This was an award ticket booked less than 12 hours before the scheduled departure time. A last minute trip from Cochin to Bangalore had to be done via Trivandrum due to lack of direct tickets at affordable prices. The original routing was:
12APR AI048 COK TRV 2200 2250 Y A321
13APR 9W824 TRV BLR 0610 0715 Y B738
[Read about the COK TRV Flight here]
April 13, 2016:
The alarm shouted out aloud at 0330hrs - I had hardly slept the previous night (I had hit the bed only past midnight). I was somewhat disoriented when I woke up. As soon as I woke-up, I looked at the availability of cabs in the area, and found that they were available quite easily. I booked one as soon as I was good to go. It took sometime to check-out of the hotel. My cab came in by around 0430 - and the 6kms ride to the airport took hardly 10 minutes. I was at the crowded Terminal-2 at Trivandrum by 0440hrs - with about an hour and a half to go for departure of my flight. This flight of Jet Airways departs from the international terminal at Trivandrum (since the aircraft arrives from Muscat). I was inside the terminal in no time. The check-in counters were a bit confusing - there was a very long snaking line - and I had no clue which airline was this queue for - because there were a couple of international flights, an Air India (to Delhi) and my flight at the time.
Date of Journey: April 13, 2016
|Age old FIDS outside TRV.. |
9W 824 || Seat:
Boeing B737-800 (WL) || Regn:
I saw a couple of counters of Jet Airways flashing "9W0824 Bengaluru Web Check-in". I walked straight to one of the counters - the agent quickly checked my ticket and my Id-proof before printing out a boarding pass for me (0445hrs). I moved next to the upper level for security check. Since this was an international terminal, one has to pass Immigrations - at this point, an officer checks the boarding pass and puts a "Domestic Passenger" seal on the boarding pass. After this, there was a round of check by a CISF Officer, then by a Jet Airways agent, followed by another CISF Officer! Then came security check - there wasn't too much of crowd (thankfully) - I cleared Security by 0455hrs (two layers of verification of boarding cards here as well). I was quite intrigued by the number of checks - absolute wastage of manpower verifying the same boarding pass thrice in a span of 50 metres!
|The check-in counters..|
|My boarding pass..|
|The terminal.. |
The terminal - although has been made to look quite modern by the excessive use of ACP cladding - looked quite like a warehouse to me. It felt like I was in an attic - the roof was quite low, with ugly looking lights. I was quite shocked seeing a "lounge" - which was half a level above the terminal. The lighting inside the terminal was very poor as well. There were some recliners aligned along the airside (facing the terminal itself) - most of them were already occupied as well. I occupied a seat near my gate (#4). A couple of international flights were boarding - one to Kuwait and another to Sharjah. A boarding announcement was made at 0517hrs - since I was already seated near the gate, I was among the first to line up. We were made to wait for some time till the flight crew headed towards the aircraft. This particular gate was quite intriguing - it was marked as Gate 3/4. Gate 3 was being used for an international departure.
Once past the gate, one has to walk down two floors through a series of hospital resembling ramps. At the end of the first flight of ramps was Gate #3. Gate #4 was further down at ground level. Although passengers reached the actual gate at the ground floor, the agents weren't ready yet. Sometime later, buses appeared and the agent allowed passengers to get into the bus. We were bus'd at 0523, and we got to the aircraft by 0527hrs. I was inside the aircraft by 0530hrs. The aircraft was cleaned really well after its arrival from Muscat. Oh yeah! I was on board Bravo Papa
(VT-JBP), a Boeing 737-800 (Winglet) delivered to Jet Airways in December 2009. Boarding was very slow - probably because we started boarding almost an hour before departure. Another fact was that boarding happened solely through the front door, and not through the both the portside doors. Boarding was completed at 0553hrs and doors armed at 0555hrs.
|Boarding about to begin..|
|VT-JBF to take me to Bangalore..|
|Right before I stepped into JBF.. |
In the deck for this flight was Capt. Ranjith Mallya and First Office Prabhujeet Singh. Rupesh was the cabin supervisor. Reena was taking care of the zone that I was seated in. I must appreciate her for the warm service and the cute smiles she had all the time. We were pushed back at 0557hrs. Taxi commenced at 0601hrs. Trivandrum doesn't have a full-length taxiway - the aircraft taxis through the active runway. We went all the way to the turn-pad at the 32 end of the runway, reaching there by around 0605hrs. We took off from Rwy32 at 0606hrs. During the takeoff roll, I had an amazing sight - a surprise visitor on the domestic apron - the Airbus A320Neo LEAP Trials aircraft! D-AVVB! We climbed up very quick - giving an amazing view of the seashore as we climbed up. The seatbelt signs were turned off at 0612hrs. The food carts began rolling in no time. The cart for my zone arrived very soon. Reena asked each passenger what menu he wanted - instead of the routine, veg or non-veg, she asked if one wanted an omlette or a masala dosa! Quite a nice touch, I must say.
|Climbing out of TRV...|
|Unpacked.. Masala Dosa and Sambhar Vada|
My choice was obvious - Masala Dosa. The serving was quite hot - but not overheated like my previous Jet Airways B738 experiences. Coming the meal - there was a small masala dosa, a serving of hot sambhar vada (medu vada dipped in sambhar), a chocolate brownie for dessert, the imli
candy and a bottle of water along with plastic cutlery. The dosa was dry, but the masala (the filling) was soft, well-cooked and had the right amount of spices. The vada (fritters made of black lentil) was dipped in sambhar (lentil based stew) - it was soft and perfectly cooked. The brownie was nice - except that it was served in a plastic pouch instead of a cup - it made it difficult to eat. I enjoyed the breakfast. Tables were cleared a little later. I was expecting a round of hot beverages - but that did not happen. Landing announcements started off by 0640hrs - we were already over Hosur by now. I spotted the Hosur airstrip for the first time.
|Somewhere during the cruise..|
We were heading towards Rwy27 - a long round around the city to align to the ILS followed. We touched down on Rwy27 of Bangalore at 0651hrs. Unlike Rwy09, 27 doesn't have a rapid exit taxiway - so the aircraft runs almost till the 09 end and then exits the runway. We docked at a jetway stand by 0655hrs - a good 20 minutes before schedule. Of course, the crew did not forget to announce that they were before time. I was really excited to be before time, since I was heading to office, and every minute that I reach early is of great help. I was out of the aircraft by 0658 - it was really noteworthy that majority of the passengers alighted at Bangalore, and a substantial portion of those passengers were connecting to international flights (mainly to Abu Dhabi). As soon as I was out of the airport, my taxi arrived, and I could conveniently reach office well on time.
|After alighting at BLR..|
Check-in: 5/5 (Web Checked in. Counter was Q-U-I-C-K!)
Cleanliness: 5/5 (Aircraft was clean)
Punctuality: 5/5 (Before time at both ends)
Crew: 5/5 (Reena deserves special applause. Great service by all the crew members)
Catering: 5/5 (Awesome food - was filling as well)
|Tracking from FR24..|
This was a great flight. Jet Airways put up a stellar show. The cabin crew were great. The aircraft was clean, well before time and an eventless flight.