On the Niner Whiskey ATR72: Mangalore to Bangalore

I was fully confused about hte return journey from Mangalore. I had exam duty the next day at College as well, and had to be back in Bangalore early in the morning. None of the buses seem to fit to my definition of "early" arrival. After a lot of thinking around, I booked a ticket on the last flight out of Mangalore - the one operated by Jet Airways. The ticket was delivered to my mail box in no time.

June 06, 2016:
I had just arrived from Bangalore and was trying to catch up some sleep at the hotel room. An email from Jet Airways reminded me about web check-in. I did web check-in through the mobile website of Jet Airways - a seamless experience - far less confusing than I had on another airline's mobile app. The boarding pass was delivered to my mail box soon later. I was quite happy and excited about bagging Sequence #1 again, and the first time on Jet Airways. I selected a seat at the back (#17F) as well.

I arrived at the hotel sometime around 1730 after exam duty. I was really sleepy since I hadn't slept for long the previous night. I had a quick sleep and got up only by 2000hrs. After getting ready fast, I checked out of the room and headed to the restaurant at the hotel for my dinner. Just as I finished my dinner, I fired up the Ola app and booked a cab - which arrived the hotel in about 2 minutes thence. It was fairly new cab, with a very nice driver. He drove quite fast, and dropped me at the airport by around 2142hrs. I still had close to 90 minutes to spare. Mangalore has common entrance and check-in facilities for international and domestic passengers. There was an international departure around the same time, and hence the entrance was very crowded. It took some time to get into the airport. Mangalore has two layers of security before one reaches the check-in counters. Almost all airline counters were closed - only Jet Airways counters were opened. However, all the open counters were earmarked for their Dubai flight! I asked a couple of Jet Airways staff standing nearby about the Bangalore flight, and they directed me to a counter that showed "Closed", but a staff was present. A very pleasant lady at the counter issued my boarding pass and handed over a baggage tag. I left the counter by 2134hrs.
The boarding pass..
Quite surprisingly, the security check area was closed. It seems, staff for the next shift hadn't yet taken over. However, the guard at the entrance pleasantly asked all passengers to remain seated while they waited for security check to be opened. The security gate was finally opened at 2141hrs - a huge queue formed by then already. I joined the crowd - frisking was very slow since there was only one frisking booth. I got past security by 2145hrs. I was among the first passengers to get to the security hold. I took a seat near a charging point and let my phone to charge. Most passengers were directly heading to the food court there. I really did not notice when the aircraft came, though. It was raining most of the time. I was quite busy watching a movie on my phone as well.

Date of Journey: June 06, 2016
Flight No: 9W2402 || Seat: 17F
Aircraft type: ATR72-500 || Regn: VT-JCJ
Sector: IXE-BLR
STD: 2310hrs, ATD: 2305hrs
STA: 0015hrs, ATA: 0011hrs

The first boarding call was made sometime around 2241hrs. I got past quickly and headed towards the gate. It was raining quite heavily outside, and the tarmac coach was yet to arrive. The bus came only around 2247hrs - it was all wet inside the bus, and most passengers had to stand - not that it was a long journey, but we are talking of a full service carrier! We got to the aircraft by 2251hrs. It was still raining outside, and the apron had water all around. No umbrellas were provided, and all passengers had to stand out in the rain while they were still preparing for boarding. Quite a lot of us did not get off the bus, and instead stood there waiting for boarding to commence. I finally got into the aircraft by 2255hrs. The aircraft was VT-JCJ.
VT-JCJ.. taken after getting to BLR
Boarding was completed by 2258hrs, and doors were armed at 2301hrs. In the deck was Capt Mohammed Raaz and First Officer Tarun, while Prathibha and Priyanka took care of the cabin. Safety demo began soon after the doors were armed. We started taxi at 2305hrs. Mangalore has power out bays, and the aircraft leaves the gate on its own power - basically the aircraft goes forwards, takes a 270 degree turn and heads to the runway. We took off from Runway 06 at 2308hrs. The aircraft banked right soon after takeoff and then climbed quite fast. I was quite sleepy, and the cabin was dark except for the lights from the warning symbols. I almost dozed off, but was woken up by the announcement about the seatbelt sign being turned off (2316hrs). The aircraft was not full - quite a few seats empty, including the one next to me. The meal cart rolled out soon - passengers with special requests were served first, followed by the regular service.
The same old sandwich..
The FAs took good care of passengers, and asked each one's choice giving out details of what was inside, and also cajoling some passengers who refused a meal. I was handed over my veg snack. It contained a very dry coleslaw sandwich, the imly candy, a Five star chocolate and a bottle of water. The bread was really dry and hard, while the filling was okayish. The FAs came around to clear the trays very soon, and post clearance, they switched off the cabin lights - setting a perfect environment to doze for a while, which I did. I woke up just as the landing announcements were made (2347hrs) and the attendants were busy setting up the cabin for landing. About 10 minutes later, the city of Bengaluru was visible - like diamonds strewn on black velvet.  We touched down at 0007hrs on Rwy09 and parked at the stand by 0011hrs. Since I was sitting at the aft end, I was among the first to get off (0014hrs). They did not wait for the tarmac coach to fill up and started off quite soon, dropping me at the terminal by 0021hrs. Since I had just my hand-baggage, I was out of the terminal in another 3 minutes.
As we prepared to land in BLR.. 
Ratings:
Check-in: 4.5/5 (Did Online Check-in. Confusion regarding counter at IXE)
Cleanliness: 5/5 (Aircraft was clean)
Punctuality: 5/5 (Before time at both ends)
Crew: 5/5 (They did their job well)
Catering: 3/5 (Dry bread, monotonous and repetitive food)
Overall: 4/5

Summary:
While the flying experience was good, the experience at check-in (lack of proper counters) and the monotonous food did dent the overall experience a bit. I really hope they refresh their menu a bit. This was a routine flight - nothing extraordinary to mention about. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

First ride on Airavat Diamond Class: Bangalore to Thrissur

The Bangalore "Satellite" bus station...