This post lists a set of observations and comments sourced from my close to a dozen domestic flights taken during March-July 2010. Frequent flyers might find this post redundant and are advised to check June archives instead.
1. What is the difference between JetLite, Jet Airways Konnect and Jet Airways Codeshare?
Had lots of confusion why they're having so many names and prompted me to do some study. Jetlite refers to flights earlier operated by Air Sahara. It is a permanent low cost carrier with its own branding, in flight magazine and aircraft..
Jet Airways Konnect is a temporary branding carved out of Jetairways fleet. Jet Konnect runs on the same aircraft used by full service Jet Airways, but at a lower fare, in No-frills mode. On many Jet airways routes, full service aircraft had very low occupancy, hence Jet Konnect was created as a temporary measure, to fly on those routes targeting budget passengers. If demand for full service seats at Jet Airways resumes, Jet Konnect will be abolished and will be operated as Jet Airways. So if there’s an option between Jetlite and Jet Konnect, opt for Jet Konnect. Jet Konnect flights will have business class seats and Jet wings magazine.
Jetairways Codeshare again refers to Jetlite operating on Jetairways routes, with flights coded 9W instead of S2
Of all the in-flight magazines, I found SpiceRoute most interesting. In March, both JetWings and Spice Route had title article on Holi, but Spice Route was much more exciting overall. However, Spice route carries a column which explains how to cover a city in 48 hours. I thought this is a great idea when I read about Pune in March edition. But when I read about Hyderabad in its April edition, I realized that they have written the article without experiencing it. (it said 4PM Durgam Cheruvu and 7PM Lumbini Garden or 9AM Golconda fort and 11 AM Quli Qutb Shahi tombs- which is not practical, coz the drive from Durgam Cheruvu to Lumbini itself would take 60-90mins, while Golconda takes 2-3 hours to climb up n down.)
Jetlite and Jet airways have got different inflight magazines, which I feel is waste of money. Kingfisher Red on the other hand offers a film magazine.
Spicejet also offers some additional magazines, though they're seldom interesting.
3. No previous Month’s editions.
All airlines keep only current month’s edition of their in-flight magazine. Previous editions are promptly removed. In April I took 3 spice-jet flights and it was boring to read same magazine again and again. In May I didn’t fly a single SpiceJet flight. In June, when asked the crew if I can have May edition of spice route, the reply was negative. Providing a few erstwhile editions on demand wouldn’t cost much and will add value to not so frequent fliers who enjoy reading. You can refer Spiceroute mag website for archives though. But the website is poorly designed and maintained.
4 On time: Spicejet was the most on-time airline, while Jetlight and Jet Konnect were consistent in delayed departures. But point to be made, most of my Spice jet flights were in the morning and jet flights in the evening. Evening ones will have higher probability of delay as a result of delays accumulated all through the day.
5. There is a nice veg restaurant close to departure terminal, Mumbai Airport. Priced reasonably (ex: Coffee: Rs 30) it might be a better idea eating something here before entering the airport, to avoid being ripped off inside the airport or in-flight.
6. Add 45 mins-1 hour to your Delhi flight time, due to 15 mins taxi time, 10 min bus ride, delays and hovering time… It is like landing in Noida and driving to Delhi. (we indeed landed at Jaipur once as the aircraft didn't have enough fuel to hover around. But they didn't show me Hawa Mahal)
7. Passengers have a tendency to get up from their seats as soon as aircraft stops, while doors open good 10 minutes later.
8. BMTC’s Vayu Vajra is the best way to travel to and from Bangalore International Airport… Taxis are a rip off. Other cities should catch up on this idea and should offer similar Bus Services. At Delhi and Chennai Metros are being planned though.
9. It is high time airlines change the statement “Now you can use laptops and CD players” to “Laptops and ipods/mp3 players” as no one uses CD player anymore.
10. Lots of near misses are being reported off late. Do pay heed to safety instructions and other emergency procedures. You never know when something would go wrong…
11. Jetlite’s in-flight shopping, auction and scratch card (take home anything for Rs 599) schemes are visibly an eye wash. The minimum bid prize is more than the real value of the products kept for auction.
12. Spicejet also scores higher on in-flight service. They give complementary water in a 300ml pet bottle, while Jetlite serves water in cup, only on demand. While majority of passengers prefer breakfast/meals, airlines carry them in very little numbers and run out of stock super-fast. Passengers will be left with overpriced sandwiches (Rs 120). Spicejet serves ready made tea, while JetLite gives you hot water, milk and tea bag, leaving the task of preparing your tea for yourself. (Should we be thankful they don't provide a kettle and cold water?)
13 ATR flights will have much lesser cabin space and some regular cabin bags may not fit in…
14. Each Spicejet flight is named after a spice. Now, with Marans buying a stake in SpiceJet, I am wondering if they'll rename each flight after a family member...
15. Of all the airlines, I like Indigo's branding- Indigo to 35000 feet, their TV commercial and other aspects are nice. Didn't fly Indigo since long time, will be flying them August first week. Hope they've not increased the price of cashew nut on-board... (Read a previous post on Indigo in-flight shopping)
16. Most of the flight attendants do not recognize in-flight mode feature present in your mobile (this feature disables all communication functionality and allows rest of the harmless features like music, games etc, so that there'll be no interference with aircraft's communication and navigation systems) They insist you switch off the mobile.
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Disclaimer: All information and comments as observed by the author during his flights. Experience may vary from person to person and information, pricing and service levels are subject to change over a period of time