Economy Class. I was seated at the last row of the Forward Economy Class section.
A small pillow was available on the seat. The audio headset could be found in the seat pocket.
The seat also featured a USB port and also, an AC power port was available (shared between two seats).
During boarding, I noticed the cabin crew offering small bottles of water to the passengers. Observing the passengers, most of them seemed to be male Indian nationals, with the rest being mostly backpacking European couples. The flight was about half full. Two male cabin crew worked in the Forward Economy Class cabin, and they were most professional and warm from boarding and throughout the entire flight.
The two excellent cabin crew on the flight:
There was one incident which really revealed the warm hospitality of Jet Airways. There was a young backpacker travelling alone, who was ill and informed the cabin crew. He was originally seated on the window seat, but th cabin crew moved him to an empty middle row (where he could lay down). They informed him that he could lay down there until it was time to take off which he had to be seated upright. Throughout the flight, the two male cabin crew (as pictured) regularly checked on him. When the passenger missed the meal service as he was sleeping, they even brought him a fruit platter from Business Class, which would be easier on the stomach. Excellent service by both of them in taking care of an ill passenger.
After take off, blankets were distributed by the cabin crew. It was quite chilly so I accepted the offer.
Beverage service commenced with a savoury snack (murukku - a crunchy Indian snack) offered with a choice of beverage. The snack was really tasty and I wouldn't have mind an additional one! A full range of beverages, including wines and spirits, were available. I had vodka with diet coke for my drink.
An interesting jetplane design on the stirrer
When I was served my drink, the nice young flight steward asked me if I would like it strong. I replied yes with a smile. He also asked if I wanted ice. Though I was feeling chilly, I wouldn't want a lukewarm cocktail - hence I was hesitant in replying "yes". He noticed my hesitation and offered me just one cube of ice with my drink. I thought his customer service skills were excellent, in not only acting on the customer's verbal cues but also interpreting the non-verbal signals to satisfy the customer.
However, as good as the services of this young gentleman and the one serving on the opposite aisle in the Forward Economy Class cabin, the services of the other cabin crew in Economy Class were downright deplorable!
Soon, after the beverage service was completed, hot meal service commenced. This time, I was served by an older gentleman who was stationed at the rear Economy Class cabin. When he got to my row, he looked at me and handed me a tray. "It's fish, ok?" He asked. Whilst other passengers were asked if they would like "chicken or vegetarian", I was not even given a choice. After handing me the tray, he continued on with his cart - without even offering me a drink!
Contrary to what he informed me, the main course was chicken with rice.
The Thai-style chicken pa-naeng curry was delicious though! I enjoyed the nutty flavour in the spicy curry, served with generous chicken chunks.
As the dish was spicy, I pressed the call button to get my drink, which was answered by the young steward. He was quite apologetic that I didn't receive my drink and quickly paged for another crew to deliver my drink. A lady cabin crew promptly served me my drink but she turned out to be incredibly rude!
I noticed that coffee and tea were served when the cabin crew collected the meal trays. When this same lady collected my meal tray, she took my tray and when I asked for some tea, her exact reply was, "You want this, you want that, everything you want!"
Honestly, I wouldn't in my life, expected that coming, from a service staff, let alone one working for a premium airline. Was I being greedy to ask for some tea if it was Jet Airways' procedure to serve coffee and tea during the meal tray collection?
She did serve me my tea (albeit just half a cup), so I didn't let her attitude bother me and continued to enjoy my JetScreen entertainment. I watched "Bridget Jones Baby", which left me in fits of laughter, followed by a more serious "The Hurt Locker".
The lavatory was stocked with Under the Ocean light body lotion (seaweed extract) and Chopard scented mist.
The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful until landing, where we circled for almost an hour due to air traffic congestion at Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. It allowed me to enjoy the nice sunset's reflection off the wings as a finale of my Jet Airways journey.
Having detailed my service encounter on Jet Airways, I would just add that the flight experience really depended on who was the service provider on this flight. The two young men had been most superb in their hospitality, prioritising the passengers' comfort, yet on the same flight, their colleagues were less so. Even though I wasn't offered a choice of meal, the meal served to me turned out to be very tasty and I enjoyed it.
Overall, I wouldn't say it was a disappointing experience with one of India's premium airlines, but certainly, it was an interesting one.
Thank you for reading this review of Jet Airways.
For the full video experience of my Jet Airways flight 9W69 experience, please see below: