Jet Airways 309
Mumbai(BOM) – Delhi(DEL)
Wednesday, July 20 2011
Distance flown: 708 miles
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Seat: 10A (Economy), 1C (Premiere)
Meal Service: Dinner
After the tormenting time earlier, I was on the flight boarding queue finally. And yes, gently reminded by 9W that there will be no upgrade. I was fine with the fact and content with what I was getting. Until I realised there was a guy ahead of me was signing off an upgrade voucher at the gate. Now, no hard feelings were coming through, but when my turn came to scan the Boarding Pass, I was just let through without another mention of that stupid upgrade. So, I asked out of curiosity if it was off or on. I was informed the entire waitlist was cleared. Yeah, right!! I said to myself. And then the gate agent checked one more time to show me that the entire J class was full.
I went on for boarding the plane. We were boarding through an aerobridge, and like it always is, there was a human traffic jam on the aerobridge.
I was greeted once on board the plane and directed to my seat. I must say the plane looked quite full and I had to make a small maneouver to fit my carry-on bag in the one lonely empty space in the overhead compartment near my seat. Subsequently, I went on to 10A and twisted the overhead ventilation to give me some cool air in my face. The coat was put in the closet. Here is the planespotting view from the window, a Go Air (G8) plane getting ready to take off. I like some of their aircraft livery like this one painted in blue. Go Air also has some ugly pink painted planes also!
Boarding completed almost on time, and this plane was as packed as sand in a jar. The All ground personnel to deplane announcement was made. However, there was still a trickle of people in and out of the plane. And then came this guy looking for me from the gate crew. He was running as fast as a stallion if not faster, and mumbled something to me. It took me 30 seconds to understand that he said, “Sir, do you have your upgrade voucher with you?” And yeah, it was lying around somewhere in my pocket so I told him I had it. Once I showed it to him, he asked me to sign off on the voucher and told me I was being upgraded. Err, it did not look like he asked, but he told me. I wanted to know about which seat was available, but looking at him, I just gave it away. Sorry buddy, if you are reading this, no brownie points for you since you missed a little professional courtesy in the excitement of giving me that upgrade!
Heck, anyways, next thing, I was supposed to produce my boarding pass, which was closeted with my coat. And after a puzzled moment, this chap tells me that he will let the staff know that I was upgraded and no need to retrieve the boarding pass anymore. On an afterthought, I was wondering, if I had said I don’t have the voucher, would I have been given an op-up, or 9W would have off-loaded the pax who was going to get my seat 10A eventually, or was that pax going to get 1C? Questions, questions….????
Once I was seated on into Premiere, the cabin crew working the front cabin quickly stepped forward to bring me a welcome drink. I was offered a choice between an (orange?) juice and a Chocolate Milkshake. I went with the Chocolate milkshake. Here are some pictures of the cabin and then the welcome drink:
The welcome drink out of the way, the cabin crew came over to hand out the dinner menu cards and take meal orders for the dinner meal. The crew went sequentially around the cabin to take orders. The menu card was very interesting, in line with 9w’s series of cultural covers on the Premiere menus. This one depicted an ancient Mughal Painting in Rajasthan. Here are the excerpts of the menu:
The meal on offer was a good mix of Indian and Western entree courses and desserts! I went with the Tomato Basil Soup (appetizer) and Murgh Kolhapuri, Diwani Handi, Lehsuni Dal Tadka and Pulao (main course). Looking around, the cabin seemed to have gone with the Prawns in Hot Garlic Sauce, but since I am not too much of a sea food junkie, it was okay! The purser came back later to inform me that the flight was loaded with Murgh Sagwala (Chicken in spinach gravy) instead of the original chicken dish and gave me an option to change my meal order if I wished. I told her to continue with the original order.
Subsequently, the first officer made an announcement that we were in the take off queue and awaited the ATC instructions. a 1905 departure did not happen, and eventually we left the gate at 1950. This was apparently due to a long take-off queue. I had a feeling that in the boarding confusion described earlier, the captain could not leave the gate on time and was put at the bottom of the queue as a penalty.
Once we were airborne, the cabin crew got to work quickly and laid the table. Then, they brought me some soup shortly. Also came along a nice salad of greens. Breads were offered. Chose to skip them.
This was followed by a main course helping, which contained a different chicken entree than on the menu, but it was tasty nevertheless. The side dish, however, was also different and turned out to be Dahiwala Bhindi instead of Diwani Handi. Breads were served, and I chose to go with some Roti (Indian breads).
The meal service was well-paced, and friendly. No one was rushed at all, and all of 45 minutes were spent on meal service. After the main course service was completed, the crew asked for my choice on desserts. I spotted the Key Lemon Pie and went with it. This was once recommended by a crew on an international service of Jet Airways, and has been a favourite since.
The entire meal service was in Rosenthal cutlery, which was introduced with much fanfare in December 2010 on Jet Airways domestic flights. Coffee was offered and served subsequently. Magazines were offered for reading, and I went with the Business Today. At this point, I decided to get some work done and booted up my laptop. However, the desire to get work done was a short-lived one as the Captain announced the descent. All of 15 minutes was what I got before I went into this mode….
The flight landed at 1:45 flying time, and we did not have to wait for an aerobridge in Delhi. A small commotion ensued because the coats got mixed up. My coat was untracable for a while since it went to the new occupant of 10A
I quickly paced and stretched a bit for the upcoming walk to the exit gates, considering Delhi Airport’s Terminal 3 is very large as compared to Mumbai, and it takes quite a bit of walking to get out of the place.
The bags arrived on the belt shortly, and from there, it was all about hopping into a cab and heading home!