Last week, I flew down to Delhi on an unscheduled trip. Everything alright, just some paperwork that needed my attention there. Then, a couple of days back, it was time to fly back. Fares were pretty high on last minute. After some looking, I found a couple of options, apart from the usual. The usual was a direct flight to Mumbai, which I would usually sign up for. Mind you, I was only seeking Jet Airways fares at this moment since ballpark everything was in the same range, so I did not see any reason to fly no-frill carriers.
The other options for me were to fly Delhi – Jaipur – Mumbai at 6 AM in the morning, which would have meant a 4 AM start to the day. I’d be the first to admit I gave up on early morning flights like 5 years ago. The other option, which looked slightly better, was an evening connection, via Udaipur. I could have flown Delhi Udaipur on an ATR, and connected on Udaipur-Mumbai on a 737 with a 50 minutes layover. Now, in my past experience, this is all doable, given everything works out smoothly. Also, it helped that I was only going to fly 15 miles more for this connection.
So, I booked up two tickets on the evening connections, as Shipra was happy to play along as well. I had been hearing a lot about the new meal boxes that Jet Airways launched on short-haul flights (less than 90 minutes), replacing the preceding meal boxes. They looked good but I wanted to try one for myself, and flying trunk routes all the time meant I could never lay my hands on those. So this was my shot.
Your in-flight meal now comes in an all-new eco-friendly box! pic.twitter.com/dIGcIhDcZu
— Jet Airways (@jetairways) January 18, 2018
This was also my opportunity to go back to an ATR aircraft of Jet Airways after a while.
At the airport, it all looked good too. Shipra and I walked up to the counters, collected our boarding passes and checked-in our bags. No questions asked. No options were given to switch to a direct flight at that time.
It was while I was waiting at the teeming Priority Plaza Lounge. However, I got a message that Jet Airways flight to Udaipur was delayed by 1.5 hours, that would have meant two things. Either I was going to take that plane and misconnect in Udaipur, or they would have held the Udaipur – Mumbai flight for us to board, given we were already checked in and all.
Did not hear anything from Jet Airways for a while, so we presumed that everything was alright. I did not want to be excessively curious and go with the flow. However, I got a call a few minutes later from the airline. I was asked to go and meet the agents at the gate, who would help me with my options on a new flight.
I headed to the gate, and after some taps on the keyboard, I had a new boarding pass. While they made the flight selection and The duty officer, Soma, was extremely efficient and apologetic about the misconnect. She also apologized to keep us waiting for an hour since the next flight was closed and hence we only had the flight after that which we could take, but would still bring us home around the original time. My big game plan went to dust, so I only requested her to help us with some good seats to make the ride home comfortable. We got 10E/F, which are the best seats in economy.
It turned out we were not the only two nut cases flying the weird routing of Delhi – Udaipur – Mumbai. There were four other people doing the same routing. I was wondering what was their inspiration to fly that route. I turned up at the gate at the time to board to an incredibly full flight.
But the unsuccessful attempt to fly one-stop to Mumbai did have a positive byproduct. I was able to get a very nice plane with some very sturdy seats, and a very very delicious meal. One of my best meals indeed on a Jet Airways flight in a while. I was happy the tray was full again!
All is well that ends well. I wasn’t sure how this rebooking process would work. Even outside of India, usually people who don’t have bags go first for rebooking, and bags are usually sent on the original flights. But in this case, we arrived at a good time, and also our bags came along, first on the belt. It was the first time in 15 years of flying Jet Airways I had to be re-accommodated, but the process worked out smoothly.
Have you ever had to be re-accommodated on a flight? What has been your experience?