If you live in India and fly domestic often, you always really had the choice of aligning with one of the three major domestic airlines: Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines.
Air India has been much in the news already for their lack luster service, management issues and the run-in with the Star Alliance. Kingfisher’s claim to fame is its glamour factor and the association with the beer major Kingfisher! Its financial troubles are well-known too. However, it is still keeping its head above the water.
The only full-service Indian airline then which has made real progress over the past years has been Jet Airways. They’ve managed to put their wings out of India at various destinations, and a respectable service standard on the domestic as well as international operations. I must say with that service quality and guest care, they had the right to be arrogant. The FFP was a good one, but now it looks like they are out there to get the low hanging fruit out of the way for all of us. Or make us used to a new benchmark where everyone is taking benefits away from their frequent fliers.
Earlier this year, Jet Airways and Citibank devalued the benefits on their co-branded Jet Airways Citibank credit card. The key changes were those related to upgrade vouchers. Earlier, one could earn an upgrade voucher (valid for an upto 1500 mile trip upgrade) on a spend of INR 2,00,000 (roughly about US$ 4,000). With effect from September 1, they moved the earning capability to INR 3,50,000 spend per voucher, which translates to roughly about USD 7,000. They also took away the 1 free voucher which was available everytime you renewed the card annually. They may have thought why the need to give those vouchers, because to get an upgrade on Jet Airways is anyways a herculean process and the upgrade may not clear!
The best part, for changes effecting from September 1, they sent me an email communication on September 3! I knew of the changes earlier thanks to FlyerTalk.
Along the road, I noted a new thread on FlyerTalktoday where Jet Airways is now taking away lounge access from their elites (for their families/guests/anyone with them!) I am still a lowly Gold with them and don’t see the use of upping to Platinum. With effect from October 1, Jet Airways has notified that any Jet Airways elites will not be able to take any guests with them to the lounge. And this is not just valid for your travels in the Economy section, but also on First Class or Business Class.
So there, one more change which is looking like the erosion of the benefits flying Jet Airways. My advice to them would be to look out for big radical changes in their fuel structuring, and not depend on the ‘taking away an olive in F saved AA 40K USD a year’.
Thumbs down to this one!