Just got back from a trip to India. A month long welcome for Hridyan. Exciting and tiring as usual. It had been three years since I visited India last – and since I am talking about travel, I was impressed by the changes at the Mumbai domestic and international terminals amongst many other things.
We flew via London. SF to London (11 hours) and London to Mumbai (10 hours) . The first leg was United and the second was Jet airways. I am not sure where to start or stop the comparison, but some main differences:
> Leg Space – Jet planes had at least 2″-3″ more space in the economy segment.
> Food – Two hot meals in United. Delicious and wholesome. United provided one passable meal. After about 6 hours of the first meal, they provided a snack pack – a chocolate bar, a cold turkey bun and a packet of chips. For six hours the only thing that was offered was water. This was by far the worst food experience in an international flight for me.
> Entertainment system – United had a 4″x3″ screen for each passenger with 8-9 movie selections. Archaic! Did not try the audio. Watching a movie on my iPhone might have been better. Jet airways had a digital entertainment system with 20+ movies. The screens were 8″x6″ and it was pure pleasure to watch on that screen.
> Travelling with baby – United assigned us the first row on our journey to India. Although that meant more leg space, the armrests were fixed and could not be raised. They did not provide a bassinet (unlike Jet) and it was a nightmare to put Hridyan to sleep in that arrangement. Jet on the other hand provided the same seats and we were given a bassinet right at take-off.
> Customer Service – The United crew for some reason (perhaps thinking that the baby was being playful) decided to ignore our service request bells. We had to – multiple times – go to the food area and get hot water for Hridyan ourselves.
I could go on some more – but I guess you get the point. United on long haul flights are terrible. I happened to compare them with Jet – which have always wowed me – but most other airlines treat you less like cattle-class! What is more surprising is that international flights are supposedly money makers for the airlines – and this is how they treat their most profitable customer segment…..