My Jet Airways Wishlist: consistent economy meal service

In case you did not get the memo, Jet Airways has been on the move again. After trying out a multiple brands model, it is coming back to becoming a full-service carrier. Here is how I see a full-service carrier v/s a no-frills carrier in India:

  • Mileage accrual and status recognition for frequent flyer elites
  • Priority services
  • a premium service cabin such as business class
  • meal service in all cabins
  • ability to offer connections

A few years back, I wrote a piece about Jet Airways cutting back on meal services. They were not eliminating meals, but progressively reducing the size of the meals, enough to make a snack size dinner. The reductions may not be prominent, but preserves are gone and the stuff on the plate progressively reduces. The worst part is, the meal service is inconsistent and the crew is clueless about the meals as well.

Here are 3 dinner meals I took earlier this month in economy…two are on medium-haul international sectors (BOM-KWI/KWI-BOM) and one is on a BOM-DEL flight recently.


BOM-DEL Dinner on Jet Airways

On this flight, the crew informs me that there is Butter Chicken and Dal, which gets me interested. And it turns out that there is no Daal but Eggplant. Like you would have noticed, no salads were served either.


KWI-BOM Economy Dinner on Jet Airways

This is one sad meal. Apparently there was yoghurt on the trays which the crew did not bother putting on mine, and like you can see, no bread/rotis on this meal.


BOM-KWI Economy Meal on Jet Airways

First and foremost, on this meal service, the crew had no idea of what to serve. The options were veg and non-veg as per them. So they served me a non-veg meal while looking around I figured there were two non-veg options: Indian and Arabic. I was stuck with the Arabic one with no choice given to me in the matter.

In contrast, have a look here. This is an Air India breakfast in economy on a domestic flight, and I think this tray contains more food than a Jet Airways meal tray.


My wishlist for Jet Airways has just one thing. Systemise these meals. Make sure your crew knows what they are serving, that they offer all the choices to the passengers, and the passengers get the right choice of meals. Also, put a consistent amount of food on the tray, no less no more. In the USA, there are meal standards defined by airlines so it is easy to predict the amount of food you’d be served if you were flying a particular route. No wonder it can be done here as well. 

Also, I wonder if they think out of the box about meal service anymore? Hey, it does not have to be rice and chappatis anymore. It could be sandwiches, pizzas and so on as well.

Also, don’t you think it is a pity that in the words of the chairman of 9W, meals are an important part of going full service, but the airline is doing nothing about it?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. I usually fly AI, had a chance to fly 9W a few hours back on DEL-BOM Y.
    Tested out your post, asked for the veg options. The FA actually gave me two options, then said its only one.
    Just asked for the dessert and water, says “no dessert has been loaded” :P, then after a second thought, “I think we have!”
    I think AI is better in at least this aspect.

  2. your first pic of the butter chicken and eggplant is the same meal I had for lunch on the DEL-BOM flight last week. Apparently the purser forgot to serve the parathas and then when everyone had finished their meal he came around asking if we would like one. You are right about the portion size reducing, the meal is more like a snack and really nothing to write back about.

  3. I recently flew 9W 17 from LHR to BOM. For breakfast, a tray with orange juice and a stale muffin was placed in front of me. I kept waiting for the hot item to also be placed on the tray (they sometime serve this separately) but it never came. A stale muffin and orange juice as breakfast on a long haul flight is just disgraceful.

  4. I had a surprisingly good experience with 9W yesterday. I was on the short 45-min AMD-BOM sector and was just expecting some packaged peanuts or something to be handed out.
    However, mark me surprised when I got a generously sized Vegetarian Frankie, a moist chocolate brownie and a fruit juice in a tetra pack along with bottled water! There was supposed to be a hot beverage run too but that had to be halted midway because of turbulence.
    All-in-all, it was more than amazing for a 45-min hop.

  5. The reductions was prominent.
    the food was so bad that at times you feel that it is being given to third class passenger( i will not use the word class 4 employees) & felt atleast in Lo fare airlines you could buy & eat.

  6. had a very similar experience with Jet. The drinks tray was grossly under equipped [ non alcoholic, since their alcoholic drinks are nothing to write about], and the food was inedible.
    seems they are being reduced to a feeder service for Etihad on global routes.

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