Jet Airways to charge for web check-in, in a twisted way

I said surprise me, and it seems I am getting all the wrong sort of surprises these days! Look, I’ve been a long time Jet Airways flier, and there are things I like, such as their social media team, and things I don’t like, such as their food. But sometimes things just go south and I have a feeling we are entering that phase.

First, we had this thing where the airline refused to put the coats of economy passengers in the plane’s closet, stating it was now exclusive to Business Class fliers. Think about it, I’ve never ever seen this being mentioned on their literature as an exclusive service.

Then, a month ago, they changed their boarding process, where elites are demoted to board in front of their zone rather than in front of everyone else. This just means you run out of space for your bags if you give them your business often enough. Or, you can sit in the back with lesser legroom, and board first. And also risk then you won’t get your choice of meal because high chance they ran out of those by the time your turn arrives.

And now, there is a new pain that has been introduced for non-elite flyers over the past 3 days or so. Let us circle back to Seat Select, a service which allows everyone to pre-assign a seat on the plane before check-in window opens. In economy, JP Platinum members get it for all fare categories, while Golds get it for Classic and Flex Economy tickets. Everyone needs to pay a fee. image

Now, all airlines get you to pay for their seats now, but my position on paying for seats is still rooted to the fact that I paid for a ticket on the plane, so why should I pay more for a seat extra? I hardly ever remember paying for seat selection.

So, a new nuance has been introduced since June 20th. Earlier, Platinum & Gold members could check-in 48 hours prior along with premium cabins, and everyone else could check in 24 hours prior. Seat Select used to shut down at 24 hours for the flight. At that hour, all seats were open and you could have your pick. So, a first come first serve basically.

Except, now there is this innocent new line which changes everything.

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This played out in real life last evening, and it wasn’t pretty. My parents are due to travel today, and yesterday, I tried to check them in. So we reached the web check-in page where a cool dude tells us nothing above the fold about the new changes.

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Next, we go through the rigmarole. Still no sight of trying to get their hand in my wallet.

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And now, it pops up like…. surprise!

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So guess what did I do then? I closed that window and abandoned check in. And when we checked them in this morning for the evening flight, everything on the plane was open and they were in the 20s in terms of those who had already checked in on the plane. Clearly this wasn’t encouraging enough people to check in beforehand, and they would all now want to check in at the airport. This is a complete U-turn from a time when this same airline would pay people 250 JPMiles to check in online.

Most people will wonder, why are they not being able to select a seat for free. I had some background to this issue a few days ago when a reader tweeted to me, but I thought I would soon be able to test-drive this new enhancement for myself.

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Bottomline

Like I said ahead, most of us will be made to pay for check-in now. And to think, there is no formal notification of this combination of the seat select feature with the check-in capability of the airline. Many will feel the pinch of this system as it inconveniences them, as in the example above. And many will ignorantly pay up thinking this is the only way they can get a seat assigned. Unfortunately, they haven’t been warned except in a footnote somewhere on the check-in page.

As a shareholder, I should be happy about this move, but what happened to the days of being transparent?

What do you think of this new enhancement from Jet Airways? I think it is nickel and diming.

Comments

  1. Man, your article need to be at the top…I travelled in jet last week(JUN 20-21) and this wasnt the case and stealthily they bring in a 12h prior paid seat selection this week! Passengers travelling as a family during weekends are gonna have a tough time with either sitting separate or shelling out extra. Wondering why business needs to get this greedy!

  2. I am an JPP.

    just checked in for a flight and it didn’t charge me. even though the webcheckin page showed most seats with a star on them (chargeable).

    However, i do agree that the perceived value for being a frequent flier on jet is now significantly reduced (both for domestic and international flights).

    Wish there is more competition from FSCs (UK. AI you listening?)

  3. I am a regular Jet Airways flier. I fly between London and India and have noticed in the past few years the standard has dropped considerably. The seating is not comfortable and the standard of food is deplorable. Jet Airways ranks 77th in the best airline list. To add to the bad standards to charge passangers for web check-in is bad.
    I will consider flying by other airlines

  4. This practice is being adopted by other Airlines too like goair. They are pulling up the fundamental benefits of web check in. Why is the MCA silent on this.

  5. I am also experienced same thing last week. Surprisingly 10 B was not paid seat. JET airways wants to loose their mkt share fastly.
    Full service flt in for nameshake.Because of their highhandness I m a platinum member becone Gold member. Slowly I m switching over to OTHER AIRLINES.
    V.MOHAN

  6. Jet is in the race to get the status of wrost airlines and running wrost loyality program for its customers.

  7. Yes,Jet airways is going downhill. There is absolutely no use being loyal to them. They’re trying their best to be voted the world’s worst frequent flyer program.

  8. All the non customer friendly actions by Jet make being a platinum member worthless. It is better to cash in the points for award tickets for the family and make the balance zero! And then switch to any low cost carrier or Air India – one travels without expectations and hence no disappointment!

  9. Platinum flyer here.

    I’m just waiting for 9w becomes part of some alliance to use the miles.

    Food wise, it’s getting worse and worse. KitKat for dessert. Sub as meal. Bad seats. I often find indigo seats better.

    Surprise fact, redemption of miles on Air France takes lesser miles than that of Jet.

    Right now, I wish they bring a diamond class above platinum and and become part of One World.

  10. Disgusting .business travellers use jet not because of their service but for lounge access and points .I have not seen a smiling jet airways personnel .sometimes there is no separate line for premier customers and we have to remind them.now with the payments for seats it is better to switch to low cost airlines

  11. My wife and I are both Platinum members and were surprised when we couldn’t check in after Jet sent a mail reminding us to check in. Found out the new rules via phone and shocked. It appears Jet does not value its premier members. Another pain is the new boarding process. As you have explained, it is painful.
    Time to switch to Vistara or even Air India where we do not expect any special treatment!!!

  12. I am experienced these changes in last few days and they are not pleasant at all for the frequent fliers. You feel cheated. Why would an airline like Jetairways do something whi h will earn them very little extra but a great amount of bad publicity.

  13. Can we sign a petition or make a group of Jet Privilege members and oppose such stupid moves of Jet Airways. I am a Platinum member myself and such blatant practices really discourage me to take Jet now. Their food is also pathetic these days. If I can checkin early and grab a good seat then what’s the point of having platinum membership. They have also increased the number of miles required for each sector for taking reward flights.

    Please think about the group that I am proposing.

  14. After AI is bought out, I wish they come up with a ‘porting’ plan for Jet Platinum to Star Gold. Will jump over any moment.

  15. Yes, the gold, platinum membership has no value with jet. The blue membership in Emirates airline is more valuable than the platinum of jet airways. The services in jet airways is akin to Air India and they seems to be competing for the worst service possibly. I have not seen a smiling jet hostess for a long time.

  16. Now a days 9W is in news for all wrong reasons.
    It is passenger unfriendly airline.
    It can deny you boarding because they have overbooked the flight.
    It happened to my family on 04.05.2017 at Mumbai airport.
    Yes, they can do it to overcome their internal failures and meet their greed.
    Isn’t it time to stop using this airline.
    They are not worth.

  17. I think Jet Airways sucks. I am sure that the department concerned who is responsible to introduce this sick imaginative rules have never travelled. As it is they have withdrawn the lounge access to Gold and Platinum for specific classes…I would not be surprised that they will go the Low cost airlines do….not have any lounges. The inflight food is a disaster. It is a complete pass and is absolutely imaginative as to how the food should not be actually.

    Just think of it for a minute….. What offers or privelages does have Gold or Platinum card have at this time…. Worth NOTHING.

    Wait till AirIndia is bought out by someone and all we are prepared to fly OUT OF JETPRIVELEGE.

  18. Guess it means now need to check-in 12 hours prior. No use checking in earlier.

    Definitely goes against the full service airline claim though.

  19. But at times, when I try to web -check in, most of the times they pre allocate seats to everyone leaving no option select my choice if the flight is full.

  20. The client/customer is no more important We pay to be treated shoddily There is no transparency Take it as they dish out the shit or leave it Its not going to get any better unless consumers unite and negotiate cost versus quality

  21. Funniest thing is that Jet even charges for the middle seat in any row. Isn’t this foolish, even Indigo doesn’t charge for the middle seat but for emergency exit. I am a platinum member I checking in at the airport now a days.

  22. Faced the same problem yesterday where I was allotted a seat and couldn’t do a web check in. I preferred to get my boarding pass from office to reach the security check since I hardly carry check in bags. But couldn’t do anything… had to go to the check in counter.

  23. Now, all airlines get you to pay for their seats now, but my position on paying for seats is still rooted to the fact that I paid for a ticket on the plane, so why should I pay more for a seat extra? I hardly ever remember paying for seat selection.

    My dear Ajay, some time back i tweeted this in connection to indigo charging for seat, you said it is their policy, so this is also their policy.

  24. I faced the same issue 4 days ago. Online it asked me to pay for my seat. I refused..at the counter I was told flight is wide open! Sounds like early birds pay for their worms.
    Paying for seat selection of full-fate carriers further reduced the gap between them and a low cost carrier.

  25. I faced the same thing but I was told by a friend to try 12hours prior to departure instead of 24hours. I did and was able to do it like before. May be quietly they changed it to 12hours. I am not very sure.

    • Hopefully I’m not affected as a play. But I’v been concoiusly avoiding Jet since last few months and try to fly Vistara whenever possible.

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