There are things I like about Jet Airways, and then there are those I don’t. Amongst the things I love, include a robust loyalty program, prime slots across airports, a network that I can use, a social media team which is responsive, a 24-hour free cancellation period, and so on.
However, there is that half-thought through measures which I can see the logic for, but have just not been implemented well. For instance, the zone-wise boarding last year which took away privileges from elites, and was subsequently recalled. I also see the logic of not taking in economy class jackets in the closet [one too many], and for cutting away cheap tickets from lounge access [those lounges cost more money than the fare you fly on]. I don’t know yet about how the new piece concept in domestic will fly with people.
Last year, Jet Airways changed their web check-in process to align closer with a no-frills carrier. They wanted people to pay for economy class seat selection until 12 hours out. Platinum got a waiver and could get any seat free anytime, Gold got it on limited fare categories, but everyone else eventually had to pay.
This meant, if you wanted to check-in 24 hours out, you get this as a non-elite:
Where this began to become inconvenient was for flights when free check-in window would be middle of the night. For instance, for a 2 PM flight, the open seat assignment would be available only 12 hours prior, i.e., 12 AM.
It now turns out, Jet Airways has further shrunk the Free Check-in window and made it 10 hours in the case of their domestic flights. As per the Jet Airways Check-in information page,
|Class||Category||Check-in *Domestic flights||Check-in International flights||Charge|
|First Class||All||N/A||48 to 2 hours prior departure||Free|
|Première||All||48 to 1-hour prior departure||48 to 2 hours prior departure||Free|
|Economy||JetPrivilege Platinum / Gold||48 to 1-hour prior departure||48 to 2 hours prior departure||Free|
(For W, O, H, V class)
|48 to 10 hours prior departure||48 to 12 hours prior departure***||Paid|
|All other guests||48 to 10 hours prior departure||48 to 12 hours prior departure***||Paid|
|All guests||10 to 1-hour prior departure||12 to 2 hours prior departure**||Free|
*Domestic flights– Indicates flights within India.
**Between 24 to 2 hours before departure for direct flights to and from Amsterdam, London, Paris and Toronto. Between 10 to 2 hours before departure for direct flights to and from SAARC, ASEAN and Gulf(except Bahrain and Abu Dhabi). Between 72 to 2 hours before departure for flights departing from Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
***Between 48 to 10 hours before departure for direct flights to and from SAARC, ASEAN and Gulf.
To simplify it, for domestic flights, if you are not elite, you won’t be able to get a free seat assignment until 10 hours before flight now. This timing used to be 12 hours earlier but has recently been updated to make it ten hours.
While it personally does not affect me, and I am almost on my way to accomplishing my JetPrivilege Platinum again, it does affect most of their passengers. But still, it is much better than Air India, which has recently started charging for seat assignment and does not even give their elites a free seat assignment.
What do you think about the new free check-in window for Jet Airways? Have you had a run-in with it yet?