I wrote this review towards the end of February, before Jet Airways ceased operations. While I hope the airline makes a comeback, I can’t help but think that this may have been the last time I got to fly with Jet. So in a way this article acts as a tribute to the airline.
Going forward the article refers to Jet as a functioning airline, which it was at the time of writing this review.
I’ve been wanting to fly Jet’s first class for a long time, the airline launched its current first class product years ago and back then it was pretty revolutionary.
Also, I have been holding on to a ton of Jet miles for a while now, and with the recent news of the airline – I decided to hedge my bets and burn off some of them.
I landed in Delhi about 3.5 hours before the flight and the transfer was reasonably straight forward. Since I had to collect my bags and re-check them I had to use the longer transfer, which involved a really long walk.
When I got to the check-in counter, there were two guys at the entry to check your documents. They were noting down everyone’s passport number and visa number on a sheet. Following which they stuck a little sticker on the back of my passport which I just hate.
When I got to the check-in counter, the agent in the process of checking me in started making a series of call, the first to say there she was tagging a first-class bag for check-in. Then another to what I later found out was her manager to tell her I have checked-in.
By the time she issued my boarding card, her manager had come over with a porter to escort me to the lounge. She apologized that no one had come to escort me from my previous flight since the day team was supposed to have called me but no one had. And when she tried my phone was switched off since I was already in the air. While I didn’t really care about not being escorted from my previous flight – I wasn’t expecting it. Jet needs to take a look at why their operational procedures are so weak.
The porter then took my bag and along with the manager walked me to immigration. They tried to escort me through immigration and security but were stopped since the area was crowded. The porter met me again right after security and asked me if I wanted to use the duty-free. When I said no, he took me through a staff tunnel which went from security straight to the lounge.
He left me at the Plaza premium lounge and told me he would be back when it was time to leave. He returned about two hours later along with the manager and we left for the gate. At the exit of the elevator to the lounge, we were met by another manager and all three people escorted me to the gate.
Along the way, the second manager radioed in that we were heading to the gate, as soon as we reached the gate, a gate agent was waiting to scan my boarding pass and the porter escorted me all the way to the aircraft.
New Delhi (DEL) to Toronto Pearson (YYZ)
9W234. STD 02.55 STA 14.35. All times local. 23-Feb-2019.
Boeing 777-300ER. VT-JEU. Seat 2A.
At the aircraft door, I was welcomed on board by name by Rajiv the cabin manager and escorted to my seat. The porter brought my bag to my seat and then left.
Jet doesn’t have any overhead bins in first class when I asked Rajiv where I could stow my carry on, he put them into the adjoining suite and said they get a suite of their own.
The first class cabin on Jet Airways 777’s is in a 1-2-1 layout with two rows. The seat is wide and comfortable and the suite has a couple of large cubbies to store stuff. Under the footrest is a larger storage area where a backpack or a small carry on could be kept.
The are two sets of seat controls, a small LCD touch screen with an extensive set of options and a small panels with four preset buttons.
The seat obviously reclines into a very comfortable full-flat bed and the suite has a door that can be closed for privacy.
Despite what I’ve been hearing, the cabin was very well maintained. I walked down to take a look at the business and economy cabins and they also looked to be in good condition.
While the rest of the aircraft was boarding, I began exploring the IFE system. Jet has a reasonably large and high-resolution screen in their suites, however, the IFE interface is ancient. JEU, the aircraft I was flying was 11 years old and I don’t think the interface has been changed since the aircraft was delivered. The selection of content was also nowhere near as extensive as most other international carriers.
The flight took off on time and a little after takeoff, Rajiv came back with a selection of little snacks, with two Indian options and wasabi peas. I originally took only the peas but after his insistence, I also took one of the other options.
I was then served the champagne as I requested, Jet currently carries 2007 Bollinger La Grande Annee, which is a bottle of really good champagne. The bottle was brought to my seat and opened and then poured at the seat.
Since I had been at work and then right to the airport the whole day, I asked the crew for my dinner as soon as possible so I could catch some sleep. About 50 minutes after takeoff, my dinner was served. I had ordered the two chicken burger.
While the food was good, I would really not consider the choices adequate for a first class service.
Before I shut the door, the crew asked me if I would like to be awoken for breakfast. About an hour before we landed, the crew woke me up and served breakfast.
The transfer through Schipol was very smooth with no lines at security and very helpful staff. Unfortunately, when I reached the transfer desk for Jet, there was no one at the desk. And a little sign said that the desk would not open for another hour. Considering that this is the airline’s European hub, not having a single person at the desk when you have four or five aircraft coming in is really pathetic.
Luckily I had done a bit of research and was reasonably sure that Jet was using the KLM Lounge which was a reasonable walk away. But I saw a whole bunch of business class passengers waiting at the desk who I then saw entering the lounge an hour later, presumably after the desk opened.
I left the lounge about 10 minutes before the boarding time. When I reached the gate, boarding had already begun, I quickly handed over my boarding card and boarded the aircraft.
Amsterdam to Toronto
Upon boarding, I was shown to my seat and quickly checked my bags back into their suite. A couple of differences I noticed right away. All the little cubbies in the seat were already filled, with an amenity kit, newspapers, headphone and a bottle of water.
Once I sat down, I was offered a choice between juice and water. Jet doesn’t serve alcohol on the ground.
About two and a half hours after we took off, the crew asked me if I would like a meal and then brought it. Again the quality of the meal was strictly average.
Through the rest of the flight, my drink was continuously topped up and snacks refilled. We landed at Toronto on time and quickly reached the gate.
The flight on Jet was pretty great. Despite the hard product being so old, it is still very competitive in today’s market. The service was great. However the airline needs to look at its meals, they are definitely below the standard required for a first class service. The IFE could also use some improvement.
What do you think of Jet Airways First class? Do you see or hope the airline makes a return? Let us know in the comments below.