I would really appreciate comments and replies to my trip reports, thanks! :) As with my first report, I will post a link to the video trip report:
Smiles all round. I was smiling after a pretty awesome flight in the morning from Colombo on Jet Airways (http://flight-report.com/en/report-13057.html), made up mostly by a smiling crew…and of course, the Jet Airways livery which does have a yellow smile! I left off just before getting on to the transit bus to T2. Here's what happened afterwards. Enjoy!
We waited 20 minutes in line for the transfer bus. In the meantime, there was one Jet Airways agent who was calling out passengers departing on Jet Airways flights about half an hour away. The line took quite a while to move. I was looking forward to this bus ride. All around the Mumbai Airport. Isn't that fun! Or was it?
The line rapidly started moving as three Volvo busses came in to take almost all of the passengers. Dad and I kinda had to rush, until we saw there indeed was a third bus waiting. While nicely air conditioned and cooled, no, the bus wasn't very well kept. The blue seats were turning bad, while the nets to keep the bottles were there on some seats, not on others. And some grime marks all over. Either way, this perhaps is the more convenient way to get from Terminal to Terminal in Mumbai. So I wasn't complaining.
The bus drove out of the terminal area, and with some speed, I must say! However, though, this wasn't the type which would go through the airport boundaries. In fact, we were given a small tiny Mumbai trip as we went from Andheri to Santa Cruz on the ever so busy Western Expressway: the traffic was mad! Looked at the clock: its 0950 hours - almost the end of rush hour!
The minor Mumbai trip came to end as we turned in towards the domestic terminal at 0959 hours. Terminal 1B, followed by Terminal 1A.
Spot the plane!
Most of the passengers got off. We got down as I started sensing the vibes of very familiar Terminal 1B - I was back here for the first time since 2012, and this would probably be my last time.
I had issues getting the passport out of my pocket, much to the dislike of the Security person, who let me through without the ID check. Well, okay sir.
T1B was bustling with people. More people on the IndiGo side than the Jet Airways side, but this changed soon as people in the Jet Airways area increased rapidly.
Gate A2 is what the boarding passes showed. Gate A3 is what the Flight Info Displays in the airport showed. Terminal 1C!
T1B to T1C is pretty easy: there's an escalator at the west end of 1B, climb up that, follow the elevated path (that is, right over T1B arrivals), and then there's a specific security for T1C flights….and it was at this point we realized: we're in India. We NEED baggage tags. Yours truly did the long walk back, as I saw that that super cute labrador again. I came back up, lines weren't too long. However though, joy awaited as I saw a completely empty counter and X-ray machine, went through that in barely 30 seconds. Annoyingly, baggage tags were available only at this counter.
I had something to be worried about. The registration of the plane. Would it be another repeat registration? Would it be a plane with personal TV screens? Will I log in another Sky Interior plane? Or at least a new registration? I see a VT-JGF at gate A1, had just come in from Mangalore, and would later head off to Lucknow. I see the old VT-JGA at gate A2, my supposed gate, with doors all armed and ready to go. I reach gate A3. I can't see the registration. I click a picture. I see 'TB' written on the nose wheel door. That could only mean: VT-JTB, the newest bird in Jet Airways' fleet! I was ecstatic so ecstatic! A smile which couldn't be removed from my face! On the day, JTB was just 47 days old, compared to the 66 days old of VT-JFC when I flew on that bird in October 2012, Mumbai to Kolkata.
I check the time: its 1044 hours. Jet bridge was being connected. And knowing Jet, they surely won't turn a plane around in less than 40 minutes. So JTB was mine to fly on that morning! She had flew in from Hyderabad as 9W458.
With the aircraft doubt out of the way, it was time for some spotting. The uncomfortable terror threats at the BOM washrooms, unfortunately coinciding with the visit of the POTUS for Republic Day, I saw on WhatsApp that photography was a bit on the no-no side. Tight security. Red alerts. I had to be careful. Nevertheless, I still managed to get something out of it all.
9W307 to Dehradun via New Delhi
While sitting close to the gate agents of 9W were there. Not that I wanted to interfere, but their conversations were funny. One of them was a young-ish man in his mid 20s and a slightly elderly lady who was in her early-mid 30s. Well first things first, gates were changed from A2 to A3 in the first place (so the boarding pass was right!), with a loud announcement in the silent airport.
So this did attract many passengers, asking them whether or not A3 is for 9W307, when will boarding start, etc. Then there were some 6E folk who'd ask the 9W people questions, and they'd be like: 'Kidhar hai ye IndiGo log?' (where are the IndiGo people?), after of course ushering them away. Then their internal discussions included: why did the gate have to change from A2 to A3 as its causing confusion, because anyways A2 was occupied by a Jet Airways plane after JGA left (VT-SJI). There was also a minor Air India rant as they talked about how Air India called boarding for a full A321 and then not start boarding, causing a long line and confusion. And the occasional very bad eff word. This was all pretty interesting.
A line formed at around 1057 hours as boarding started silently. I waited for the long line to reduce, I took a seat. VT-JGC was being pushed slightly as the race to Delhi was on. As her engines revved up, I made my way down the jet bridge. A slight line had formed, but it was moving.
Another warm welcome onboard, as the orange mood lighting was prevalent through the naturally lit cabin of JTB. An announcement was made: 'Passengers are requested to take their seats and stow hand luggage in the overhead compartments or under in the seats in front of you to expedite our departure.'
Plenty of heart-in-mouth moments happen in aviation. This was one of them. There was a family of three occupying seats 26D/E/F. I apologized to them, and said that I specifically selected 26F while booking. I mean, I felt bad, yes, but why wouldn't people follow seat numbers in their boarding passes? Or ask to be seated together? (plane was relatively empty, as I found out later). Some activity occurred outside, the race from London was won by Jet Airways, and British Airways coming in a close second..
As the time for boarding arrived, the people beside me just..disappeared. So they did find a three seater for themselves after all. After a while, there was another lady just roving about the cabin, finding a free seat. There were at least three rows with 1 person having 3 seats for themselves, and she decided to sit on the aisle seat of my row. Oh well. But this was something I've always found on Delhi based flights: why do people not follow their seating assignments?
Its Jet Airways time in Mumbai!
1131 hours, the lead FA came and introduced herself to the passengers, as well as the rest of the cockpit crew. 1133 hours, on cue, pushback began. The new CFM56 engines were brought into life, as I saw the brand new green colored hydraulics. It was all pretty sweet to see!
Didn't see her till the very end!
Pretty messy sight!
Pushback from T1C, and non stop till the gate Delhi. Medium-high speed taxiing, while in the meantime an AI bird departed, we taxied straight on to the runway and blasted into the hazy skies of Mumbai. We flew quite a bit on to the Arabian sea before turning north east and setting course for Delhi.
Service started almost immediately as the seat belt signs were turned off. 1157 hours it was. The lady's (26D) husband walked towards row 26. Oh dear, so much for 3 free seats then… But then thankfully, the lady told her that there was a completely empty row right at the end, so they both went there. So once again, I did have three seats for myself! As usual, two trolleys were pulled to the front, one right up to the front, another close to the center. We leveled off at 1206 hours.
As the trolleys came towards me (it was just 4 or 5 rows ahead from me), I started seeing doubtful faces made by the crew (despite their smiles, yes!) Food was being given on the tray with a smile, while also an explanation of what's there in the content. The vegetarian option contained chickpea and samosa, while the non vegetarian option contained chicken Manchurian with spring rolls. My fears were getting confirmed: they had run out of the non vegetarian option.
However, what happened next was awesome. When one of the FAs asked the other if there were any more non veg portions, she told him, '26F has reserved a non vegetarian meal…' while she gave me a quick glance. To avoid further awkwardness, I looked outside JTB's smudgy window. I was handed the last non vegetarian meal container, a few minutes later.
I was particularly looking forward to this meal: Jet promised improvements on the domestic front. International had certainly delivered. However, this is where Jet's inconsistencies popped up. First of all, a huge tray tray was placed in front of me (relatively huge, compared to 9W255). Then, the cutlery was steel on this flight, rather than the plastic on the international leg. Another difference was that there was no cup or DIY satches for the tea or coffee on the tray, this was provided after the regular meal service.
The tray consisted of a fruit bowl (with MORE fruit pieces and variety compared to CMB-BOM), a water bottle, SkyMart list, and the main course. Oh, the tamarind mint, that awesome thing has made its return on Jet Airways! I open it, and lo behold, chicken manchurian with spring rolls.
The chicken was slightly on the oily side, but it was also very spicy, the gravy. The chicken pieces were soft and succulent, and present in aplenty. The spring rolls, well uh passable, nothing to extravagant.
I didn't take too long to finish this meal off. I must say it was a disappointment to be honest. I was expecting a full lunch, but oh well. I polished my meal off, I created a mess around seats 26D/E/F. I kept the tray on 26D tray table, and bags on seat 26E. I got my headphones out, and put it into the IFE system onboard. Only one side of the headphone worked, but most of the audio channels had Hindi songs, just one English song channel. So I resorted to my laptop for songs and camera for pictures: looking out of the window is pretty fun!
At 1227 hours, I asked for tea from the hot beverage service, being served in paper cups, filled up to about half of the cup. It was some nice and warm tea, and it was at this point when one of the crew members saw my camera and exclaimed: "that looks like a pretty sweet camera!" This was awesome. This is the difference between a good flight and a great flight!
Turbulence hit JTB quite a few times without warning, and most certainly look like clear air turbulence. The captain later came over the PA and told us to keep our seatbelts fastened, and he was really nice: he introduced the entire cabin crew to the passengers! Very nice touches.
1257 hours, I decide to head over to the washroom of this plane. Wasn't very well kept, a bit wet, tissue paper was all around. I decided to be nice and I wiped the basin and push the tissue in properly. Ah well. Soap was there in a dispenser hidden away, so this was very good. I also noticed along the way that there at least were 20-25 seats empty towards the rear.
The flight was nearing its end. The crew member who previously commented on my camera asked if my row was empty. I replied in the affirmative, and he asked me if he could get a passenger to sit there. With the flight almost over, I did not mind, but its amazing how many seat mates I had despite the short duration of the flight! This passenger was a middle aged man who flew in from Kochi to Mumbai, and was now on this flight. We gently glided downwards towards terra-ferma, as I worked hard to get a shot of the amazing shadow following us.
The pilots made a super smooth landing at 1330 hours as the spoilers being deployed showed the very nice green and shiny components of this 47 day old bird. We soon docked right beside JGC, a plane which we followed. She was heading back to BOM as 9W352, slightly delayed. Two Vistara birds were parked nearby, VT-TTB and VT-TTF. The third bird in their fleet back then, was not present in New Delhi.
Most of the passengers deplaned. Barely 25 people were heading for Dehradun. I thanked the crew for the flight, and began the rather short walk towards the arrival area.
Delhi was reporting a nippy 12 degree celcius. Yeah, I had to go to the washroom and put a jacket on. And then, in the silent T3, the silence grew as our luggage conveyer belt stopped working. And this took a while, but it sorted it self out…
It was a quick few days in Delhi, as drama unfolded before the next flight….
Mumbai - BOM
New Delhi - DEL
After two flights on Jet Airways on the day, I was left pretty pleased with what Jet had to offer on a short international route, and their trunk Mumbai - Delhi route. I was fortunate to get their newest plane in their fleet which was a nice surprise! The meal was a bit disappointing, but nothing too bad. It was quite filling. The crew were lovely and accommodating.
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