Booking The Trip: A (slightly crazier) Southeast Asian Path to India
Review: P.F Changs LAX (Priority Pass Restaurant)
Review: EVA Air 777-300ER Premium Economy Class Los Angeles to Taipei
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Taipei Terminal 2 Zone A
Review: UNI Air A321-200 Economy Class Taipei to Seoul Incheon
Review: The Millenium Seoul Hilton
Trip Photos: A Day and a Half in Seoul
Review: Korean Air First Class Lounge Seoul Incheon
Review: Korean Air 777-300ER Kosmos Suites First Class Seoul Incheon to Bangkok
Review: Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Golf Resort & Spa
Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge Bangkok
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Review: Malaysia Airlines 737-800 Business Class Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur
Review: Malaysia Airlines Satellite Golden Business Class Lounge Kuala Lumpur
Review: Kuala Lumpur A330-300 Business Class Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai
Review: SpiceJet 737-900ER SpiceMax Pune to Goa
Review: Air India A321-200 Economy Class Goa to Mumbai
Review: Air India A320Neo Economy Class Mumbai to Bengaluru
Review: Air India A319-100 Economy Class Bengaluru to Mumbai
Review: GVK International Business Class Lounge West Wing Mumbai
Review: Singapore Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Mumbai to Singapore
Review: Crowne Plaza Hotel Singapore
Trip Photos: 8 hours in Singapore
Review: Singapore Airlines A380-800 NEW Business Class Singapore to Hong Kong
Review: Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Review: United Club Lounge Hong Kong
Review: Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Hong Kong
Review: Hong Kong Airlines Club Bauhinia Lounge Hong Kong
Review: EVA Air A330-300 Premium Laurel Class Hong Kong to Taipei
Review: EVA Air 777-300ER Premium Economy Class Taipei to Los Angeles
YOUTUBE: EVA Air: Los Angeles to Taipei
YOUTUBE: UNI Air: Taipei to Seoul Incheon
YOUTUBE: Korean Air: Seoul Incheon to Bangkok
YOUTUBE: Malaysian Airlines: Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur
YOUTUBE: Malaysian Airlines: Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: SpiceJet: Pune to Goa
YOUTUBE: Air India: Goa to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: Air India: Mumbai to Bengaluru
YOUTUBE: Air India: Bengaluru to Mumbai
YOUTUBE: Singapore Airlines: Mumbai to Singapore
YOUTUBE: Singapore Airlines: Singapore to Hong Kong
YOUTUBE: EVA Air: Hong Kong to Taipei
YOUTUBE: EVA Air: Taipei to Los Angeles
Welcome to my hometown! Today we’ll fly SpiceJet from Pune down to Goa.
SpiceJet on most routes has two classes of service. Economy and SpiceMax. However, after the takeover of many Jet Airways planes which have business class seats, they have since introduced a new product called SpiceBiz. So now they essentially have an economy class, premium economy class, and a business class. Today I will be traveling in SpiceMax (premium economy class).
At Pune Airport, SpiceMax passengers have their own dedicated check in lane. If SpiceMax passengers have their own check-in lane at Pune, you can bet just about any other Indian airport that SpiceJet serves will also have priority check-in lanes.
As a SpiceMax Passenger, this is what you get included that normal economy fares don’t:
- A dedicated check-in lane like shown below
- Free Checked bag
- Priority boarding
- Access to SpiceMax seats which have extra legroom and are at the front of the plane
- Complimentary hot meal on flights that allow for it with proper time.
And the price difference was around $18 which I absolutely found worthwhile for all of what’s included.
Unfortunately, with the way the airport is designed, it was hard to get a picture of the plane beforehand and Pune Airport is a military airport with strict photography rules with army people stationed all over the main terminal. So let’s get right to the flight itself.
SpiceMax passengers were called to board before the rest of the plane and so we were on board first.
June 26th, 2019
After boarding, I went to my seat which was seat 3F. On the 737-900, the first three rows are SpiceMax Seats and then the emergency exit rows are also SpiceMax. Essentially the entire plane is configured with Economy Class seats. The only difference in terms of the hard product is that SpiceMax seats have extra legroom.
Remember the seats are the same for economy and SpiceMax, so the hard product review applies to allThe seatback cushioning was decent and so was the seat cushion. It was certainly ample enough for a 1-hour flight. The legroom was honestly ok. It was certainly enough for me, but with the amount of things they stuff in the seat pocket, it reduces the legroom a good amount. I am 5′ 10″ (1.78m) so it was enough for me but that may not be the case for all, especially in a normal economy class seat.
On international flights in SpiceMax, SpiceJet has a generally more elaborate pre-departure service, but not on domestic flights.
And here are some views of the passenger tarmac at Pune.
And here is the branding on the seat.
Finally, we pushed back and began a long taxi to the runway. The passenger terminal is all the way at the end of the runway, the opposite end of the actual departure runway. So we spent some time taxiing the full length of the runway on a parallel taxiway.
Finally we reached the end and turned onto runway 28 for departure.
As usual, since you takeoff flying into Pune, you get some great views on departure.
We turned left to head south towards Goa from there and were greeted with the thick clouds of the monsoon season.
About 5 minutes after takeoff, the crew got to work immediately. Service on SpiceJet is pretty straightforward. All SpiceMax passengers get a free hot meal, either vegetarian or non-vegetarian. And if you are in normal economy, then you can pre-book a meal for a fee and you will be served the meal as soon as its been heated. So if you pre-ordered a meal, regardless of SpiceMax class or economy class, you will be served first. Then after that if you want to order from the menu card you are able to do so. The snack cart starts from the front and works its way back.
I had selected the non-veg option for my complimentary meal.
First things first: for what is basically an economy meal on a one hour flight, I thought it was beautifully presented and shaped. But how did it taste? Extremely flavorful.
The lentils were nicely cooked in masalas and went well with the rice. The chicken was also incredibly flavorful and if I had any qualm at all, the chicken was slightly undercooked and that’s a minor point as long as it’s still cooked through completely. Everything was spicy and incredibly flavorful which is just how I like my food. Do beware though if you are used to international palates, then just bear in mind the food maybe a little on the spicier side for you, but for me it was perfect.
This dessert is called a barfi and it was nice and tasty and had the proper texture that I expected it to have. Barfis can have many different flavors depending on how you prepare and with what fruits/nuts.
There was also bread and butter provided with the meal which was standard, but I always like Amul butter more than normal butter.
A bottle of water was also given with each meal.
Honestly, the meal was absolutely phenomenal. The main course was good, the barfi was good, the bread was fine and it was a more than sufficient meal for 1 sub one hour flight. Especially when airlines in the US may not even serve a bag of pretzels on a sub-hour flight this is exceptional. Of course costs for everything are much much lower here compared to the US but in either case still.
The only downside to all this was the flight time. Since the flight was so short, I only had between 8 and 10 minutes from the time the meal was served to the time the meal tray had to be collected. I can eat fast when needed but many others didn’t even finish their meal. So the meal service was definitely rushed. The crew were not relaxing at all either in flight and with them still being constantly on the move, there was no time. So at the end of all this, I really appreciate the full meal service, but for the sake of logistics and to allow the crew to have a more relaxing in flight experience, a snack box will do like what Air India does, or just the hot meal by itself will be even better. But I still have no complaints with either.
We had already begun our descent in all this into a rainy Goa.
Finally, we came through the clouds for a final approach into Goa.
Goa is unique in that its buildings have a lot of Portugese influence compared to other cities in India which have a more British influence, so it was cool to see all of that on final approach.
The views of Vasco, the city where the airport is, were also nice.
Finally we touched down and had a 10-15 minute taxi to the gate.
And here’s one last look, and the best look I got at my plane. Like Pune Airport, Goa Airport is also a military airport. As a matter of fact, the name of the airport is Dabolim Navy Airport. So photography is not allowed here either. But oh well ;).
Overall, this was a great flight. SpiceJet is not well known on the international level since they don’t have as extensive of a route network internationally compared to major airlines like Air India. However for traveling, its a great option and one I would strongly consider if you aren’t loyal to any alliance and/or are just looking for a comfortable flight. For those questioning the safety of this airline, it has the highest safety rating of any Indian airline and is definitely safe to fly. As a matter of fact, a lot of pilots in India are among the best in the world as they are former military pilots trained to fly at much faster speeds in any sorts of weather, so you can guarantee a standard commercial flight is in good hands.
Point being, for the price you are paying, for what you get at that price, SpiceJet SpiceMax boasts a phenomenal value and definitely an airline to consider on future flights if it’s an option.