Late last week I ended up scheduling a few meetings in the Middle East, and I booked to fly out from Mumbai on Jet Airways to Muscat (Oman). Jet Airways kind of suited the timing as well, the flight was a 10 PM flight which meant I could spend the Sunday at home and fly out in the evening.
Me and a couple of colleagues were at the airport at 8 PM grabbing a few beers, but we did not eat too much, since we expected dinner on our flight. Here is what the flight details say on the website.
Now, this is supposed to be a ‘full-service’ Jet Airways flight, which meant the minimum meal service I expected, even after they axed the goodies, was at least this.
Instead, I was in for a shocker when the cabin crew asked me if I wanted to have Veg Rice or Non-Veg Rice for dinner. Now, I am not too fussed usually about what I eat on a plane, but here we were, looking for dinner service, and what were really getting was snack service at 10:30 PM. The drinks trolley rolled by quickly and I asked for a Coke, half a cup of which was served without ice and lime. They never came around again to ask for another round!
I had quietly begin to wonder why could they not work this flight under their low-cost airline brand JetKonnect and ask me to buy-on-board. Is it too much for their pride? Have a look at the current ‘full-service’ International meal service dinner:
There you go… the small size of the tray gave away everything but service lentils and rice for dinner just did not cut it. This non-vegetarian food plate had 10 grams of chicken in it, if you want to know. Here is what was further missing from the last time I had an airline meal on 9W:
- The tea/coffee service gone (No more coffee mugs!)
- The bread/Indian bread is gone
- Instead of a curd preparation, now you get a 10 buck yoghurt package in your plate.
- Desserts, long gone I suppose, but here is where Jet Airways makes it tacky. You get a Rs. 5 (10 Cents) bar of Cadbury’s chocolate. Really?
You ain’t Swiss to be giving away ‘thank you’ chocolates at the end of the flight and I know it!
Don’t get me wrong, the airline is finding it tough to be in the air and be profitable at the same time. But hey, why not just kill the meal altogether and call it a low-cost flight then? And make some money via concession sales as well? It is a well-established global airline model, and why should we be any different to be asked to pay for our food and drinks?
But if you promise a meal, make it a meal service. And here is the meal I got the morning after on my ‘breakfast’ service flight on Emirates (economy).
This quite reminded me of the Jet Airways meal service back in the day…