Disclaimer: Incoming- massive rant induced by repeated inconvenience on every single sector flown on this airline.
This is not the first time I’m writing so strongly against Jet Airways. A few months ago I flew Jet Airways to Bangkok, and that flight experience was a near disaster. Given my loyalty to Jet over the years, I decided to give it another shot before cutting up my loyalty card and giving up my points. (Any takers?)
When I flew to Bangkok with Jet Airways, I was given a Jet Connect flight (on an international sector!) with no leg space, no snacks, no beverages and no entertainment system. In order to ensure I wasn’t heading for a similar experience this time, I called the Jet Airways call centre before booking my tickets.
To give you some context, my flight from Delhi to Colombo switches planes at Mumbai. Since I was unsure about the provision of an entertainment system in the Delhi-Mumbai sector, I called the airline to confirm. The staff confirmed to me that they would prove “10×6 inch screens” on the flight. I reconfirmed about the Delhi-Mumbai sector and I was told that flight would have entertainment systems as well.
We boarded the flight and there were no entertainment systems. On asking, we were informed by the staff that they provide only Wifi now, and that we can use it to connect to our phones and use our own devices as entertainment systems. A great idea on paper, but the unassuming customer (who double-checked before booking tickets) isn’t likely to be pleased with this. I wasn’t expecting such a situation to arise and with a phone that was switched off due to inadequate battery, I was stuck without an entertainment system at all. Besides, my iPhone 6 has a screen size of 4.7 inches- still nowhere in comparison to the decent sized screen I was expecting on the aircraft.
I figured this would be a domestic sector issue and let it go. On boarding my flight from Mumbai to Colombo, the same thing happened. Let me also add here the trouble we had with our connecting flight. This flight was 1 hour 30 minutes from the time our Delhi-Mumbai flight landed, which was delayed by 20 minutes. We had to go through security and clearance all over again and finally made it to the gate just as the final call was about to get over and the gates were about to shut.
In casual conversation with the front desk manager at the hotel we were staying at, we were informed that we need to report to the airport 5 hours in advance. Sri Lanka’s international airport is under construction and all traffic has been diverted to the domestic airport, causing repeated delays. We had received no information from Jet Airways and were shocked to hear this. I had been receiving feedback emails from Jet, even “upgrade your seat” emails, but not a single one informing us that we need to reach the airport 5 hours in advance. We logged into the Jet Airways website for a web check-in and no mention of it either.
We did that, and once at the airport looked around cluelessly for a Jet Airways counter. There was none. 1 hour later, we were still waiting. Now there were only 4 hours left to the flight and still no check-in. Heck, still no check-in counter. Finally when the counter opened, we learnt that there is no Jet Airways staff at the airport at all, and the staff from Srilankan Airways was filling in on their behalf. Nowhere to air one’s grievances.
The worst is yet to come
The staff informed us that our immigration would take place at our first point of entry into India (which was Bangalore in our case) and we would need to pick our baggage from the belt, clear it through customs at the Bangalore airport and “put it back on the baggage belt once cleared.” We couldn’t believe what we had heard- instead of checking in again, they simply asked us to dump our baggage back on the belt, since the leftover bags on the belt would eventually be put into the Bangalore-Delhi aircraft. There was no guarantee of security of our baggage, so we eventually went with our gut and checked it in once again at the Bangalore airport.
While checking in and switching from an international to a domestic flight, the check0in staff didn’t warn us about the duty free purchases we were carrying. When we got to the security check, we were told we couldn’t carry the bottles of perfume we had purchased from duty free- understandably, on a domestic flight. This did not occur to the check in staff to inform us, though she had seen us carrying the duty free bags. This caused a massive scene later which involved us emptying a handbag and stuffing our perfume bottles into it and checking it in without a lock.
How customer care handles it:
When this issue had occurred on my flight to Bangkok, I had gotten in touch with the Jet Airways team on Twitter- which led to a follow up dialogue on email. Not a single apology from Jet. I was told that they would connect me to someone else and that was that. I never heard from them again.
This time around during my Delhi-Colombo flight I tweeted to their team but received no reply. At the airport there was nobody from the staff to speak to at all. They’ve been consistently delivering shoddy experiences, and to my utter disappointment, I’m finally letting go of my loyalty to Jet Airways.
Not only has their service been consistently pathetic, their customer care doesn’t even bother fixing things for customers even after they have made clear false commitments. While I intend to lodge a complaint against them in consumer court- yes, that’s actually happening this time- I would also like to stress upon the fact that you would be throwing away a lot of money traveling with Jet Airways on an extremely uncomfortable flight and staff that couldn’t care less about the inconvenience being caused to you.