After the trip to the Clipper Lounge, my flight’s boarding was announced and I headed to the gate. There was a separate queue for Premiere class boarding and I headed through that queue to the plane. There was a secondary security check on the gate as well.

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Jet Airways 228

Mumbai(BOM) – Brussels(BRU)
Tuesday, March 12 2013
Depart: 2:05AM
Arrive: 07:50AM
Duration: 10hr15min
Distance flown: 4,271 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Seat: 2D (Premiere Business)
Meal Service: Dinner (Refreshment), Breakfast

I was flying the Mumbai – Brussels leg of the flight which was further going to Newark. At gate 1L, I was greeted by a steward, who directed me to my seat. Jet Airways’ 30-seat business class cabin on their Airbus 330-200 planes is configured in a 1-1-1 herringbone fashion. I usually like to park myself on the window side because it gives me a good view in the morning at Brussels airport, but since this was the last business class seat on the plane, I did not quite have much option.

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A funny yet very concerning thing happened in the 30-35 minutes I was in the plane on the ground. There were mosquitoes on the plane, loads of them. So many of them that passengers around me were folding up their newspapers and trying to kill as many of these mosquitoes as they could. After a while, when the front cabin was all boarded and we were waiting for procedures to be completed and doors to be locked, some cabin crew members also started to do the same.

I’ve had a couple of similar instances in the past for flights that depart from the International side of Mumbai airport, and I am still trying to figure if the airport management is waiting for a malaria outbreak to put an end to this menace. Also, I think the airline should do something as well, to ensure the passengers do not suffer due to this mosquito rush. However, it all went away when the doors closed and we were good to take off.

Here are some more pictures of the cabin and the seat.

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While still on the ground, welcome drinks were offered. The choice was between coconut water, apple juice and water. I went with the coconut water. Towel service was also done subsequently. Since this was a night flight, sleeper suits were offered. A little later, a cart rolled out, offering news papers, magazines and amenity kits. Nothing fancy, but contained all the essentials such as eyeshades, some moisturiser and dental care. I miss the days they used to hand out Bvlgari amenities, but I understand times are not the same.

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The reason I put Jet Airways as one of my preferred seats in the sky are many. Having travelled with U.S.-based carriers as well, I find that Jet Airways’ business class service can match or even better the service from a U.S. carrier’s first class depending on the crew you get. For instance, the herringbone configuration in the business class is something that is a first-class product on the American carriers usually, and they are only now getting to upgrade their product such as the new American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER.

Pushback was on time and after waiting in the take-off queue, we were on our way out. I changed into the sleeper suit after take off. In the wash chambers, I noticed there were some dental care and shaving amenities provided.

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When I arrived back on my seat, I pulled out the headsets provided and started to browse the audio-video collection on demand. The flat screen is massive-sized (15.4 inches), which parks itself on the partition wall and swivels in front of you when seated. There was a heady collection of Indian and international movie releases, and a lot of them pretty recent. I decided to watch Lincoln, since I had not had the time to catch it on the big screen.

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A short while later, cabin crew brought out the drinks. They had already taken the drink orders earlier. I went with the champagne, which was from Billecart-Salmon, and it was poured into the glass on the seat, brought along with a serving of nuts.

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If you’re interested in the wine and beverages list, here it is:

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The seat has a roomy 23.4 inches seat space, which goes fully flat to make the bed. And you are all by yourself, because of the privacy walls between each seat. Some broad people like me may find this space is not good enough to sleep, but I’ve usually observed that for myself I’ve been able to toss and turn in this seat and it worked only too well. More on that later.

After a round of champagne, the crew started setting up the tables for the snack. The mistake that Jet Airways makes here is, that they put out dinner service in the description of the flight, while here you find out there is only a snack and dessert served. Some people may turn up on an empty stomach to be disappointed.

Here are the options for the midnight snack. I went with the Indian combination, followed by the German Black Forest Cheese Cake.

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The crew brought out the meals on a tray. Here is how it looked before it was gone.

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After the meal, I was tempted to ask for some hot chocolate to put me to sleep, and it was yummy. From take-off to the completion of meal service, I think we were a shade over 2 hours to completion.

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The crew asked if I wanted a turndown service, and they set up the bed for me. I tried plugging in my phone for charging in the power port provided, but it was not working. I continued to watch the movie for a short while more before I dozed off for a while.

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I think I slept a good 4 hours plus or so on the plane, and woke up about 2 hours out of Brussels. I went back to change out of the sleeper suit, and when back, offered breakfast options. Here were the options.

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I went with the fruits, followed by the Strawberry & wild berry crepe. The crew went around offering a bread basket, and I chose the muffins and croissants along with some preserves.

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Breakfast was being served as people woke-up and went on right until 30 minutes out of the landing. We started our descent about an hour prior, and arrived at the gate 5 minutes before the scheduled landing time, into a snowed out Brussels. This was a surprise for me, because, my plan to travel from Belgium to the Netherlands was going to go for a toss if international train services were affected, which they were.

Overall, it was an enjoyable flight, with an efficient and chatty crew. I love chatty crews since they make the effort to break the ice and put you at ease during the flight. Once in the airport, I walked into a flood of about 250-300 passengers arriving on different flights, who had only 9 passport control counters to manage the immigration both on EU and non-EU passports.

P.S. There is a photo library of all pictures from this flight here.

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 8 Comments

8 Responses to “Going Dutch: Flight 9W228 BOM-BRU on Jet Airways Premiere (A332)”

  1. Sam says:

    Seats seem similar to Delta’s seats on their 777. Would like to try them Jet Airways one day.

    Thanks for the report.

  2. P T says:

    Love Jet Airways.

  3. Deo says:

    Your trip reports are awesome AJ and in general keeping with other global boardingarea bloggers. The twist is that you are the only one who can provide actually helpful Indian Airports’ experience alongside. Wish you’d fly more often.
    Also, do try to experience the Celebrations lounge next time. We all could do with a trustworthy report.

  4. @Deo I have trip reports from the last two years which are unpublished. And lots to share. Except that there is not enough time. I try my best ;)

  5. Rishul says:

    Excellent report!

    Really looking forward to your return flight report though it’ll be the 1st ever report of 9Ws new A333s.

  6. Deo says:

    @ AJ : We all know and appreciate the efforts. Keep the good work up !

  7. AdamH says:

    Ahh the good ole mosquitos of BOM. My most recent flight didn’t seem to have the problem, I thought perhaps they started to spray the gate areas but I guess I just got lucky that night.

  8. @Rishul it is queued up. Even I am looking forward to publishing it ;)

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