A review of Jet Airways Premiere Business Class
EDIT: Please note that as of 2019 Jet Airways has stopped flying most international routes due to financial issues.
On my recent trip to India, I tried Jet Airways‘ Premiere cabin (business class) on a flight from London Heathrow Terminal 4 to Mumbai. Our flight departed at 10.30am local time and was scheduled to land at 00.30am the following day at Mumbai, totalling 8h55 and allowing for the 5.30h time difference.
Here is how my trip went:
We quickly identified the correct check in area and proceeded to the Business/First Class desks, which had 2 passengers being helped as we got there. In a matter of minutes, we were able to check-in for our flight. We were met by a Jet Airways representative who kindly welcomed us and offered to escort us to the gate, which we declined. When I asked where the lounge was, I was surprised to be told that Mr. O and I would have no lounge access. To say I was shocked, would be an understatement.
We breezed through security as we were able to use the Fast Track lane and were done in less than 5 minutes.
Well, I could not tell you. Having lounge access is one of the reasons I am loyal to a particular airline – and it is an important part of my travel experience. Jet Airways invited me and my husband to experience their business class (and surely have read my flight reviews prior to that) and I was really disappointed. The airline uses the Sky Team lounge at T4 (not the best place in the world from previous experiences), but I can tell you that Pret a Manger did a very good bacon and egg baguette and a cappuccino.
Business class passengers were invited to board the plane first and we actually were the first ones to do so.
The crew were very polite and greeted us (and every other passenger), and I have to say that throughout the whole flight, the service was very good. The cabin service director greeted every passenger on the cabin and at the end, the stewardess looking after us also did come and say goodbye to every passenger and thanked them for flying with Jet Airways. I thought it was quite a nice touch.
On this flight, as it was a day flight, there were no wash bags given to business class passengers, which I thought was very strange. I think it was the first time this ever happened – why would you not give them on every flight? Our seat area was spacious and it was easy to find space for personal belongings. There was also a USA socket and a USB plug – but the latter did not work. Nonetheless, the crew promptly offered to charge both our phones, so it wasn’t an issue. The seats had a massage setting, which I thought was interesting, but did not use for long.
We were also offered newspapers and magazines.
– Drinks service
Before take off, we were offered juice or water. After taking off, the were offered pre-lunch drinks – on offer was champagne (Bollinger special cuvee), 2 types of white wine (Gavi la Battistina from Italy and d’Arenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay from Australia), 2 types of red wine (Rive Barbera from Italy and Rolf Binder Halliwell Shiraz from Australia). We also had a choice from 3 cocktails (gimlet, screwdriver and Bloody Mary), Campari, Johnny Walker Black Label, Chivas Regal Premium, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Absolute Vodka, Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum and 2 types of beer (Stella Artois and Tiger).
Obviously I choose to have a glass of champagne, and a refill was also offered.
– In-flight dining
In terms of starter, there was an option between a soup and a salad, and a chose the latter, which was a Golden and Red Beetroot with blue cheese salad. I am not the biggest beetroot fan, but Mr. O had the same and said it was good. For our main, we both chose ‘Sarsonwala Jhinga’, which was shrimps cooked in gravy and flavoured with mustard and dill. This was served with ‘Aloo Palak’ (potatoes cooked with spinach), ‘Sal Lehsuni’ (lentils tempered with garlic) and basmati rice. The main course was outstanding and the crew were very good explaining to us (and other passengers) what went with what and how to eat it.
We declined dessert (as were too full) and were served a light refreshment before landing in Mumbai, which doubled up as dinner. We had a very nice crab dim sum and chicken spring rolls.
I also got to indulge in some Masala Chai, which was delicious.
– In-flight entertainment
The screens were large (I did not count the inches) and there was a good selection of both Hollywood and Bollywood programming. I have to say I only watched Bollywood films and loved the choices. I picked them randomly based on the plots and did not regret one moment. The IFE system was easy to use and worked well.
– The seat
Our seat was very comfortable and spacious, but I have to say it was different to have a forward-facing herringbone seat layout, which meant there was not a lot of privacy and two people travelling together cannot seat together. The layout is 1 – 2 – 1, where the 2 in the middle are back to back, so Mr. O and I sat more or less side to side, with the aisle in between – which was not a problem for us.
It had a fully flat bed and plenty of space for personal belongings. I also liked the ‘leather padded’ seat belts, which made them more comfortable when sleeping.
The cabin smelled very nice and the loos were very spacious and always impeccable. Korres toiletries were available.
On arrival, we had special assistance and were escorted at the terminal, fast tracked immigration and had our bags collected for us.
I thought the service was very good, the cabin was very smart and the food/drink also on par with other airlines. I’m sorry we did not have access to the lounge, and even sorrier that the same happened on our return flight (we were given access not to the official lounge, which was so so bad, we left). After insisting, we ‘were let’ into the normal lounge, which was one of the best I have seen recently, and was very sorry not to have enjoyed it for more than 10 minutes. Jet Airways must not think it is part of the experience, but I dare to disagree.
All in all, it was a good experience, and based on the cost, it is very good value for money. Worth noting that Jet Airways is an Etihad Partner Airline.
Until the next flight…
Disclaimer: Mr. O and I were guests of Jet Airways on this trip. Opinions are, as always, my own. A return from London Heathrow to Mumbai with Jet Airways costs from £1,734.76 per person travelling in Premiere (Business Class).