Jet Airways First Class
This is a continuation of our First Class trip to India, a journey where we had Big Travel with Small Money!
Trip Report Index:
- American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge and Flagship Lounge – Kansas City & Chicago
- American Airlines Flagship/First Class – Chicago to London
- British Airways Concorde Room – London Heathrow
- British Airways – (New) First Class – London to Mumbai, India
- An Indian Wedding Extravaganza
- Lalit InterContinental – Mumbai, India
- Park Hyatt – Goa, India
- Jet Airways, First Class – Mumbai, India to London
- Jet Airways, Business Class – Mumbai, India to London
- American Airlines, First Class – London to Chicago
- American Airlines, Business Class – London to Chicago
Daraius: We redeemed 67,500 American Airline miles each for business class tickets on Jet Airways (you can book Jet Airways tickets with American Airline miles) from Mumbai to London and from London to Chicago. However, we were traveling on separate dates since Emily had to get back to the US sooner than I.
Emily liked the British Airways first class experience so much that she asked me if I could change her ticket from business class to first class. Emily doesn’t ask for much, so I was very motivated to get her seat changed. I kept on calling American Airlines (you can’t search for Jet Airways award seats online unless you have a certain amount of miles in your Jet Airways account and even then, those may not be the same seats which American Airlines can book) until they found an open seat for her to upgrade.
We were charged an extra 22,500 American Airline miles, the difference between a 1-way first class redemption (90,000 miles) and a 1-way business class redemption from India to the US (67,500 miles). We weren’t charged a change fee since we upgraded our award ticket from business to first class.
Emily: The day I was set to leave India, we got a call from a woman named Vandana from Jet Airways to confirm my departure. She said that they would have everything prepared for me, and to call her as we approached the airport.
We called Vandana from the car about 15 minutes before reaching the airport, and she asked us for the make and color of the car we were arriving in and the number of bags I had to check-in so that she could prepare baggage tags. She said that she would be waiting for us outside the airport entrance. Sure enough, when we arrived she was waiting for us and had a baggage handler to tag and take my bags!
She had the documents (customs and immigration forms) all prepared, and after I said my goodbyes to Daraius, she used her airport ID badge to skip the line and get me inside the airport. This is a big deal in India where you are not allowed to enter the airport until the police match your ID to your flight itinerary. As you can imagine, this leads to some very long lines outside the airport.
Once inside I was whisked away to the front of the line to pass security. The lines at Mumbai International Airport can be super long, with often hundreds, seemingly thousands of people in line! So it was a really nice surprise when I was escorted to the very front of the line to pass immigration and then security. The paperwork (customs and immigration forms) was prepared for me by Vandana, so all I had to do was sign!
After we passed security, I hopped on a golf cart and was driven to my gate. I was left at the lounge where I waited for the flight to begin boarding.
The lounge was shared with other airlines, and was not very appealing. It had some comfortable chairs, but it was minimally furnished and very small. The food and drink selection was also very limited.
After about 45 minutes of waiting, Vandana came to pick me up to board my gate. I was the first person to board, and there was only one other person in First Class with me!
I was offered a large selection of magazines. I chose my favorite, the Economist, and decided I’d splurge and scan a Vogue. Well, I got bored with the Vogue after 15 minutes but had hours of good reading with the Economist.
I enjoyed the Dom Perignon! The champagne was a new bottle – they opened it right in front of me. I only had 1-2 glasses though.
The comfort of the Jet Airways First Class cabin was comparable to the new cabin on British Airways, except that it was more private since I had my own suite with closed doors.
Here’s my amenity kit.
The staff on the plane were very nice. The purser took my chef card and showed the staff, and made sure they understood my allergy.
I showed him how to use the Epi-Pen and he made sure I stored it right on top of the cabin drawer so he could locate it in case of an emergency. He also made sure the staff knew how to use it. This was the first time that the cabin crew have taken my allergy so seriously and I was very relived especially since Daraius wasn’t traveling with me.
I liked that there was a massage function built in to the seat, though I didn’t end up using it very much. I loved the additional privacy of the private cabin which minimized disturbance while sleeping.
I had snacks and breakfast. For breakfast I had a pancake but didn’t eat much of it because I got full from the yogurt, fruits, and apple danish.
The squash soup was the best. It was silky smooth and very flavorful. I forgot to grab the menu 🙁 and I can’t remember all the details.
I would highly recommend the Jet Airways First Class experience. The staff were exceptionally friendly, and I was very impressed at the personalized service even before I arrived at the airport. Being driven around in the golf cart, skipping all the long lines, and having Vandana fill in my paperwork was second to none. The cabin was also very nice, with maroon and gold interiors and a comfortable in-flight experience.
We arrived London on time, and I proceeded to my gate to get on my American Airlines flight.