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51%
2.74 

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Verified Member MouthShut Verified Member  
Bangalore India
Jet had potential, couldn't balance actual needs!
Sep 22, 2019 06:32 PM 1645 Views
(Updated Sep 23, 2019 12:43 AM)

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I've been on Jet Airways 5 times in total, first of the experiences being way back in January 2008 via Jet Lite. At the time, I had no clue it would eclipse Kingfisher and soon become the #1 air lines for some years to come before meeting its untimely end.


ABOUT JET AIRWAYS:


The airways had acquired several Boeings during its 27 year tenure starting from 1992 - Boeing 737-400, 737-800, 737-700 and 737-900 and even had some A330 airbuses in its repertoire. It was headquartered at Mumbai with a very wide network of flights across the country and even internationally, it was quite a known name.


Its closest competitors were Indigo and Spicejet ever since it acquired the #1 status in the third quarter of 2010, after the landslide fall of Kingfisher airlines. This lasted till 2016, when Indigo focusing mainly on what they're really good at, acquired a bigger share in the market, making Jet fall to #2, eventually disappearing into oblivion.


Their crew was somewhat more diverse sex wise, not sure it was as heavily dominated by women, like in Indigo or Spicejet (not a criticism of Spicejet or Indigo). The airlines staff had a very non-flashy, to the point sort of attire and demeanor which was also no problem.


MY EXPERIENCES AND THINGS TO KNOW:


My 1st trip with them didn't yield anything particularly special - negative or positive, back in 2008. Jet Lite was also only loosely with them at the time. My 4 latest trips with them were in 2016 and 2017.


AIRCRAFT INTERNALS: Well, most of their planes had a larger number of seats and could accommodate more people by virtue of its structure and shape. I suppose that was good for them and their carrying capacity.


However, this didn't tantamount to having more legroom for passengers necessarily. The push back seat could act as an additional hindrance to the already sparse leg space, especially in a short flight, in the case of their aircrafts.


CHECK IN PROCEDURES: For check-in procedures, they have a fixed queue at some airports. Ideally, there should be separate queues for people with lesser check in luggage, also those whose flights would be departing soon. They were kind enough to single me out to do the latter on my 4th trip to finish check in on time. But it should be a general practice, like some other airlines already do.


AIRLINES STAFF: The flight crew in general are quite helpful and interactive, if required.


One really sloppy experience on my 3rd trip was that they first took away the cup and then asked if I wanted coffee, which was plain dumb.


Also on my 3rd trip, there were no emergency procedures drill before take off. I am not necessarily a big fan of it, but I suppose it should be done.


JOURNEY TIMELINESS: In general, the timings of the flight journeys are also consistent with plan in my experience, although I've heard it was not as good in their final years of operation. They even started half an hour late and landed with just 5-7 mins delay on my 5th and final trip with them. No real obtrusive delay.


FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: Purely the flying experience was always pretty good. However, it must be noted that in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th trips, the take off was a bit shaky. The touchdown while landing not so much.


I am aware there have been stray incidents like sudden drop of an altitude of 5000 m on a flight for some, sudden drop in air pressure causing nose bleeding for some passengers etc in recent past, which further tarnished Jet's reputation. But I'm speaking solely for myself, based on my experiences. No real acrimonious incidents to report.


AUXILLARY BENEFITS: One plus is that they gave you a small complimentary meal, preference of which can be booked beforehand, so that you don’t have to account for availability once on the plane.


They had a useful feature (Airtime player) to view movies, listen to songs etc on my first 2nd and 3rd trips which among the other mentioned things, also displayed altitude etc. It's like tracking your own flight, while on the flight. On the 4th trip, they mentioned they scrapped it because “Jet Screen” was not working, That’s a poor reason to scrap this, as I felt this provision of media viewing made them a bit special. This was fully functional on my 5th trip though.


There was a provision to win goodies at discount or free on the plane, after alighting from a partnership with a 3rd party. Some of them did seem useful. I suppose it depends on individual preference.


They have a very good and robust frequent flyer program with adequate rewards and flexibility across various platforms.


OTHER ASPECTS: There is provision for booking your seats beforehand. They charge you an amount for that when you pay for your ticket, but it would be only be useful if they give you an equivalent seat by themselves in the event the plane changes for some operational reason. Otherwise this has to count as a negative. They were kind enough to oblige with me on a standalone relevant occasion upon asking.


With an estimated Rs. 800-2500 crore debt, they have shut down temporarily as of April 2019. It appears they were unable to reconcile the additional benefits that they provided with the benefits / whatever their competitors provided at a low price, being forced to lower their prices to an unacceptable level, already struggling to cope with the hike in air fuel prices in recent years for their relatively bigger aircrafts. While their unfortunate employees scamper to find alternative sources of employment, I will always remember them as an airline with potential, having some original ideas but not always executing the main aspects of an airlines' sustenance comprehensively.


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