- Check-in: Clipper Lounge, Terminal 2, Mumbai
- Airborne: Flight 9W228 (BOM-BRU), Jet Airways, Premiere (A332)
- Hotel Manhattan, Rotterdam
- Hotel Sheraton Brussels Airport, Brussels
- Check-in: Jet Airways Lounge, Brussels
- Airborne: Flight 9W227 (BRU-BOM), Jet Airways, Premiere (A333)
As I arrived at my gate, the familiar long boarding queues were visible. Airlines from India, in any part of the world, do not follow a systematic boarding procedure and this means everyone is crowding out the gate to get on the flight first.
Once I could find my way through the crowd on the plane, I turned left and took my first steps onto the new business class cabin of Jet Airways to head towards seat 1K.
Like I’ve mentioned earlier, Jet Airways has started to induct new Airbus 330-300 series planes since December 2012 and already has 4 out of its 5 planes delivered by March 2013. They have 10 A330-200s in the fleet, which have the herringbone configuration in business class. These planes now have the staggered seating, much like Austrian and Brussels Airlines. This allows them to squeeze in 4 more seats into business, and 69 more seats into Economy in about similar space as the A332s (the A333s are slightly bigger).
Brussels(BRU) – Mumbai(BOM)
Saturday, March 16 2013
Distance flown: 4,271 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Seat: 1K (Premiere Business)
Meal Service: Lunch, Snack
While I could appreciate the reason to squeeze in more out of less, I did not like the new cabins almost immediately. Here is why, on the earlier configuration, my 22” rollerboard could easily glide down the aisle and fit into the overhead baggage compartment. The new aisles were so small that they can’t even accommodate this standard size baggage in themselves. Seeing how I was getting a crowd behind me, I had to pick up the bags and walk over to my seat.
Here are some pictures of the cabin:
Now, like you can see on the far right of the last image, the seats to the right of the first aisle are in a 1-2-1-2… configuration, or as it is called, the throne seats and the couple seats. The middle column is all 2-2-2… configuration good for families and the leftmost column are 1-1-1… ideal for the single traveller. The staff at check-in clearly is still not trained on these aspects, since when I asked them at check-in for 1A, they told me 1A was empty but 1K was better since 1A would have another seat next to it. In reality, 1A just had this huge space on both sides, and bulkhead ahead, making it perhaps the best seat in the whole cabin in terms of space.