Air Pegasus ATR 72-500 VT-APA.
Air Pegasus ATR 72-500 VT-APA.

Inflight Review: Air Pegasus ATR 72: Bangalore-Madurai-Bangalore

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Alert


August 3, 2016

The review below was conducted over a year ago. For updated passenger experiences, please read the comments of fellow readers below the article.[/bsu_note]

 

Last Friday (26th June), I was invited by new regional carrier Air Pegasus on their inaugural flight from Bangalore to Madurai.

Air Pegasus is currently the newest airline in India. It operates flights between its Bangalore hub and Hubli, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Cuddapah, and now Madurai.

Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) to Madurai Airport (IXM).
OP 121. Depart 10:40 Arrive 12:00. All times local.
ATR 72-500. VT-APA. Seat 9A.
26-June-15.

Check in and Boarding

I reached the airport at around 09:20, just after the morning rush had subsided. Entering the terminal, I quickly saw the poster for the Madurai launch and went to the counter.

The Air Pegasus counters at Bangalore Airport.
The Air Pegasus counters at Bangalore Airport.
My boarding pass from Bangalore to Madurai.
My boarding pass from Bangalore to Madurai.

The counter staff quickly handed me my boarding pass, which was hand written. I requested them to give me the boarding pass for the return flight as well, since I would be taking the same aircraft back. Unfortunately they were not able to do that, but instead they spoke to their counterparts in Madurai and asked them to keep by boarding pass ready at the counter.

Satisfied, I went through security and proceeded to the Plaza lounge, where I ate a heavy breakfast which I would come to regret later. At 10:20 I proceeded to the gate and onto the bus to the aircraft.

Once we reached the aircraft, many passengers began to take photos of and with the aircraft. Quickly a line formed and boarding commenced through the rear door.

Air Pegasus ATR 72-500 VT-APA.
Air Pegasus ATR 72-500 VT-APA.
Air Pegasus ATR 72-500 VT-APA. I really like the smiley face on the nose of the aircraft.
Air Pegasus ATR 72-500 VT-APA. I really like the smiley face on the nose of the aircraft.

The aircraft is VT-APA, a nine year old aircraft that began life as VT-KAA of Kingfisher. Air Pegasus took delivery of this aircraft late last year.

Smiley tail of Air Pegasus.
Smiley tail of Air Pegasus.

As I boarded I was welcomed aboard by one of the cabin crew, while second crew member was in the cabin showing passengers to their seats. I was also quickly led to my seat and the aircraft was readied for departure.

Cabin and Service

One of the first things I noticed as I took my seat was how clean the cabin was, the aircraft had just arrived from it’s morning service a half hour before we boarded and yet it was spick and span.

The cabin is laid out in a standard four across – all economy layout. The seats are pretty comfortable and I found the leg room to be sufficient. This aircraft was in storage for some time after Kingfisher imploded and the cabin does still bear the scars of that time. The cabin looks slightly worn out and doesn’t project the new feeling that one would expect from a startup carrier. The airline should have given the aircraft a slight facelift before putting it into service. But these issues were limited only to the cosmetics of the interior, all the equipment in the cabin was working perfectly.

Cabin of the Air Pegasus ATR 72.
Cabin of the Air Pegasus ATR 72.
Cabin of the Air Pegasus ATR 72.
Cabin of the Air Pegasus ATR 72.
Worn out seat handles from when this aircraft was abused by Kingfisher.
Worn out seat handles from when this aircraft was abused by Kingfisher.

The aircraft quickly pushed back, started up and taxied to the runway. The pilot performed a quick takeoff from the runway intersection and we were off to Madurai.

The aircraft is still fitted with the old Kingfisher IFE system, but is not used by Air Pegasus.
The aircraft is still fitted with the old Kingfisher IFE system, but is not used by Air Pegasus.
The Safety card of the ATR 72.
The Safety card of the ATR 72.

Shortly after the flight took off one of the crew came around and offered me a glass of water. Then they began the meal service. The airline has a Buy On Board (BOB) food and drink model which includes an option of a meal box containing a sandwich, muffin, and juice. Other options are cashew nuts, etc. While I did not buy any food, I saw that the crew were conducting the meal service very efficiently and with care. They also patiently dealt with a couple of first time flyers a few rows ahead of me. There is no printed menu, so it hampers the service as passengers take time to learn what exactly is available on the plane. This is something the airline must address not just for efficiency but to convey the right image from the word go.

While the service was going on, the captain put on the seatbelt signs and warned us of some turbulence ahead. While the turbulence was not too bad, it was violent enough on occasion to bounce the turbo-prop around, and make me regret my large breakfast. The turbulence continued till the aircraft began it’s descent to Madurai.

The aircraft touched down at five minutes past noon and reached it’s parking spot in just a couple of minutes. Being the first flight, I was surprised that the airport did not organize the traditional water cannon salute to welcome the flight. The passengers quickly disembarked onto the apron. Air Pegasus was using a small Tempo Traveller van to shuttle passengers to the terminal, I’m quite sure this will be replaced by a proper bus shortly. I was slightly anxious because I missed the getting onto the first round of passengers in the van and that I had only 20 minutes to get to the terminal, get my boarding pass, go through security and get back to the aircraft.

Madurai Airport (IXM) to Kempegowda International Airport (BLR).
OP 122. Depart 12:30 Arrive 13:50. All times local.
ATR 72-500. VT-APA. Seat 16F.
26-June-15.

Once I got to the terminal, I met the PR reps of Air Pegasus who told me that the return flight would be slightly delayed and I obtained my boarding pass from the check in counter. I walked back through security with a group of Air Pegasus staff taking the flight back to Bangalore.

The view of the terminal at Madurai Airport from the Airside.
The view of the terminal at Madurai Airport from the Airside.
My return boarding pass from Madurai to Bangalore.
My return boarding pass from Madurai to Bangalore.

Boarding was again done with the little Tempo Traveller van and soon I was back on board the aircraft. There seemed to be some confusion with some passengers seat allocations but the ground crew quickly sorted it out and the aircraft was readied for departure. The flight took off at around 13:20, nearly an hour late.

The return flight was similar to the first leg, warm and efficient service by the crew and some slight turbulence. We landed in Bangalore at 14:30 and de-boarding started about five minutes later.

Overall

Both my flights with Air Pegasus were good, the airline delivers on it’s promise of efficient regional connectivity and to me looks on track to grow.

The airline can explore offering a small snack and which will improve service times and operational efficiency on the short regional flights. They must ensure their future aircraft cabins are refurbished which will complement the energy and freshness the rest of Air Pegasus’ operations project.

Disclosure: BangaloreAviation was invited by Air Pegasus on this flight, they provided the air tickets for the journey. Air Pegasus or its affiliates did not review, or revise this article prior to publication. Our views remain independent and our own.

All pictures are copyright of Vedant Agarwal and are used with permission, all rights reserved. Please do not reproduce in any form.

About Vedant Agarwal

A frequent flyer for both work and pleasure - Vedant has held elite status on many of the major alliances and airlines. Also an avid aviation photographer, his pictures have been published in and on the covers of many international publications.

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25 comments

  1. 2nd Para – 1st line – Hubi > Hubli! 🙂

  2. Nice review Sir. I recently travelled from Trivandrum- Bangalore perhaps in the same aircraft. I share your thoughts- KF has manhandled the aircraft. The promoters could have done up the interiors a bit since one gets a feel that its an old aircraft deployed. Otherwise, the service is fine- nothing great though! Hope they do well.

  3. I thought they had plenty of time to refresh interiors. A bit of orange in her interior would look very nice, may be they will do it eventually.

  4. Good to see the positive review. I agree with @jinto_davis:disqus, a hint of orange is definitely missing from the interiors. But seriously, hand written boarding pass??? That’s bad.

  5. Hello Mr.Editor, pls note that there are 04 new airlines operating to Bangalore, it would be good if you make a short write-up on it so that all our Bangalore aviation enthusiasts are informed.

    1) MasKargo
    2) Thai Air Asia
    3) Kuwait Airways
    4) Nepal Airlines

    Thanks
    KK

    • Hello Kishore we will be happy to review them. Unfortunately, we have not been invited to try the services of any of these new airlines, and we have no travel plans to their destinations. Writing a review would require us to spend our personal money to take a trip, and our budgets are tight. Covering Farnborough for instance is Rs two lakh expense.

    • Hello Kishore we will be happy to review them. Unfortunately, we have not been invited to try the services of any of these new airlines, and we have no travel plans to their destinations. Writing a review would require us to spend our personal money to take a trip, and our budgets are tight. Covering Farnborough for instance is Rs two lakh expense.

  6. I donot recommend Air Pegasus, I have booked the flight with air Pegasus twice and it was cancelled on the departure day stating operational reasons. Improper response from customer care( who donot really care for customers) . Its a waste of time and money.

    • VIJAYAKUMAR RAJU

      you are correct same experience happened to me in Bangalore-HUBLI flight request to all the air travelers if you have any important work please do not Book a tickets in AIR PEGASUS

      • Priya Balakrishnan

        Totally agree. Two of my flights were cancelled and intimation was sent less than 24 hrs before travel time. Pathetic response from customer care. They don’t have a tie up with any other airline to accommodate us. Huge inconvenience, loss of money, pathetic service. Will never choose or recommend this airline.

  7. Very bad experience flying from Madurai to Chennai. When the engine was started all hot air started flowing from the a.c outlet. It was suffocating still the pilot wanted to take off. Very rude pilot and ground staff. They don’t value life.

  8. I booked the Airpegasus flight from Maduari to Bangalore. During Check in I was informed as 20min late. later all the passengers were waiting near the gate and it was informed as late by an hour.Staffs were soo irresponsible that we were not even provided with snack due to delay.Finally at 11.00pm we found that the flight which has to come from Chennai was cancelled.The staffs were soo rude that they did not even announce the information of cancellation and even denied to arrange vehicle atleast to drop the passengers back in city. VERY WORST EXPERIENCE

  9. Balaji Ganesh

    On 30th April Myself, spouse and 1 year old Daughter – had taken return flight from Madurai to Bangalore. Let me tell you the horrible experience, flight scheduled time was 9.30 pm firstly it was announced 10.20 will be the new departure time. However tookoff around 10.55 Pm…. The lady in the counter had no tags, and confused with lot of internal mess no process and no clue whatsoever….Now in the craft – No AC in the craft and we all were suffocating – My daughter (Infant less than 1 year) was literally cranky we were suffocating for almost 20 mins – when we told this to Steward after few mins of takeoff, he acted rude asked me “even Jet Airways is like that do u go and ask” he just walked off. Safety instructions was in a hurry like ‘mutual fund advertisement’.. Useless airline..

  10. Balaji Ganesh

    On 30th April Myself, spouse and 1 year old Daughter – had taken return flight from Madurai to Bangalore. Let me tell you the horrible experience, flight scheduled time was 9.30 pm firstly it was announced 10.20 will be the new departure time. However tookoff around 10.55 Pm…. The lady in the counter had no tags, and confused with lot of internal mess no process and no clue whatsoever….Now in the craft – No AC in the craft and we all were suffocating – My daughter (Infant less than 1 year) was literally cranky we were suffocating for almost 20 mins – when we told this to Steward after few mins of takeoff, he acted rude asked me “even Jet Airways is like that do u go and ask” he just walked off. Safety instructions was in a hurry like ‘mutual fund advertisement’.. Useless airline..

  11. Kenneth Justin

    Booked tickets for my mom and mother in law…They cancelled the flight at the last minute…Worst flight service I have ever seen…

  12. Kenneth Justin

    Booked tickets for my mom and mother in law…They cancelled the flight at the last minute…Worst flight service I have ever seen…

  13. Pramod Kanicheri

    First time I booked in Pegasus and will be the last time as well… Very very very WORST service… I booked Trivandrum to Bagalore on 5-Jun-2016 08:30PM Flight… On 5th morning I got a message that the departure is rescheduled to 11:50PM. I called them and they confirmed that there will be no issues and flight will depart at rescheduled time.

    Evening 5:30 I got a message that due to some issues the flight is cancelled .. I was like what the F**K…. When called to the give number no one was there to answer and it was on hold for loooong… Immediately I went to TVM airport and as expected there was no one at their counter and a contact number was written.. One gentlemen picked the call on that time and said they cant do anything else apart from full cash refund of the ticket… Just imagine my situation on a Sunday evening if it happens like this….

    I realised that there is no use of fight with that guy….. finally I managed to arrange a ticket in Indigo same day at the double rate of what I paid for Pegasus….

    I can understand the difficulties of a new airline service during the initial time… But informing about the cancellation just 4-5 hours before the departure time cannot be acceptable…

    My RATING for PEGASUS is a big ZERO out of 10…. $$##$$%%@@##$$$##

  14. Pramod Kanicheri

    First time I booked in Pegasus and will be the last time as well… Very very very WORST service… I booked Trivandrum to Bagalore on 5-Jun-2016 08:30PM Flight… On 5th morning I got a message that the departure is rescheduled to 11:50PM. I called them and they confirmed that there will be no issues and flight will depart at rescheduled time.

    Evening 5:30 I got a message that due to some issues the flight is cancelled .. I was like what the F**K…. When called to the give number no one was there to answer and it was on hold for loooong… Immediately I went to TVM airport and as expected there was no one at their counter and a contact number was written.. One gentlemen picked the call on that time and said they cant do anything else apart from full cash refund of the ticket… Just imagine my situation on a Sunday evening if it happens like this….

    I realised that there is no use of fight with that guy….. finally I managed to arrange a ticket in Indigo same day at the double rate of what I paid for Pegasus….

    I can understand the difficulties of a new airline service during the initial time… But informing about the cancellation just 4-5 hours before the departure time cannot be acceptable…

    My RATING for PEGASUS is a big ZERO out of 10…. $$##$$%%@@##$$$##

  15. I hardly see the flight in air. Most of their routes are cancelled due to technical reasons.
    I guess the top management does not know how to handle operations.

  16. Never book a ticket with air pegasus… I doubt whether they really have an aircraft.. Always the flights are cancelled and are notified only hours before scheduled time.. I had a connecting flight and I suffered heavy loss due to this.. Dont again book AIR PEGASUS

  17. I request the reviewer to do the review again as situtaion of AIr Pegasus is completely different now. I used this review to book Air Pegasus flight and I had a horrible experience.

    All Air Pegasus flights are cancelled from 26 July 2016 onwards, with only 24 hours notice to travellors. If you are traveling 2 days from now, Air Pegasus will assure you flight is confirmed, But 24 hours before travel, they will inform you that flight is cancelled with a refund. By that time, you will have no other way than book other flights at a huge price.

  18. Had
    very bad experience with Air Pegasus. All Air Pegasus flights are
    cancelled from 26 July 2016 onwards.. Best part is they are still taking
    bookings but then 1 day before cancelling the flights by saying
    operational issues. The customer service has no idea when the flights
    will be operational and they are not even ready to cancel booking until
    the last day of travel. I WOULD DIFFENETLY RECOMMEND TO NEVER BOOK THIS
    FLIGHT EVEN FOR FREE.

  19. I totally agree with the comments below. I too faced the exact same issue where my flight was cancelled on short notice and there was no proper communication regarding the same. The Air Pegasus helpline number is not functional and disconnects after making you wait for a few minutes on the IVR. There was no reply to the email that I sent to their customer service department either. I did however get a call from them where the support executive just says ‘Sorry, flight cancelled due to operational issues. Contact your travel agent for refund.’ They say that they have sent me an email, but I never got any. I will never ever book this airline again even if I have to spend more for other airlines.