One of the first people, when an airline is financially affected, are the people who work there. Then come the passengers. I’d listed a whole lot of things about how will Jet Airways react regarding cost rationalisation.
The acts of the past few weeks show that it is the turn of the passengers who are now on the frontline of bearing the brunt of the financial situation at Jet Airways. Here are the earlier episodes of how this is playing out for the customers and their passenger experience:
- Jet Airways cuts meals for Deal and Light passengers
- Jet Airways passengers denied Lounge Access in Mumbai Airport
- Jet Airways meal cutbacks start
Late October, people who turned up as eligible for Lounge Access at Mumbai Airport, via their status or their ticket (Business/First) were all turned away by this innocuous looking notice.
Unfortunately, this happened just as Diwali traffic was picking up, which meant even more exposure and social media outrage. This was not only for the domestic lounge but the international lounge as well.
Jet Airways had not paid Mumbai’s Airport for lounge access, and as per news reports, the bill stood at a crazy INR 15 Crores ($2.2 million) outstanding or more. From there, there were no official statements from the airline, but they were quietly giving away eligible passengers JPMiles for the trouble they caused them.
Anyhow, I think that caused Jet Airways to fix one more end of the leaking financial bucket finally. And they decided against the customer.
Jet Airways has back in the day been off and on about lounge access to customers, and they are going to use their predictable playbook again. The lounge is an expense item, so it is also dispensable. In 2011, they took away +1 lounge access from Platinum members. In 2012, it cut away lounges from many cities altogether. In 2012 itself, Jet Airways cut away lounge access for silver members later in the year. In 2015, they brought back Lounge privileges, including +1 for Platinum members. In 2016, it cut away +1 access for Platinum members. Subsequently, they cut away Lounge access on Deal fares.
Here are the current lounge access policies and the stations where it is valid.
Hereon, Jet Airways Gold and Platinum Members will no longer be able to access the Lounges at any Jet Airways station effective December 1, 2018. If you are travelling on a premium cabin ticket, issued in cash or miles, however, lounge access will be given to you. What does not work is when you upgrade your ticket to Premiere using cash, miles or vouchers since the privileges are on the back of your old ticket only. As per Jet Airways, this is temporary.
The new policy is valid for everyone due to travel on December 1, 2018, regardless of when your ticket was issued. Here is the notice on the Jet Airways website.
Effective Dec 1, 2018 we have revised our complimentary lounge access policy for guests travelling in Economy.
- Complimentary lounge access for JetPrivilege Platinum and Gold members travelling in Economy will be temporarily suspended.
- Complimentary lounge access will continue to be provided for guests travelling in First Class and Première across our domestic and international network.
- The revised policy is only applicable for guests travelling on flights operated by Jet Airways.
- Silver tier members starting their journey or transiting through Abu Dhabi will not be able to enjoy complimentary lounge access at Abu Dhabi airport.
- For travel on flights operated by our codeshare/interline partner airlines, lounge access will continue to be offered to guests travelling in First Class and Première as per the existing policy
- Eligible elite tier members of our partner airlines will not be provided complimentary lounge access when travelling in Economy on flights operated by Jet Airways.
Guests travelling in First Class and Première from Mumbai can enjoy complimentary access to the lounge at Mumbai Airport with immediate effect.
Like you would note, Jet Airways has reinstated lounge access for First Class and Premiere passengers who are using the Mumbai Airport with immediate effect.
This is another unfortunate turn of events for passengers, and there is no other way to put it out. Fortunately or not, domestic travel for me is done for the year, unless something pops up last minute getting me to scoot out of my chair.
And while this affects Jet Airways, it also affects tonnes of lounge operators across the country as well who planned in Jet Airways’ projections while planning capacity. While I haven’t been to Delhi Plaza Premium Lounge since June 2018, preferring to go to the American Express Lounge instead, I had seen them expanding their lounge to be able to accommodate Jet Airways passenger flow.
How do you access the lounge now?
There are fortunately many other ways to get Lounge access. Here are some of the easier ways to get Lounge Access:
- Your debit cards may have one or two lounge access included. Check with your bank
- You can apply for a credit card to get lounge access. Here are a few good ones:
- Jet Airways ICICI Bank Sapphiro American Express Credit Cards get you four free lounge access per quarter (16 per year). Lounge Access is available in Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad. If you are Jet Airways Platinum, you get the card free anyways.
- Jet Airways American Express Platinum Credit Card gets you lounge access as well to the Amex Lounge in Delhi, hopefully Amex Mumbai, definitely TFS Mumbai, Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur. You don’t have to be flying Jet Airways to be able to access the lounge.
- American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card gets you lounge access as well to the Amex Lounge in Delhi, hopefully Amex Mumbai, definitely TFS Mumbai, Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur. You don’t have to be flying Jet Airways to be able to access the lounge.
- American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card gets you one free lounge access to 9 lounges around the country per quarter, making four lounge accesses free per year.
- Alternatively, you can buy lounge access. If you expect to use a lot of lounges, sign up for the Priority Pass, going at a discount due to Black Friday today. It gives you access to 1200 lounges globally.
- For individual lounge access when you need it, just head to Lounge Buddy and buy it.
What do you think of the latest move from Jet Airways? How does it affect you? We want to hear. Also, I am sure since Jet Airways reads this site very often, they would love to know too. Comment away.