My Jet Airways wishlist : Same day standby on earlier flights

Yesterday, I wrote about my wish for a consistent meal service on Jet Airways. Today, I thought why not add another thing to this wishlist with my experiences with Jet Airways on Sunday.

I was supposed to be in Gurgaon for a couple of days over the weekend to meet up old friends from my alma mater. But when I booked my ticket, there was no firm plan in place, but I wanted to lock in tickets early to be able to get a good price with so many sales being in in play at that moment. Hence, I booked the outermost possible ticket to return to Mumbai (a 9 PM DEL-BOM flight).

Cue to November, the plan worked out just fine. Except for one bit, where a lot of people had booked earlier tickets, and hence we wrapped up Sunday afternoon in stead of Sunday evening. I had a few hours on hand, and nothing to do, so I decided to head to the airport as well, and get some work done.

I did enquire at the check-in counter if the airline could swap my ticket for an earlier flight. At a couple of earlier occasions, the airline has been able to do this, given my Platinum status and their ability to find a seat in the same fare bucket.

This time however, I was not accommodated. I was just told it can’t be done. No heartburn there, however, it made me think about how Jet Airways could have helped me better by getting me a seat on an earlier flight, which perhaps had similar flight loads as mine. My flight had an approximately 75% flight load, which means it went with a lot of empty seats.

I could have cancelled the ticket altogether and gotten on another flight by paying the current prices for that flight. As a Platinum member, Jet Airways gives me a zero cancellation fees for domestic flights, apart from no-show or non-refundable fares.

Here are all the flights I could have got on to if the airline would have acceded to my request. Ignore the day of flight, since I picked it up from today’s schedule of 9W.


One of the greatest convenience I find when I am in the USA with a carrier where I have elite status is the ability to standby on an earlier flight. This means, if the flight has an empty seat in the class you are flying, you could get on an earlier flight as well. Some airlines charge a flat fee for this privilege, some don’t and some give it free to their elite members. For instance, as an AAdvantage Platinum or Executive Platinum member, I could get to standby on an earlier flight and if it clears, I can get on an AA plane earlier if required for me.

I’m sure India’s boarding pass stamping regulation makes it impossible to put you on a new flight after the boarding pass is stamped at the security check point, however, one could at least take an earlier flight if they arrive at the airport earlier and during check-in. The cost to the airline is marginal or nil, because they anyways have to fly those seats empty and a seat is a perishable commodity on a flight.

Anything else on your wishlist for Jet Airways, as I hope it seriously becomes a great airline again…

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  1. Not related to this but one of my wishlist is that Jet allows web-checkin for all flyers upto 48hrs prior.

    Web-checkin is available on all other carriers for 48hrs prior but incase of JetAirways, they allow only Higher Tier members to web-checkin 48hrs prior but only 24hrs for the rest.

    I would wish that they would bring this on parity with all other carriers and allow guests to webcheckin 48hrs prior, they could allow Higher tier members to webcheckin 72hrs prior to differentiate.

  2. stupid airlines in India would rather fly an earlier flight empty than help a customer.No wonder they are going bankrupt one by one. Yesterday i requested this for a colleague and indigo didnt was bom blr and there were at least 2 earlier flights
    spent 5 hours in carnations lounge in bom and then the flight got delayed further. We booked just one day before travel date and was not on lower fare class

  3. It’s a common issue faced by most frequent and business flyers. Really hope that Jet or somebody similar are reading and noting this. As mentioned by Dhawal, it’s a smart thing to do and mostly win-win for all. What is hate is subjectivity and being at the mercy of ground staff. If there is a rule book and then some amount of subjectivity, it may still work out.

  4. It’s a hit and miss with jet airways. I took a BLR BOM flight last week, while I was booked on a 9:50 PM flight, I got free earlier and reached airport at 3. On requesting to be put on an earlier flight, I was first told to pay 12k as fare difference but after some back and forth with the supervisor, I was accommodated on 6:40 PM flight, without paying anything.

    In general, I feel bangalore staff is best followed by Mumbai, and the ground personnel are probably rudest in Delhi. So it really depends on who are you dealing with. I don’t think Jet follows any rule book in such matters.

  5. Jet used to move pax into their earlier flights when space was available. However, now with revenue management taking more control, the airport staff have to make sure that the same fare bucket is available…

  6. After long I have been flying quite a lot of domestic destinations in India and the realisation wifh Jet has been that there is such a huge lack of direct flights on sectors like CCU- HYD , CCU-ADI etc.I wish they have a few more direct flights on routes which are being revolutionized by 6E.

  7. Thats true, and I have flown Delta in USA and while I was checking in, at a kiosk, it automatically showed up earlier flights and offered me the option of switching at no extra cost, despite not being a frequent flier as well, surprised, I asked one of the gate agents and they said that by putting me on an earlier flight they have two additional hours to sell tickets in the next flight. Financially profitable at the same time happy fliers. Take about smart / long term thinking.

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