Review: Jet Airways Economy 737-800W Pune to Abu Dhabi

Review: Etihad Airways Economy 777-200LR Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi
Review: Jet Airways Economy 737-800W Abu Dhabi to Pune
Review: Jet Airways Economy 737-800W Pune to Abu Dhabi
Review: US Pre-Clearance Facility Abu Dhabi
Review: Etihad Airways Economy 777-200LR Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

YOUTUBE: Etihad Airways: Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi
YOUTUBE: Jet Airways: Abu Dhabi to Pune
YOUTUBE: Jet Airways: Pune to Abu Dhabi
YOUTUBE: Etihad Airways: Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles


 

Hello everyone and welcome back to this return flight from Pune to Los Angeles via Abu Dhabi. This first leg will be on a Jet Airways 737-800W from Pune to Abu Dhabi. Recall from my inbound flight that Pune is a very strict airport when it comes to photography and filming because it is also a military base. But I still took some videos which can be seen on my YouTube videos. But I only started the photos on the plane itself.

Pune airport is a very very convenient airport to get through. Especially because my flight was supposed to be at 4 AM, there were very little people when I arrived at the airport at around 2:30 AM. There was a slight issue with one of my carry-on bags “exceeding the allowed dimensions and weight, there” but I spoke in Marathi with the guy at the check in counter and got it to slide. After that fiasco, to the left there are about 3 immigration counters where your passport and boarding pass will be stamped, then you proceed forward to security. The security at all Indian airports is fairly strict and generally safe. Maybe this is why the electronics ban is applied to all flights from the Middle East and Europe to the US. But anyways, there was a small sitting area after the security were 2 gates are. What you need to realize is that the majority of the gates are upstairs which can be accessed by taking an escalator to the right of all the security. When upstairs, there are 5 gates. But there is one large sitting area for all 5 gates. Whenever your flight is called, then you get up top board your flight from the designated door.

Our flight was an hour late, which is no surprise for India flights. One thing that I noted last flight and just the same on this flight as well was that there was only one boarding call and everyone was invited to board at the same time. There was no special boarding for passengers traveling on premiere class or Jet Airways JetPrivilege elite members. I filmed the entire walk down the hall until we reached the jetway where armed people were.

Jet Airways

PNQ-AUH Boeing 737-800W

The seat itself was the same as it was in the first flight, but this flight I was a little bit further up and closer to the wing. I explained the details on the seat in my last flight, so I won’t go into detail about it here.

This is the first photo I took on this flight:

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View from the wing

After a relatively quick, boarding process, we began pushback and as I was filming the engine start, the person behind me told me “Filming is not allowed” in my native language, Marathi. I simply ignored him and continued recording because I could care less since we are on the plane now and the lights are out. We had a fairly long taxi to our takeoff runway 28. We had a decent length takeoff roll and we were up in the air with little to no bumps on departure and climb.

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climb out of PNQ

About 20 minutes after, the crew came around with breakfast service. At this time, there were blue streaks of light on the horizon just becoming visible.

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Breakfast boxed
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Breakfast unboxed

So by the time of this flight, my religious period of veg food only was over. So when the breakfast trolley reached my seat, I asked the crew for the non-veg option and he said sure. But when I unwrapped the aluminum, I realized I had been given the vegetarian option. Ultimately, this wasn’t a big deal, but this means I would have to wait until my Etihad flight to eat non-veg food again. I looked at my neighbor’s food and the non-veg option looked delicious. It was kheema with rice and dahi, which in English is spiced ground chicken with rice and an Indian version of greek yogurt.

Now here’s the meal photo again and here is how that tasted:

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Starting from the top left and going clockwise, the watermelons and grapes were perfectly sweet and tasted decently fresh too. To the right of that was butter for the bread at the bottom right. The Al Ain container just had water. Now the main course was not was I wanted, but it was very good. The white balls are called idli and they are basically a concoction of steamed batter which contains rice and fermented lentils. It’s one of my favorite things ever. The curry beneath it is sambar which is a tasty curry that you dip the idli in. The yellow stuff to the right is called Upma and that is cooked coarse rice flour mixed with vegetables. Everything was excellent. The upma wasn’t as tasty as the idli and sambar, but on the ground, upma generally does not have that much taste so it was very good for what it was.

As I look back on these past 2 Jet Airways flights, the food has been absolutely exceptional, so unless both these flights were anomalies, it appears that the airline has generally better food.

For the rest of the flight, it was all about the lovely views:

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sun rising
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pre-dawn over the Arabic Sea

Below is my favorite photo of the whole flight:

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This is after the sun had risen and my goodness was it lovely again:

Finally after it became “morning” it was around time we started our descent into Abu Dhabi. Surprisingly there was very little to no turbulence on this approach, though when we got out of the plane on ground, it was warm, but not very hot so I think that explains the lack of crazy uneven air.

We had a very smooth touchdown on runway 13L. After that we taxied across the construction of the midfield complex, which you can see below:

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AUH mid-field complex construction
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Crossing runway 13R/31L

Then we taxied to a remote parking spot which is where all the narrow-body planes are parked

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Gulf Air A320-200
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Etihad A321-200 sharklets
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Jet Airways 737-800W
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My plane

After stepping out of the plane, it was like LA weather on a warm day. It was decently warm, but not too hot. That definitely changes as the sun rises higher in the sky.

After that, we took a bus back to the terminal where I would connect to my return flight to LA, which included a painful process through the US-preclearance facility.

Overall I was pretty impressed in many aspects of both of these Jet Airways flights.

Here are the aspects which were good:

  • Great food across the board (from both of my experiences) and very sufficient quantity
  • friendly crew
  • seat width is decent

Here are the areas that need improvement:

  • need to improve in-flight entertainment system (not many movies at all
  • seat pitch is too little and therefore legroom becomes very cramped, especially with below-seat luggage
  • Being on time!!! (But this is genetically an issue for all of us Indians) 🙂

All things considered, I would definitely fly Jet Airways again, but I would avoid their narrowbody planes because of the legroom. The 777s would be a better bet because there should be more legroom due to the length of flights the widebody is used for. But the food was excellent, and all other aspects of the airline are decently enjoyable for me.

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