About 24 hours ago, I got off my flight(s) with Jet Airways which brought me back from a hectic vacation in NYC, SEA and DCA to Mumbai. As usual, I took my favourite airline on the way back, to fly JFK-BRU-BOM in Jet Airways Business Class.
The reason I have enjoyed my experiences in the front and the back of a Jet Airways flight is the eye for details, and the hospitable, welcome approach they have to flying rather than most other carriers. I’ve been used to their (very) good service over a period of time, and which is reason enough for me to stick to them as my preferred airline. And sometimes also go the extra mile to convert other people to flying Jet.
This time around though, I hate to note that complacency was setting in at the airline, where the ‘God lies in the detail’ attitude was going away. I will be writing a trip report on this shortly, but the following were my observations:
1. Meal Service: While most of the sectors, and I flew 4 on my onward and return trip, the meals were not rushed, I found that the crew on a couple of flights skipped an appetizer course on their own initiative. On BOM-BRU in the end of July, there was heavy rain in Mumbai, and as a result there was a delay in the flight take off for 30 minutes or more. They served the drinks with the 3 AM snacks they were serving. On JFK-BRU, no one bothered checking on the appetizers, and brought the main course straight away. And I was really looking forward to that particular appetizer 😛 And how can I forget, a particular Indian dessert that is always consumed hot, was served to me cold on the plane. When asked for replacement, I was asked to wait while they served the others. 9W, you mean to tell me there were no extra meals on the plane? I seriously hope you have no intentions of killing the experience of the gourmet cuisine you are bringing on-board the HKG-BOM segment.
2. On Board Amenities: It is common knowledge that 9W believes you can’t, or you won’t fall asleep in the middle of the day on a 8-hour long flight, and only offers PJs to passengers on the night flights. Also, the amenity kits, which no longer stock Bvlgari inside them, are not offered on day flights. But, I’d also like to believe that on a day flight, whenever I have requested for a PJ kit, I have been given one. On the BRU-BOM segment, which is a 10 AM take off and 10:40 PM landing, I requested for one of these. I was curtly informed they had none because this was a day flight. Dear 9W, could someone then please explain to me the PJ kits wrapped in cellophane I saw one of your crew members sneaking away in a top-secret mission? Can you imagine sleeping in your denims for 4 hours can be a ‘not-very-comfortable’ experience?!
3. In-seat facilities not working: This one takes the cake. I booked the same seat on all 4 segments because its my favorite seat with a little extra elbow room on the plane. 3 out of the 4 segments, there were issues which were unresolved, or unresolvable while airborne! On BRU-JFK, the in-seat power point refused to work. I had a few important emails to answer and a 60 page document to review which I had planned for the flight, but none of it happened. And the crew tried a couple of times to get it to work, and then shrugged responsibility. They did not even come to inform me that they won’t be able to make it work, I had to figure it out myself. On JFK-BRU, they put up a seat lamp overhead which had 30 percent of the regular power and I could have gone blind trying to read in that light! BRU-BOM, I have a large flat screen TV which just wouldn’t stow for take off! So it was just hanging there! Does no one check the planes before they take off, or is this a special mission to get me off the airline for good?
If it were a stray incident I’d have thought of it as a bad memory, but there were far too many to believe this was a chance event! I am seriously wondering what would I fly if I gave up on Jet Airways anytime soon then!!! You guys got any ideas?