Good morning from Brussels! As I outlined yesterday, I just flew from Toronto to Brussels on Jet Airways in business class. While Jet Airways isn’t in oneworld, they are an AAdvantage partner airline, so you can redeem American miles for travel on Jet Airways.
Jet Airways A330
Jet Airways is known to be one of the better airlines in India, and back in the day was the only airline to serve Dom Perignon in business class. Unfortunately they’ve gone through some serious financial woes over the past few years, and based on what I had heard, service reflected that.
They were in the news just a couple of weeks ago after one of their planes mysteriously dropped 5,000 feet enroute from Mumbai to Brussels. Not that it’s a huge deal, but at the same time when it’s the only thing about the airline in the news…
Of course I conveniently left out that tidbit when I told my mom which airline I was flying. 😉
There’s a good chance you’ve actually flown a Jet Airways plane without knowing it. They have leased their 777-300ER aircraft to Turkish, Thai, and Etihad. They couldn’t turn a profit flying them, so leasing them out to other airlines was the only option.
Based on all of the above, my expectations of their business class weren’t very high, figuring the product would reflect their financial woes and cost cutting.
Well, I was wrong. The flight was pleasantly surprising and a great way to fly between the US and Europe.
I’ll have a full trip report soon, but will share my initial thoughts below:
Jet Airways Business Class A330 Seat
Jet Airways used to have herringbone seats in business class on their A330s, though recently introduced a new Vantage style business class seat. I’m not sure why, because I actually prefer a herringbone configuration, but then again I’ve never claimed to understand airlines.
In terms of the “footprint” of their business class seats, it’s almost identical to the products offered by Delta and Swiss.
The cabin alternates between one and two seats on the left side of the cabin, then has two seats in the center of the cabin, and then one seat on the right side of the cabin. So that’s a total of 4-5 seats per row.
Jet Airways Business Class A330
Jet Airways Business Class A330
I chose a window seat on the right side of the aircraft, which are staggered as well. I was lucky to snag a “true” window seat – in other words, a seat closer to the window than the aisle, which in this configuration is the even numbered seats (2K, 4K, 6K, and 8K).
Jet Airways Business Class Seat A330
This was a solid hard product. Since this is a new product, the seats looked fresh, though were certainly on the dull side in terms of the tones. I did appreciate that they had a storage compartment at the side of the seat which opened and closed. The area where your feet go is somewhat restrictive, but not as much as in the “throne” seats on the other side of the aircraft.
Jet Airways Business Class Food
Simply great. I love Indian food, so was in heaven on this flight.
The starter consisted of the choice between a mushroom soup or an arugula, melon, and mozzarella salad. I went with the latter.
Jet Airways Business Class Dinner
For the main course I had a fantastic Indian prawn dish which gave Korean Air’s bibimbap a run for its money in terms of the number of dishes used.
Jet Airways Business Class Dinner
Then for dessert I really just wanted the western dessert, but the crew suggested I try the Indian dessert as well, which I did (and after trying it I’ve decided I love all Indian food except the desserts).
Jet Airways Business Class Dinner
In terms of champagne, they might not have Dom Perignon anymore, but they replaced it with Billecart Salmon, which frankly I enjoy as much as Dom, if not more. It’s nice and light, so goes great with Indian food and other dishes that are heavy/spicy.
Jet Airways Business Class Champagne
To my surprise they also had legit cappuccinos. Not the overly sweet ones served by many other airlines, but rather a straightforward, delicious cappuccino. Kudos!
Jet Airways Business Class Service
The service was so close to being excellent.
Service started off on a great foot. I was escorted to my seat upon boarding, and the crew was all smiles. Service throughout dinner was excellent as well, despite every business class seat being taken (over half of the cabin was occupied by operational upgrades, interestingly, since economy was way oversold).
I was pleasantly surprised that no trays were used for the meals, but rather everything was set directly on the tablecloth. Furthermore, while the initial table setting was rolled out on a cart, all the other service was done by hand, which is always a nice touch.
But after dinner I don’t think they passed through the cabin once. What was truly bizarre is that I was awake the whole flight and was waiting for the breakfast service. I wasn’t actually hungry but did want to photograph it. I figured the service must still be coming since many people were up but no one had been served breakfast at this point.
As we began our descent I asked when the breakfast service would be, and the flight attendant said “oh we are landing soon, it is too late for breakfast.” I expressed surprise at having “missed it” since I was awake. She responded that she could get me breakfast, but only if I ate really quickly.
I ended up getting my tray after the captain told the flight attendants to take their seats, and quickly handed it back.
Highly Coveted Jet Airways Business Class Breakfast
I found that rather odd.
But I thought the service was quite good otherwise. The crew was friendly and during dinner service even quite polished and attentive.
Jet Airways Business Class Amenities
Before takeoff an amenity kit and pair of socks were handed out. I’m not much of an amenity kit guy to begin with, but this one definitely wasn’t impressive. It was made of a similar material to the La Compagnie one (aka a trash bag), and when I opened it I couldn’t help but feel kind of disappointed at the contents of the package.
Jet Airways Business Class Amenity Kit
It had a toothbrush and then hand lotion, lip balm, and body mist. No eyeshades, really?
On the plus side, the blanket and pillow were great. The pillow was firm and blanket huge.
Jet Airways Business Class Pillow & Blanket
The entertainment system was okay but not amazing. It featured a fair selection of TV shows and movies, though I have really high standards when it comes to TV (fortunately on my iPad I had two episodes of Real Housewives of Orange County left to watch, along with an episode of Married At First Sight… quality television, clearly).
Jet Airways Entertainment
The inflight entertainment did have One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” album, which was a great way for me to make sure I had memorized all of their lyrics. I’m very excited to see them in a couple of weeks at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas (though I’m still undecided as to whether I should wear a Harry or Liam shirt – thoughts on that would be appreciated in the comments section!).
Jet Airways Entertainment
Speaking of One Direction, has anyone actually read the lyrics of “Story Of My Life?” Man they’re deep!
Jet Airways Business Class Bottom Line
Jet really exceeded my expectations. The hard product was above average (especially if you can grab a “K” seat in an even numbered row), the service generally good, and the food excellent.
I’d say they’re a great use of American miles given the lack of fuel surcharges. Anecdotally they release more award space on their flight from Toronto to Brussels than their Newark to Brussels flight. I’d fly them again in a heartbeat.
Have you flown Jet Airways? If so, what has your experience been?
Jet airways A330-200 and -300 have a slightly different business class configuration,
while the -200s have the herringbone and the -300s have the newer 'Vantage style' seats, one thing i hate about jet's hrringbone configurtion is that they look away from the windows.
I recently flew Jet economy BOM-AMS and AMS-BOM. It was a redemption ticket. The service on both the sectors was very good. The BOM-AMS sector was phenomenal.The service was top notch. I have VERY rarely encountered poor service on this airline.Maybe because I am such a frequent flier that's why I get preferential treatment? I dunno. The food in economy is underwhelming IMO. Pretty sad to be honest. But I agree. I will fly them...
I recently flew Jet economy BOM-AMS and AMS-BOM. It was a redemption ticket. The service on both the sectors was very good. The BOM-AMS sector was phenomenal.The service was top notch. I have VERY rarely encountered poor service on this airline.Maybe because I am such a frequent flier that's why I get preferential treatment? I dunno. The food in economy is underwhelming IMO. Pretty sad to be honest. But I agree. I will fly them in a hearbeat. BTW when you're in India again do try Vistara which is an airline jointly owned by SIA. Let me know your thoughts!
Hey, after recent 'Upgrade' to the AAdvantage program, if I book a flight marketed and operated by Jet Airways (Fare Class Z), between YYZ and DEL, will I earn miles on AA based on fare purchased on 9W, or is it still by the distance flown plus the 25% business class bonus?
BTW, check out fares for July on 9W between YYZ-DEL!!!!
So if money or miles were not in question, you had to choose between KLM or Jet Airways Delhi to Amsterdam... you would choose?
Hi BEN my name is Taher
I wanted to become a pilot .
But I'm short of money and can't afford it.
I read "ONE MILE AT A TIME" its awesome. What I understood is that in order to earn miles first I have to pay money for the flight and collect miles and then use those collected miles on other flight.
Is it what you are saying?
Thnx and reply asap
I took a flight from Newark to Mumbai. The staff being Indian were so rude. I wanted a glass of wine, and they refused to give, that we only serve after Dinner. Then they told me that they will serve before dinner. I wanted another glass, and they would not serve me, so I got upset and said what kind of Airline is this. I guess they have orders to open only one or two...
I took a flight from Newark to Mumbai. The staff being Indian were so rude. I wanted a glass of wine, and they refused to give, that we only serve after Dinner. Then they told me that they will serve before dinner. I wanted another glass, and they would not serve me, so I got upset and said what kind of Airline is this. I guess they have orders to open only one or two bottles per trip.
They immediately said that I was drunk, for drinking a small plastic cup.
To save $50 - $70 it is not worth it. They are down right rude and obnoxious. They served me my dinner, late, because I had asked for a vegetarian meal. Bull Shit Airline.
Instead of taking k I suggest to take a seat at the opposite side, those altering 2 and 1 seats. If you are a solo traveller you have much more space as they are as wide as the 2 seats in front or behind
You actually traveled on an Etihad a330 aircraft. Etihad and Jet Airways both have codeshare agreement and they at certain routes they share aircrafts. SO if you had traveled in Etihad you would have got the herringbone configuration on the flight
@ Anand Krishnan -- Hmmm, you're saying it's an Etihad plane? Because I believe they have a slightly different A330 configuration:
Does anyone know the tax/surcharge for this exact flight when redeeming through AA or Asia Miles?
@ Julian -- There are no fuel surcharges when booking through American, so it'll just cost you a small amount in taxes.
I had the pleasure to fly Jet Airways several times from Brussels Airport, to Delhi and Mumbai as well as to New York. It is true their service was at a higher standard in the early days of their intercontinental startup. But since those days the economy was hard on all airlines, and even the current service of Jet Airways is a wonderful experience compared to the service on most American and European airlines. The...
I had the pleasure to fly Jet Airways several times from Brussels Airport, to Delhi and Mumbai as well as to New York. It is true their service was at a higher standard in the early days of their intercontinental startup. But since those days the economy was hard on all airlines, and even the current service of Jet Airways is a wonderful experience compared to the service on most American and European airlines. The Indian dishes are a must-try for everyone, not only for those who are bored with the traditional chewy rolls and pasta you'd find on western airlines. Give it a try!
Liam obvs. Way hotter :-)
The switch of seats was due to their infringement on Virgin Atlantic's parent on the herringbone seat. Had the pleasure to fly that product lhr-del a few times and loved everything about it.
That is odd, I flew YYZ_ Brussels myself last week. Definitely had breakfast, I was asked my choice a couple of hours before landing; and it was good!!
I expect most passengers are connecting to Delhi or Mumbai, and eat breakfast at the large buffet in the Jet Airways lounge.
@ BrewerSEA -- Surprisingly substantially less than half of the business class passengers were connecting to the Mumbai/Delhi flights.
Funny how you can say the crew was "so close to being excellent" after forgetting to serve an entire meal - pretty sure even your most hated China Southern didn't do that...
@ J -- Funny enough, I actually drafted my post while on the plane right after dinner, and based on that was saying how excellent they were. Then had to go back and change it. At least they were able to fake it for the first couple of hours of the flight.
I can usually hold my own on sarcasm and humor, but I am having a hard time telling if you are serious about your One Direction fandom or just poking fun at it. #needcontext :)
@ DiscoPapa -- What would be the fun in that? ;)
No contest. Definitely Liam!
wear a Tswizzle 13 shirt for Harry ;)
No way!!! Saw your A330 flying inbound to YYZ yesterday...
Great report Ben. Re not being offered breakfast, I was on Etihad in business class last month (Chicago to Abu Dhabi) and had the same experience. About an hour before we were due to land, I asked an FA when it was going to be served and he informed me that it was an "on demand" meal. He brought it out quickly but it would have been nice to have been told about this ahead of time.
@ Michael -- Yep, and that's what I'd actually expect on Etihad since they have on demand/freedom dining. Jet Airways doesn't, however.
Oh this reminds me of a question I've been meaning to ask. How come you can use AA miles to fly to India via Europe? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they allow it, but isn't that transiting a third region (London or Brussels are in Europe) to fly between two regions (North America and Asia) and thus violating their rules?
@ James K. -- It sure is, but it's one of the third region exceptions:
That is the exact same amenity kit they gave me in First on Jet Airways from BRU to YYZ.
Get "Larry" shirt to celebrate their love!
@Lucky: you're right "The Story of My Life" lyrics are indeed a study on deeper meaning of poetry, and not as straight forward as many might think. Extremely metaphorical! Love the song and the deeper meaning behind it.
Also noteworthy, fares in "La Premiere" aren't too prohibitive either. Priced up a FCO-YYZ return (via BRU) at €2000. Going direct BRU-YYZ return was €2200.
Is the lack of fuel surcharge a recent development? I remember paying YQ last year.
@ NB -- Has been the case as long as I can remember.
I flew the herringbone product RT NYC-BRU-DEL three years ago. Was very pleased with hard product, service, and food. Plus, I liked their lounge in Brussels. Food, service, and chairs all nice for such a small space.
I think despite the fact that herringbone seats are typically more comfortable than Vantage style, a lot of travelers prefer Vantage style because the seats face forward or at least they don't face AWAY from the windows like herringbone seats. Also, depending on the actual seat installed by the airline, herringbone seats can feel very claustrophobic. CX's version comes to mind...
When will you publish the trip report on KLM business class from amsterdam to chicago?
@ Tarek -- Hoping to begin to publish that trip report on Monday.
I had heard about the seat changes from the herringbone config, but these look great! I haven't flown the new configuration in international biz class in a long time, but am clearly looking forward to one! Their service is generally good - you don't find too many, if at all any, surly cabin crew, and to me, that's always a winner. I did fly them recently - see here: bit.ly/XtbdMt - and the champagne was...
I had heard about the seat changes from the herringbone config, but these look great! I haven't flown the new configuration in international biz class in a long time, but am clearly looking forward to one! Their service is generally good - you don't find too many, if at all any, surly cabin crew, and to me, that's always a winner. I did fly them recently - see here: bit.ly/XtbdMt - and the champagne was the same, which is a bit surprising! They normally differentiate. But good to see they've changed and made standards uniform, if they indeed have done that!
I love indian sweets, especially Gulab Jamun and Ras Malai. It can be a bit too sweet for some people though.
@ db -- Yep, too sweet for me. I love desserts, but not if they're too sweet.
How do we find availability from EWR? Only by calling AA? Thx.
@ Lantean -- Yup, AFAIK.