Welcome to part 2 of my trip report. I had just disembarked from DL 134 after a 7-hour flight from Detroit. We had arrived 30 minutes behind schedule due to a delay in departure from Detroit. I had around 3 hours to go for my upcoming flight on the trip 9W 231 to Mumbai with Jet Airways. After a brief visit to the restroom close to the arrival gate in concourse D, I went looking for a Flight Information Display screen as I didn't have a Gate number printed on my boarding pass. The first one I found told me that my flight to Mumbai would board from Gate G4 in concourse G. Amsterdam airport had some lovely decorations for the holiday season. With only one (large) terminal, the connection was extremely convenient, as there was no need to take a bus/train between concourses. Interestingly, there was no transfer security or passport check while I was transferring to my flight to India. I am unsure if this holds for someone traveling to the US via Schiphol. After a fairly long 20 minute walk, I was at Gate G4.
Heading to Gate G4
PH-AOD, an Airbus A330-200 that would later fly to Dammam
PH-BFY, a Boeing 747-400 Combi had flown in from Toronto
Flights to Asia from Concourse G
Concourse G was dominated by flights serving Asian destinations, such as the Garuda Indonesia service to Jakarta on a Boeing 777-300ER, Singapore Airlines' service to Singapore on the A350-900, and 4 flights operated by Jet Airways to Delhi, Mumbai (both B77Ws), Bangalore (A333) and Toronto (B77W), the only non-Asian destination from this concourse at the time. The Jet Airways flight to Bangalore would have been ideal, except that it was significantly cheaper to fly via Mumbai. I had to fill my growling stomach with something more than the frugal breakfast that Delta served. I bought myself a croissant and a banana from a store near Gate G4.
Garuda Indonesia's flight to Jakarta (GA 89), on this lovely Boeing 777-300ER in Skyteam colors
SQ 323 to Singapore on the A350-900
9W 233 to Delhi
My ride to Mumbai (9W 231) on VT-JEU, a 11-year-old Boeing 777-300ER
As I finished my breakfast at the Gate, a KLM agent checked boarding passes and passports of those booked on the Mumbai flight. At 10:15 am, boarding for 9W231 to Mumbai was announced. Passengers needing wheelchair assistance boarded the aircraft first. Boarding for Economy class was done zone-wise, starting with Zone 4. I boarded with the passengers seated in Zone 3. As I made my way through the Jetbridge, the cockpit crew for the flight arrived. I occupied seat 37K at 10:45 am.
The seats on the Jet Airways' Boeing 777 in Economy were laid out in a 3-4-3 configuration. The legroom was okay on most seats. However, the window seat was quite uncomfortable as the IFE equipment occupied a significant amount of room. A long flight only makes this worse. Around 15 minutes past 11 am, we received our pre-flight brief from the flight deck. Captain G.D. Tripathi was in command of 9W 231, with first officers Pradip Das and Sunil Bhat assisting him. We would reach Mumbai in 8 hours. We were told to expect a 30-minute delay in departure due to congestion in Amsterdam. This would not affect our arrival in Mumbai as we had some strong tailwinds en-route. As Captain Tripathi was making his announcement, the Garuda Indonesia B777 in the neighboring gate started her engines for the flight to Jakarta. A Cathay Pacific A350 subsequently occupied this vacant gate.
Airline: Jet Airways
Origin: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands (AMS/EHAM)
Destination: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, India (BOM/VABB)
Flight Number: 9W 231
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-35RER
Scheduled Departure Time: 11:20 CET, 9th December 2018
Actual Departure Time: 12:14 CET, 9th December 2018
Scheduled Arrival Time: 12:35 IST, 10th December 2018
Actual Time of Arrival: 12:31 IST, 10th December 2018
Actual Flying Time: 7 hours and 47 minutes
New seat fabric on 9W's Boeing 777
Boarding in progress
Cathay Pacific's A350-900, B-LRE from HKG
We pushed back from G4 at 11:58 CET. Unlike my previous flight, this Boeing 777 was powered by General Electric GE-90 engines, known for being loud. The engines sent huge vibrations through the cabin when they were turned on. It was a 15-minute taxi to Runway 24. A Jet Airways Airbus A330-300 was just ahead of us on the taxiway. We took off from Runway 24 at 12:15 CET, heading west by southwest. The skies over Amsterdam had cleared up, and we continued our smooth climb to FL310.
Taxi to Runway 24
Take-off from Amsterdam
After the seatbelt signs were turned off, the cabin crew started the drinks service. I tried tomato juice with pepper this time but didn't find it too appealing. I still prefer hot tomato soup with pepper. Around an hour later, the lunch cart finally made it's way to my row. I chose the vegetarian option. The tray included a salad with sprouts, cucumber, tomatoes, plain yogurt, rice, rajma, paneer tikka masala with 2 parathas, and cardamom flavored phirni. The food from Bombay Brasserie tasted outstanding. After lunch, I tried the JetScreen in-flight entertainment system. While the system was slightly older than the ones that you see on long flights, it boasted of a good collection of entertainment options in the form of music albums, movies, and shows. I settled for a Hindi movie "Raid," featuring Ajay Devgn. After this lovely movie, I decided to take a nap. We were asked to close the window shades as many of the passengers were resting. Mood-lighting was also turned on. Now and then, the flight attendants offered water/drinks to those passengers who were awake. When I woke up, we were flying over the Caspian Sea, close to Iran.
Mood-lighting in the Cabin
The IFE had a good collection of movies
Flying over the Caspian, west of Iran
I spent some time browsing the in-flight magazine and reading Sourav Ganguly's autobiography that I had got along as we continued our southeasterly course towards Mumbai. At this time, I was starting to get a little fidgety, owing to the cramped 3-4-3 seating and the lack of legroom in the window seat. I used the small window of opportunity created when my co-passenger left his seat to use the restroom. Things were much better after I walked down the aisle a few times. We were flying over the Arabian Sea when the Cabin Crew served as a snack, a vegetable roll with chocolate ice-cream. While this didn't taste as good as lunch, it was quite filling.
A late night snack was served as we got closer to Mumbai
With around 30 minutes to go, the first officer informed us of our imminent arrival. There was some congestion over Mumbai, and we were put in a holding pattern on at least two occasions. After a brief hold over the Arabian Sea, we entered the Indian mainland north of Mumbai, flew east for a while before turning west for a landing on the main runway at CSIA. The weather in Mumbai was good, and the approach to India's commercial capital was very smooth. With landing gear and flaps fully extended, the pilots executed a butter-smooth landing on Runway 27. After touchdown, we taxied to Terminal 2 and docked next to a Swiss A330-300. Disembarkation was swift, and I was in Mumbai's splendid T2 in no time. I had 2.5 hours to clear immigration, customs, and security before my next flight to Bangalore. After a long walk, I found myself in a pretty crowded yet fast-moving immigration hall. My bags didn't take too long to arrive, and I joined the long serpentine queue that had formed for Customs. Cabin bags are screened upon arrival in India at Customs, and once this formality was completed, I followed the signs that led me to the Domestic transfers counter at the Airport.
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Overall, a good flight with Jet Airways. The seats were cramped, but I think you should be fine if you manage to land an aisle seat. The cabin crew was excellent; pleasant in their service and demeanor. I really wouldn't mind flying Jet Airways from Amsterdam to India again, the service on board was very good and the connection in Amsterdam was very convenient. I was now looking forward to the last leg to BLR, my first flight on the Boeing 737 MAX 8. My apologies for the lack of pictures in Mumbai, the Airport was crowded, this was my first time in this Terminal and I was tired. I shall try and make up in Part 3. I hope you enjoyed this one!