Introduction to a European Birthday Adventure
New Delhi to Abu Dhabi (Jet Airways First Class 777-300ER)
Abu Dhabi to London (Etihad First Class A380)
London to Rome (British Airways Business Class A319)
Hotel Boutique Nazional (Rome 1)
Mainson Tofani Hotel (Sorrento)
Best Western Plus Hotel Milton (Rome 2)
Hotel Palazzo Manfredi – Relais & Chateaux (Rome 3)
Rome to Paris (Air France Business Class A321)
Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (Paris)
Paris to Doha (Qatar Airways First Class A380)
Al Safwa First Class Lounge (Doha)
Doha to New Delhi (Qatar Airways Business Class 787-8)
Jet Airways Boeing 777-300ER
New Delhi - Abu Dhabi
Class: First Class
I have to admit - I wasn't immediately excited to fly this leg for two reasons: 1 - This flight was taking off at 4:25am, which means I didn't know how to enjoy it at that time without sleeping, or sleeping before, and 2 - They had changed my Etihad plane to their partner Jet Airways's plane - and it's not known for having a product which is as good.
However, after a quick nap at home, I was a little more excited when the arranged Chauffeur (free for First and certain Business class Passengers on Etihad) came by to pick me up in an E-Class Mercedes, and whisked me away to the Indira Ghandi International Airport. It was only a 20-25 min drive at this time of the morning, but it was pleasant as the driver was incredibly professional and helpful with the bags. Admittedly this was my first 'actual First Class trip' (the real first being an upgrade on Qatar, but the seats were just Business which they called First), but I still wasn't completely excited to fly on Jet when I was expecting Etihad. Once I checked in, I was immediately guided by an airport employee to the Customs/Security Check area (only the second time they've done this in India) and pointed towards the Lounge.
I won't go into the Lounge much, Indian lounges have been known to be very low in quality as they are shared lounges between airlines (only Emirates and Singapore Airlines have dedicated lounges to my knowledge), and the Plaza Premium lounge was no better (admittedly I find the food spread a little better in the ITC Green Lounge next door). As I was meeting family in Italy, I made sure to check if their flight (from Bangalore) was on time so we could co-ordinate arrivals, and decided not to eat anything as nothing looked particularly appetizing.
When I arrived at the gate we were already boarding so I walked to the First/Business line and straight into the plane, where I was shown to my seat by a lovely Estonian flight attendent. It was here she told me that I was the ONLY person in First Class on this flight, and then I was really excited - I've never had a section of this plane just for me, let alone 3 air-hostesses looking after me! I'm absolutely terrible with names, so I only recall their country of origin, but the lovely ladies working my 'section' were Indian, Romanian (Cabin crew head), and Estonian, and service was pretty decent all around - It's worth noting that these were Etihad Flight crews as Jet and Etihad are partner airlines, despite it being a Jet plane. As for the plane itself, and the seats - I was actually surprised at how nice Jet Airway's first class cabins look after all the flak I've read online - they weren't exactly modern (their touch screen devices were clearly first gen), but they looked fairly fresh and cosy, and the red-ish/purple tones give a soothing feeling. Given on the seat was a blanket, an amenity kit, a pillow, and headphones. Being alone also helped in getting a good look at the entire cabin, which had large seats with veneer side tables and wooden slider doors (manual). All images were taken on my phone, so for some reason the tone of the seat color changes with the light/angle.
The seats themselves were fairly spacious, with an ottoman for your feet (or someone else to sit on) - which also doubles as a space to store your carry on underneath. Comfort wise I would say it was pretty decent, which I was quite happy about.
How do you know you're on a Jet Airways plane and not an Etihad flight? The food. The Menu (granted it was a dawn flight) looked pretty bad, so I decided to stick with just Champagne (Champagne Bollinger La Grande Annee - which was pretty nice and is Etihad's standard Champagne) and fruits for 'breakfast', along with a Fruit Smoothie Energy drink (which was quite delicious). As usual, champagne was not served till I was in the air, but the smoothie with their standard mezze welcome dishes worked well till then. The one disappointment with the Champagne is that Jet Airways used to serve Dom Perignon in the air to First Class, but that is no longer the case.
The flight attendants would usually come and ask if I required anything else till I closed the door, and I would say they were all fairly friendly, but in limitations, as I chatted a bit here and there with all of them during the flight, till I decided to close up shop and get some shut eye. As you can see from the images above, once the door is closed, it's very private, and it still feels spacious. I did find it odd that no one offered to make the bed (not sure if that is an option on a 3.5 hour flight or not), but I ignored that as the blanked was good enough for a quick snooze.
I wasn't really feeling Amy Schumer's 'Train Wreck' and with an hour left of the flight, I decided to try and get a quick nap, which I was able to do as I said the seat itself was fairly comfortable. I was awoken probably after 30 mins of true sleep with the captain asking everyone to move back to their upright positions and so on. At this point it was nearing 8 or 9am India time, so I was feeling pretty groggy so I asked for a fresh Orange Juice as a pick me up while we landed. Sadly we were not allocated a gate and had to wait for the bus, but at least we landed 30 mins ahead of schedule. In true First Class fashion, business class passengers were held back so I could exit first, and we all shared a special bus for only First & Business Class passengers back to the terminal. I thanked the air hostesses and headed towards the Terminal, truly excited to try Etihad's First Class Apartment next.