Today while returning from Terminal 2 International Airport in Mumbai, I noticed a row of planes belonging to Jet Airways standing still almost deserted. I stopped and started to think back my experiences of flying with that airline.
From the early 2000s until a few ago, Jet Airways was my favourite airline in the whole world. They shattered the common perception of Indian companies never being able to offer world-class customer service. I had several good experiences of travelling with them, a few examples will be – in 2004 when they promptly acted on a lapse in their service, in 2005 for introducing easy to use online check-in and printing boarding pass, and, they were known for their un-obstructive & proactive service like in 2007 when they handed prefilled immigration cards.
So, it was natural that I felt sad to see the Jet Airways planes being parked unused on the tarmac as the airline had shut down their operations due to crushing debt. Though it is unlikely to happen, I wish for a miracle and the airline gets a financial saviour to resurrect them. India needs at least one full-service airline and Vistara doesn’t appear to be interested in scaling.
During this trip, both ways, I was flying with Air India and I was surprised the experience was unlikely anything in the past (like this one in 2006) I had with the national carrier – it was pleasant – onboard food tasted the best compared to other airlines in India and flights were mostly on-time!
Look at the picture below, it does look catchy to see the Star Alliance logo across an Air India plane. As a former frequent flyer member with Singapore Airline, for years I was hoping that Star Alliance will come to India – a few years ago when they rejected Jet Airways and partnered with Air India I didn’t like it, but now it turns out to be for the better!