One of my favourite feature of airlines, when flying around in the US, is the ability to move to an earlier flight if there is a seat available on the earlier flight. While most people are charged a few $ for the feature, as an elite you can also get it for free. The ability to try and get on an earlier flight is called Standby, and in India, airlines did not offer this facility so far, formally at least.
Turns out, Jet Airways launched a new feature yesterday called JetAdvance, where they allow you to get on a flight up to four hours prior, by paying a small non-refundable fee of INR 1,000 per passenger.
Here is how it works. Assuming you had meetings all day, and you were booked to go back home on an 8 pm flight. By some stroke of luck, you got done early. Now you want to be on the 6 pm flight. Earlier, you would either wait it out at the airport, or cancel your 8 pm flight and buy an atrociously priced ticket for the 6 pm flight.
Now, you can just turn up at the airport, and ask if there is space available on the 6 pm flight. If it is, you get charged INR 1000 per passenger (per sector) to be moved to the 6 pm flight, and you are on your way. Remember, this facility is only available once you are at the airport, and not online. Also, you can’t move more than 4 hours ahead of your original schedule. Also, important to remember, this is only available on domestic flights right now (given most international destinations for Jet Airways must be running 1-2 times a day).
Also, there is no mention of the RBD you’d be rebooked in, but my suspicion is that you will get miles and tier points per your original class of booking. However, there needs to be space on the earlier flight, and not necessarily in the same booking class as you were booked on.
I find this to be a very useful thing to have in my pocket now. Frequently, I need to be on work meetings where I sometimes get done early or traffic to the airport is not as much as I expected. If I could get back home earlier, it is worth the price they ask. However, I’d love it if they made this facility available free of cost to their elites, at least Platinum guests.
What do you guys think of this? Do you see yourself using JetAdvance anytime soon?