Airliners-India Forum Index Airliners-India
Flickr Group & Facebook
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

A requiem for Jet Airways and the rest of my India trip 2019

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Airliners-India Forum Index -> Trip Reports
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
PAL@YWG
Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 429
Location: YWG, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:03 am    Post subject: A requiem for Jet Airways and the rest of my India trip 2019 Reply with quote

A requiem for Jet Airways: 9W 610, was probably my last flight with Jet


Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun
Shine on you crazy diamond
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky
Shine on you crazy diamond
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom
Blown on the steel breeze
Come on you target for faraway laughter
Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine



My first flight with Jet way back in 1994


I can’t help but to borrow few words from Pink Floyd’s epic song to describe my feelings about 9W. If there was one airline that made me feel that “India has arrived”, it was Jet with its Widebodies and its smart crew members in bright golden outfits. They were walking tall in LHR, BRU, AMS, YYZ and many other airports around the world. They made us proud.

Sadly all these glamour and glitz were happening on borrowed money and hence borrowed time. Well, in a country where the philosophy of “Rinom Kritva Ghritam Pivet (in loose translation: Drink ghee even you have to borrow money) was practiced long before modern day’s concept of credit (and associated slavery) came in to play, I can’t blame NG and his management team for going on borrowing if they had a real plan. But one doesn’t bring it to the level of not being able to service the debt and pay wages from cash flows before calling it quits at the last moment. Also, ghee suppliers finally realized that they need to feed their cows too Smile.

It also reminds me of the “King of good times”.

I remember once with an economy ticket, I was approached by an IT employee at the DEL’s old terminal gate (now T2) who smilingly took control of my trolley and guided me to the check in counter. That was little too much of “good time” for an economy class passenger like me. But Jet has seen it all and survived, I thought, well… we all thought.

Feb 24 2019: 9W 610 CCU- BOM: 1945 2300

Before buying this ticket, I kept on searching on popular search engines to find my best possible connection to LH 757 (BOM- FRA) from CCU. Since LH departs from Terminal 2, choice zeroed in on AI and 9W. 9W had 4 flights to BOM in quick succession from CCU. I took a calculated risk thinking that even if 9W starts curtailing flights, out of 4 flights they will keep one or two and reassign passengers.
In December I booked my flight directly from 9W website, no sign of any trouble there. Tickets were issued promptly.
Out of interest I was following Jet’s CCU-BOM flights on FR24 about a month before my flight. All quiet on the eastern front! No trouble brewing yet. All flights were departing and were mostly on time.

Then came the day of travelling. I have arrived well in advance so that I can plan properly in case of any cancellations. My first question at the counter was:

“Is 9W610 operating today?”
“Yes Sir”.
“I mean, is the incoming flight is on time, 9Wxxx?” She had no answer to that but prompt came an offer, “Sir, you can avail 9Wxxx which will be departing in next 50 minutes”.
But that offer was with a fee of INR 2000. I hesitantly declined, not losing my faith on 9W that it will deliver 9W610. I had 24 kgs of check in baggage, the lady in the counter said,
“Sir you have 9 KGs of excess baggage, so you have to INR4500 at cash counter.”
What? My excess baggage cost would be equal to what I paid for the ticket. I had look at the ticket, it said I was entitled to 20Kgs. She didn’t believe me first because I guess in India its 15 KGs only.
“Sir, where did you purchase your ticket?”
“From your website.”
“No, I mean the country.”
“Canada”
She took my ticket print out to her supervisor, who examined the paper with a suspicious look but finally relented.
These were challenging time for 9W, every paise counts, I get that. I happily paid INR2000 and proceeded to the security check.

At the boarding gates the table has turned. So called LCC operators are using the aerobridges and Jet flights are relegated to the ground level departure gates with buses bringing passengers to the fading Jet aircrafts parked far away from the gates. There is a saying in Bengali, loose translation would be ”When an elephant falls into a muddy ditch even the smallest of the mosquitos sucks its blood at a leisurely pace.”

Anyway, I was almost alone waiting for 9W610 and was curious to find out how many souls will fly with me tonight. Knowing all that was lately happening to Jet and plenty of alternative travel options available, it would take only loyal customers to still believe in Jet.
But as time passed by the area got filled in with passengers and hardly anyone was anxious about the future of 9W610.

Onboard, everything was as usual Jet, impeccably groomed Cabin Crew (arguably India’s choicest good looking boys and gals in aviation prefer to work for Jet) went on with their duties with professionalism. Passengers who ordered food while buying ticket were served first, rest of us got hot beverages, water.

Landed five minutes early and while deplaning I personally caught up a small chat with a crew member to say “Thank You” for your service. Probably this was my last Jet flight.


Rest of the Trip:

My annual trip to India that I share here every year. This time it was from Feb 8- Feb 25th and the routing was:
YWG- YYZ: Air Canada AC266 320
YYZ- BOM: Air Canada AC046 77L
BOM- CCU: Air India AI675 20N
CCU- BOM: Jet Airways 9W610 738
BOM- FRA: Lufthansa LH757 744
FRA- YYZ: Air Canada AC873 773
YYZ- YWG: Air Canada AC265 321

AC ticket cost: CAD1140.40, AI ticket cost: 13500 FR miles + INR 370 and 9W ticket cost: INR5033


Flying Returns: Reviving my Expired Points

I very seldom get the chance to fly AI except times when I buy a Star alliance airline ticket with Europe- India sector is flown by AI. I had enough FR miles to get one way BOM-CCU for free but part of that expired due to non-activity. Flying Returns bombards me regularly with promotional email, one of them was about reviving your expired miles @ 30 paise per mile if you remember to call them on your birthday! I made a note of that in my calendar and gave them a call in September of last year.

I was sceptical about how it will pan out but to my surprise the guy on the other end of the phone handled it very professionally. After about a ten minutes conversation, part of my expired miles got revived at half the rate. Then I promptly logged on to AI website and got my ticket done with a travel date that is four and half months away. When I eventually flew on AI 675 on Feb 10th, I had 25 kgs of check in baggage that AI agent happily checked in without asking any question. Indian tax payers’ money at play here Smile.

AC 046: The long flight to Bombay

Not a happy flyer of non-stop 14.5 hours flight but the ticket price was way too attractive. I was curious to see the profile of passengers flying to BOM from YYZ. Holding area was full, lots of connecting passengers from various parts of the US and sizable Gujrati crowd amongst other Indian ethnicities. Very few non-Indians though.

Our flight eventually landed in Bombay after 15.5 hours of flying of that one hour was spent to hover over BOM due to congestion. It was after 11 years I was landing in BOM. Last time it was in 2008.
Few words about the flight: I was pleasantly surprised with AC’s service. We were offered 3 full meals and sandwiches on the go. Good inflight entertainment options, I watched “Tumhari Sullu” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”. And 77L didn’t fail to impress me again.


Other little tidbits:

LH 757: As we took off from BOM we hit turbulence that became increasingly intense after about 30 minutes into our flight. We got some respite only when we entered the coastline of Iran but because of that our dinner service was cancelled! Pilot made the announcement and apologised for the inconvenience. This was the first time in all my travelling that a meal service was cancelled altogether!

AC 873: As if the turbulent LH 757 was not enough, our 773 encountered a rough patch over Greenland for about 30 minutes. Well, I thought bring it on Sad, who cares! But the icing on the cake was when we were approaching Toronto, pilot came on the PA and told us that YYZ is closed for the time being due to bad weather and most probably we will be diverting to Hamilton (YHM) or Ottawa (YOW). But the best part was at the end! He said that this is his last flight of his career after spending xx years with AC and he will try his best to bring every one home safely Smile. Even the last flight of his career was an eventful one, this highlights what an interesting profession flying planes could be.

Once we were over GTA, we were kept on a holding pattern for about an hour and again pilot came on the PA and said that Control tower has allowed him one try to land if that was not successful he will have to go around and land in YHM due to fuel restrictions. This made some passengers visibly nervous! As we were losing altitude in quick succession with associated bumps, a group of African passengers started screaming loudly. I was thinking about two things: One, the hefty insurance pay outs my family will be collecting if we crash Smile Smile (just kidding) and Two, our Pilot’s family members must be eagerly waiting to congratulate him on completion of his long career, so our Pilot will sincerely try to land the plane safely.

My second thought prevailed and we landed in deserted YYZ on an otherwise sunny day. While deplaning I noticed the cockpit was full with crew members who were congratulating him on his retirement. I felt proud of him.



Aircraft arriving for my YWG-YYZ flight


Typical YWG in February



Some pictures of BOM T2


Not the reception area of a tropical beach resort Smile but green BOM T2

Waiting for my AI 675, not many souls around at this time


Biggies started arriving in once snow storm was over Feb 25th

Thanks for reading!
_________________
Tally Sheet:
40 Countries ||52 Aircraft types ||58 Airlines ||72 Airports
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4685
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samir-da: trust you to pull gems out from your treasure chest, dust them out, and present them before us. Your TR took was way back in time, and wow, you are one collector or memorabilia, and...memories! And what a way to start off...Pink Floyd, and a sanskrit quotation. And a Bong quotation. Nice!
The suspicious look for the 15kg+ allowance: ha ha!
I think I have mentioned this before: this is by far one of the most mundane routings we have seen from you. What is the world coming to? Smile
The AI and Flying Returns flexibility is something that I have enjoyed since a long time, and hope to enjoy in future as well. Like you, I too hope that Jet Airways comes back. I have a good stash of miles with Jet Privilege as well.
It is nice that you tried AC 046 on the rare B77L. AC isn't able to make much money out of them now-a-days. AI at least has one high-yield long route to put them on: they price their tickets accordingly, and use them exactly for the purpose they were designed for.
LH 757: dinner service cancelled? I cannot bear this thought! Razz
You do note some interesting tid-bits, such as the last flight of the captain.
Your pictures of BOM T2 do justice to what is the most beautiful airport in India, right now...and my favourite!
Cheers, Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
PAL@YWG
Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 429
Location: YWG, Canada

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
I think I have mentioned this before: this is by far one of the most mundane routings we have seen from you. What is the world coming to? Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.


No kidding Very Happy. When I travel alone to see my parents, I try my best to get as many nights (in CCU) as possible out of my 2 weeks' break. Hence these mundane routings. When family travels with me I try to be more creative Laughing

Really sad to see that Jet is no more.
Flying returns: Parked my miles from this trip with FR. They are far better than AC or LH that I generally fly with.

We haven't read a TR from Sumantra for quite sometime...why is that? Very Happy

Thanks for your comments!
_________________
Tally Sheet:
40 Countries ||52 Aircraft types ||58 Airlines ||72 Airports
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4685
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAL@YWG wrote:
We haven't read a TR from Sumantra for quite sometime...why is that? Very Happy
Work pressures, Sir Sad It takes far longer to compose a report than to read and enjoy well-crafted reports like yours!
Cheers, Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Airliners-India Forum Index -> Trip Reports All times are GMT + 5.5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group. Hosted by phpBB.BizHat.com