In case you did not get the memo, Jet Airways has been on the move again. After trying out a multiple brands model, it is coming back to becoming a full-service carrier. Here is how I see a full-service carrier v/s a no-frills carrier in India:
- Mileage accrual and status recognition for frequent flyer elites
- Priority services
- a premium service cabin such as business class
- meal service in all cabins
- ability to offer connections
A few years back, I wrote a piece about Jet Airways cutting back on meal services. They were not eliminating meals, but progressively reducing the size of the meals, enough to make a snack size dinner. The reductions may not be prominent, but preserves are gone and the stuff on the plate progressively reduces. The worst part is, the meal service is inconsistent and the crew is clueless about the meals as well.
Here are 3 dinner meals I took earlier this month in economy…two are on medium-haul international sectors (BOM-KWI/KWI-BOM) and one is on a BOM-DEL flight recently.
BOM-DEL Dinner on Jet Airways
On this flight, the crew informs me that there is Butter Chicken and Dal, which gets me interested. And it turns out that there is no Daal but Eggplant. Like you would have noticed, no salads were served either.
KWI-BOM Economy Dinner on Jet Airways
This is one sad meal. Apparently there was yoghurt on the trays which the crew did not bother putting on mine, and like you can see, no bread/rotis on this meal.
BOM-KWI Economy Meal on Jet Airways
First and foremost, on this meal service, the crew had no idea of what to serve. The options were veg and non-veg as per them. So they served me a non-veg meal while looking around I figured there were two non-veg options: Indian and Arabic. I was stuck with the Arabic one with no choice given to me in the matter.
In contrast, have a look here. This is an Air India breakfast in economy on a domestic flight, and I think this tray contains more food than a Jet Airways meal tray.
My wishlist for Jet Airways has just one thing. Systemise these meals. Make sure your crew knows what they are serving, that they offer all the choices to the passengers, and the passengers get the right choice of meals. Also, put a consistent amount of food on the tray, no less no more. In the USA, there are meal standards defined by airlines so it is easy to predict the amount of food you’d be served if you were flying a particular route. No wonder it can be done here as well.
Also, I wonder if they think out of the box about meal service anymore? Hey, it does not have to be rice and chappatis anymore. It could be sandwiches, pizzas and so on as well.
Also, don’t you think it is a pity that in the words of the chairman of 9W, meals are an important part of going full service, but the airline is doing nothing about it?