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Delhi-Indore-Delhi on Jet (Dec '13): Unexpected experiences.

Delhi-Indore-Delhi on Jet (Dec '13): Unexpected experiences.

Old Dec 25, 13, 3:16 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Delhi-Indore-Delhi on Jet (Dec '13): Unexpected experiences.

Introduction

My name is Mayank, I'm 20 years old and this is my first post on Airliners-India. I'm an aviation enthusiast. I have been following Airliners-India since long. I'm currently a student pursuing engineering from the University of Delhi.

Exams were over on the 7th. It was time for a short hop to Indore for a family wedding. It was 19 of us travelling outbound and 20 of us inbound (The bride was with us on the way back Razz). The tickets had been booked 3 weeks in advance and the schedule was as follows:

DEL-IDR SG 2327 0610-0805 Q400 DEC15 (SPICEJET)
IDR-DEL 9W 2254 1220-1420 ATR-72-600 DEC16 (JET KONNECT)

About a week before travel, Spicejet cancelled its flight citing technical reasons. This meant the outbound flight re-booked to the following:

DEL-IDR 9W 791 0620-0750 B737-800 DEC15 (JET AIRWAYS)

15th December

We woke up at 3 a.m. and left home by 4.30 a.m. to reach the airport by 5.05 a.m. in what seemed as normal visibility in winters, some shallow fog, nothing to be concerned about.

At the airport, it took us 10 minutes to reach the counter after entering the check-in line. The gate for boarding was quite far and hence, by the time we reached, the boardig had begun.

DEL-IDR
9W 791
STD/ATD: 0620/0610
STA/ATA: 0750/0723
Load: 85-90%

It was still dark outside. The flying time was announced to be 1 hour. The flight took off at 0620 into a yet to dawn sky.

As soon as the seat belt sign was switched off, the crew spung into action. We were cruising at an altitude of 32000 feet. We were to be served a breakfast on this short hop. The options were Omelette or South Indian. I took the South Indian option, sceptical about the Omlette quality onboard. The tray was rather small as compared to the OldJetTimes. Anyway, it contained a bread roll, nice and soft, a fruit bowl and a main meal box composing of Upma and Idli drenched in Sambhar, nice and hot. I sat on the window facing east and could see the first rays of the sun emerge into the dark sky. The view went well with the hot meal. The food quality was good, I expected the Upma, though, to have more flavour. The portions were filling specially at this unappetising hour (i usually eat breakfast at 11 a.m.). The crew started the coffee/tea service. As I sipped the coffee, the Sun finally began to rise on the left.

The flight takes a path towards Jaipur (:O) and continues on the DEL-BOM route until late when it takes a sharp left turn towards Indore. By the time the crew finished the service and the last few were served, the captain commenced descent into Indore. We were reaching well before scheduled time. The capain announced a touch down time of 0718 and true it was. Exactly at 0718 we touched down rather smoothly into Indore. The temperature outside was cold, 12 Deg Celsius.

That was a busy day. We were staying at the 5 star property, Sayaji Hotel in the outskirts of the city. The vnue of the wedding that evening was a party lawn in the hotel.

16th December

The wedding went well and another member, the bride, joined the 19 of us to make it 20. At 10 a.m., I received a message from Jet Airways announcing a delay of 2 hours and 35 minutes and the new scheduled time was 1455. This was due to heavy fog in Delhi that morning. We checked out at 11 from the hotel and waited in the lobby extremely tired from the last two days' proceedings, lacking sleep. We left the hotel at 1250 to reach the airport by 1320. The flight was further delayed to 1530. The boarding began on time at 1505.

IDR-DEL
9W 2254
STD/ATD: 1220/1531
STA/ATA: ?/1420
Load: 85%

The aircraft was a ATR-72-600, the brand new VT-JCY, the only aircraft of this type, Jet had. It was a very clean cabin and two very warm cabin crew welcomed us onboard. The legroom was a lot. It seemed to be yet another comfortable flight. We took off into Indorian skies. I had once flown on an ATR on Jet from DEL-IXC and on a clear sunny day, the turbulence on board was a lot. Today, nothing of that seemed, and we were going through this very smooth flight. Mom kept her head on the shoulder to catch some necessary sleep. I overheard the landing gear retraction sounds atleast 3-4 times, thought it was routine. Then, I saw the aircraft take a turn towards the right and a pretty large turn at that, when I began to suspect that there could be no such turn on the way to Delhi knowing that this could happen in a holding position near Delhi but not as soon as 15-20 minutes into the flight. We were climbing smoothly. Suddenly, the captain comes on to annouNce that due to a 'technical snag in the landing gear' of the aircraft, we'll be returning to Indore. This scared many passengers on board. This was my first emergency aboard an aircraft. I tried to use the washroom, but i was denied access by the cabin crew. The seat belt sign was on throughout the flight. Soon, we were on final approach to Indore, returning faster than we left. Since, the captain didn't announce us to come into the brace position, I was quite optimistic that this was nothing serious, with people around me taking the name of god. A chinese girl sitting with boyfriend and seated behind me, broke into tears. We were now over the runway, making final adjustments to align with the runway. We made a rather hard landing and used a large portion of the runway to stop but atleast we were safe. We had landed back at 1610 and were told to keep seated inside the aircraft until further instructions.

The engineers arrived to make checks on the aircraft. In the mean time, the engines were switched off and the aircraft started to become hot as the AC doesn't work on this aircraft type when the engines are switched off. I moved to the back of the aircraft and got into a converstaion with the crew. One of the crew members was very experienced. This had been her second emergency situation after one on a Abu Dhabi sector flight (Any idea, which one? She told me, it wasn't the one with the bomb scare). My mom joined and we chatted for quite a while. She was impressed by my knowledge of the aviation sector and insisted I did a CPL Razz. It was over an hour now and it was getting tiring. People began to panic on board.

The problem on this aircraft couldn't be rectified and hence we had to change the aircraft. It was going to be a long journey for us. Just some time back, 9W 2387 had arrived from Mumbai and it's outbound from Indore was rather empty. We were to be accomodated to Mumbai on 9W 2388 and then connected on to 9W 309 to Delhi from there. Some of the passengers were continuing on to Lucknow, they were told to disembark at Indore. We had a lot of connecting passengers on this flight. A chinese group had a connecting flight on China Southern to Guangzhou. A passenger was connecting to Bhubaneshwar. An alone child (12 yrs) was on his way to Dubai via Delhi. The child was made to stay back in Indore. Another passenger was connecting to Hong Kong from Delhi and was sceptial of missing his flight.

After we disembarked from the ATR, I had a chat with the Captain, he told me that the Landing Gear problem was that it wasn't retracting after take off. In such a scenario, the aircraft consumes more fuel and we wouldn't have reached Delhi and would have ran out of fuel. So, it was necessary to return back.

Only those passengers who were on their way to Delhi and/or onwards to some other destination on any airline except Jet were supposed to go on the IDR-BOM-DEL flight. The cabin crew and ground staf then began distributing boarding passes for our next two flights and then we were made to board a bus that took us to the B737-800 waiting for us (the aircraft stood at walking distance). The sun was setting in Indore. A beautiful sun set behind the terminal buildingrunning shades of Orange in the sky. Before boarding, we were told to identify our luggage.

IDR-BOM
9W 2388
STD/ATD: 1635/1820
STA/ATA: 1810/1923
Load: With us onboard, about 98-100% in Y, J class rather empty

The crew welcoming us onboard was Bombay based. Passengers on board were tired of waiting. All 20 of us got seats all over the aircraft. A flight time of 50 minutes was announced and soon we were on our way to Mumbai. Travelling towards west, slight rays of the sun were still to be seen. The cabin crew went on with Buy On Board service. I purchased Italian and Mexican spiced Banana Chips and Lemonade, both being quite good. The cabin crew rushed the service as the captain had annouced descent. The view outside was fantastic, very good visibility. We soon landed into Mumbai already extremely tired.
The ground staff made all Delhi bound passengers wait on the tarmac and were told to confirm the number of baggages they had. Then we were told to board a bus to the already waiting aircraft.

BOM-DEL
9W 309
STD/ATD: 1930/1950
ATA/ATA: 2135/2158
Load: Almost 100% with us onboard. J class was amost full too.

By now, we were exhausted and weren't given an rest in Mumbai, straight on to another flight. A mild headache had begun. This was the 2nd flight we had delayed. As soon as all of us were onboard, doors were shut and we began our departure. We were in a line for take off and finally took off by 2005 or so. After the seat belt signs were switched off, the cabin crew began dinner service. This was the only good thing about the longer routing of our flight. There were two options: Veg had Chinese Veg Shezuan and Non Veg had Chicken, Rice, Parantha and Cauliflower curry. I had the Non Veg meal. The main meal tasted good. The chicken was extremely succelent. For dessert, there was Gulab Jamun, decent, but overly sweet. I promptly denied the coffee. After half an hour of the completion of service, we were on our descent into Delhi. We were hopeful of no fog in Delhi, else we could face anther diversion! :/ The captain announced fog in Delhi but a comfortable 500 metre visibility on the runway. We were soon on final approach, the headache turned bad from mild, and landed very smoothly into Delhi.

Overall: Jet Airways handed the situation pretty well, reacting well to the situation. They did well to make us reach Delhi on the same day and no one in the group missed their flight. The meal quality on board was decent. The cabin crew were warm. Handling of passengers by ground staff was excellent. All in all, a good experience on Jet, but overall a tiring journey.
mayankarora1411 is offline  
Old Dec 26, 13, 1:42 am
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Welcome to Flyertalk. Thanks for the report.
AJLondon is offline  
Old Dec 26, 13, 5:07 am
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Welcome to FT!

These kids of mechanical issues come up fairly frequently, but it's good to see that 9W handled it well. There are so many mechanical diversions that it is more or less impossible to know which incident the FA was discussing in flight.
PVDtoDEL is offline  
Old Dec 29, 13, 1:40 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Nice experience shared. As mentioned in one of the comments above, technical snags can happen anywhere, its how you react to them. I think Jet airways did pretty well.
Indotraveller is offline  
Old Dec 29, 13, 6:12 pm
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Nice, would love to see some pictures of the Indian airports/planes
HangukStyle is offline  
Old Dec 29, 13, 7:16 pm
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Thank you for sharing.

Quite an eventful return journey for you! Hope the decent meal on the Mumbai - Delhi leg at the end warded off your headache.

It was interesting to read your mention of passengers connecting from China Southern as well.

Look forward to reading another report from you sometime.
michlflyer is offline  
Old Feb 19, 14, 12:16 pm
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Interesting tr. Thanks for posting.
camsean is offline  
Old Feb 19, 14, 7:22 pm
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Hey, thanks for describing your experiences in such detail. Hope that the next time you travel, you have a camera handy to document some of the situations. People like to see pictures of the food, of the waiting area and whatever else you can capture while making the trip. Glad that everything turned out okay after all.
Slow_Mustang is offline  

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