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They know how to be brilliant! 9W BOM-CMB-BOM (pics/vids)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:49 am    Post subject: They know how to be brilliant! 9W BOM-CMB-BOM (pics/vids) Reply with quote


Link to previous TR:

Finally, clearance from the Sri Lankan government had come for Dad to set up the office, and Dad decided to do so really quickly. Before this, Dad had gone to Colombo twice already during my sickness, via Chennai. School had started in Colombo, and I already missed a month due to my sickness and other reasons. Dad was representing his bank in the Asian Bankers Association conference in Colombo. It was decided that I will start off school, get all the missed work back to Mumbai, do it during the week while packing, and then set off for Colombo, finally. So, it was onto us to decide which flights to go in. Jet Airways (yes, once again) was the cheapest option. They gave the late night flight from BOM to MAA (9W-487), and then the early morning flight from MAA to CMB (9W-254). We came up to the conclusion: If we have to waste a night by doing 2 flights which will be full, and transit through a relatively boring airport, why not do it in one convenient way.
So we booked on the usual: 9W 256 and 255 for: 2nd October 2011 and 7th October 2011.
And by now, the episode of the Turkish Airlines Airbus A340-300 was over. I'm was disappointed that I missed it, I had a really good chance of seeing it Crying or Very sad

After web-checking in to seat 25F for myself, and 21F for Dad, I did not get any sleep. So I was awake the whole night. Next day, I had a plan to go and watch Johnny English Reborn. And boy did I laugh my stomach out! Rowan Atkinson still has everything to be a great comedian! As the day passed, I packed my books, my clothes, etc, but forgot my tooth brush! After doing stuff on The Flight Simulator which one must NEVER do....

(All due respect to both airlines, I do these even with my favourite airlines as well!) was time we left for the airport. We called a cab, and surprisingly there was TV on the seat back! Weird! No TV’s for the flight, but a TV in the cab! I saw the trailer of The Avengers, which looks like a great movie! Then I replied all my final goodbye messages, despite me coming the next week, because it would be a really busy week. We reached the usual crowded entrance of the CSI Airport. This time, we were welcomed by an Air India Boeing 777-200LR being serviced. Mighty! We arrived, 3 hours before departure and at the really frustrating scene of ‘NO TROLLEYS’. This is also a usual procedure in Mumbai. Damn! We entered the airport, and check-in at the Privilege counters took an unusual 12 minutes. The agent had said that my Dad had to undergo a ‘Random Customs Check’ before security. The crew of Malaysia Airlines flight to KL had entered the ‘Crew Immigration’ lane. Our immigration didn’t take too long and lines for security were also pretty short. But Dad had to go to the customs desk, where they asked how much US$ we had. Anyways, they let us go, and completed security, this time making sure ALL bags had cabin baggage tags. We headed down to the departure and Duty Free areas. We had some dinner and bought a few things from the bookshop.

The Celebrations Restaurant..

Duty free area..

Flight was departing from Gate 13, once again. I was bored by the third time of boarding from Gate 13, while Dad didn’t even bother, boarding from the same gate for the seventh time this year, on the same flight. Boarding for 9W-242 to Johannesburg was still in progress. Boarding for 9W-061 to Bangkok was finished long before. Some passengers were really frustrated about their Kingfisher transit, apparently they missed their flight.

Down towards Gate 13...

They missed their flight, so they let it out on the ground staff. Who knows whom to blame?

Our boarding had started 20 minutes later. The super-chilled A/C bus was getting quite full, bad news for me, as I felt that my row would not be empty, but good news for 9W, as they had enough yields on this sector (anybody know about the DEL-CMB-DEL yields?) A 9W 332 was waiting at aerobridge, probably 9W-226 to BRU and EWR.

A dark Air India Boeing 747-400 taxied into the aerobridge, in-between a Lufthansa Boeing 744 and a British Airways Boeing 772. Jet Airways flight 9W-076 to Hong Kong was again revving up its engines (yep, it was slightly late), but this time it wasn’t the usual 9W 332. Jet Airways upgraded the service on this sector to a Boeing 777-300ER. VT-JEM had its loud GE-90’s start up, which I could clearly hear from the bus! I hoped we got to our quick enough to get a photograph of it! Anyways, other aircraft were a Bangkok Airways A319, all ready for pushback, and an Air India 77W, an Air France 77W (why the frequent equipment change?) and finally , VT-JEG of Jet Airways to London. I saw my aircraft, and read it was VT-JBN. Not a problem, first time on this aircraft, but a big problem: the 9W 77W to HKG was on the taxi way! We rounded our 738, and I was wrong. It was VT-JBM! Once again on this sector! Bad! Anyways, I tried to take a photo of the spot-less aircraft, but the focus-light on the camera got the attention of a ground staff, so I quickly put the camera in my bag.

By now, I was sure that I missed the 9W 77W’s photo opportunity. I boarded the aircraft, with yet another smiling staff. I headed to my seat, and I saw the 9W 77W still waiting for takeoff clearance! I clicked a picture of it, but not such a clear one.

You can just about see the Jet Airways livery on the 77W's tail..

. There were about 5 or 6 people boarding every five minutes or so. I asked for a pillow and blanket, because it was getting slightly cold in the aircraft. The crew did the safety demo, and distributed cold face towels, making me feel freezing cold! This obviously meant boarding had been completed, and my row was empty! Everyone fell off to sleep, but me, and along with a couple of Australian’s was awake.

Tarmac view (and the reflection of my shirt Evil or Very Mad )

Bangkok Airways A319 heading for...Bangkok.

Brace yourselves, the race to Johannesburg is about to begin!! Cool

Boeing heavies at BOM: LH and AI 744, BA 772..

Cabin, oh the horrid ads! Crying or Very sad

Cold...I mean FREEZING face towels..(well, at least for me..)

It was almost 2 am, and I was falling asleep, until, the floor of the 737 started to vibrate, and loud noises started to come. I didn’t know what it was, until, I saw something moving. It was VT-JEG, off to London! A few minutes later, the same thing happened. This time, it was the Air France flight to Paris! Same aircraft, same engines! I was disappointed that I could not take photos of the two beasts, due to lack of light! At 0210 hours, our departure time, a Kenya Airways Boeing 767-300 from Nairobi had arrived. The last aircraft to arrive, before our departure, was our rival on this sector: SriLankan Airlines Airbus A320-200, 4R-ABD from Colombo!

Finally, at 0229 hours, our flight was pushed back, and the CFM56 engines were roared into life. The extension of the flaps caused a lot of vibration, but I loved it, felt more like a massage! We taxied by, slowly, passed the AI 77W, KQ 763, LH 744 (with a special livery), AI 744, CX 333, BA 772, SA 332 and a delayed 9W-242 to JNB being pushed back.

Registration/Aircraft type: VT-JBM, Boeing 737-86N.
Seat: 25F, Economy
Scheduled departure: 0210 hours, Actual Departure: 0229 hours.
Scheduled Arrival: 0440 hours, Actual Arrival: 0439 hours.
Loads (Estimated): J=?, Y=~70%

Taxiing: (note variety of widebodies!)

We continued our slow taxi towards Runway 27, a Kingfisher Airbus A321 was taking off. We taxied onto the runway, applying power; we took off towards the west and headed south just about 2 minutes after takeoff towards Colombo.

Take off:

As the seat belts signs were switched off, I made a quick visit to the lavatory, while everyone was sleeping on 3 seats each. Drinks service had started. Not many takers obviously. First, they served beer, and then the non-alcoholic drinks which contained Pepsi, Apple juice, Mountain dew, Sprite and Diet Coke. I went for a Mountain Dew, drinking it after a long time!

Drinkie Razz

I was wondering If I should have it or not, risk getting sick again...anyways, I went ahead. As the trolley came to my row, I opted for a Non-Vegetarian snack, hoping for the big piece of Tandoori Chicken like I had on my first flight to Colombo. I also noticed steel cutlery. As I unwrapped the foil, there it was: the big piece of Tandoori Chicken! Second time on JBM this year, second time the same menu! It also had a dosa type thing and strawberry mousse. After about 10 minutes, the crew began the second drink service, this time an option between tea and coffee.

I was too tired by then, so I gave my tray and made my ‘bed’. I lifted all the arm-rests, put the seat belts behind, reclined the 3 seats, opened my shoes, put my pillow, lay down and covered myself under the blanket. By then, all the cabin lights were switched off, making it a completely dark cabin, except for the few reading lights and people using their iPad’s. It felt like an ‘extremely cramped’ version of Air New Zealand’s Sky Couch. I dozed off within a few minutes. The last thing I saw? FA's constantly going through the cabin, in case if anyone needed anything, although they were all asleep!

Later, I felt the most irritating thing ever: The passenger of seat 24C switched on the reading light, causing all the light to fall on my face! Evil or Very Mad
I saw my watch, and it was 0357, just more than hour before arrival into Colombo. I turned myself around, with a lot of difficulty obviously. No one to blame in this, as this was just a cattle class seat! While one FA was still going through the cabin, the other F/A’s take a few sips of apple juice, after a most certainly tiring first few hours of the day, I'm sure they took their turns! They surely needed a break after constantly answering passenger calls and a great service. I fell off to sleep. Quite strangely, I had a dream of driving the special edition Rolls Royce 9.0 litre, V16 engine car, custom built for the Johnny English Reborn movie. Probably the effects of a great movie were taking place on me, early in the morning.

I was then woken up by the announcement of F/A’s, informing us that we were about to start descent, and movement in the cabin would be prohibited in a few minutes. I went to the lavatory once again. I came back; I put my ‘bed’ back into 3 seats. I strapped myself with the seatbelt, put the pillow on the window, and fell asleep once again. Descent had also started. It looked like our 19 minute delay had been covered. I was woken up, for the third time, this time by the flaps being extended. Vibration and loud sound was after all not a ‘massage’. We made a bumpy descent into Colombo. At 0438, 2 minutes before time, we landed smoothly and taxied towards the terminal.

Landing and taxiing:

We taxied by a SriLankan Airbus A330-200, and docked at Gate 10. As usual, I was the last one to disembark. I thanked the crew, and saw VT-JBM for one more time, hoping that this was my last time on it. I tried to take a photograph, but there were too many security personnel. Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi, an Airbus A320-200 was taxiing towards the runway for its departure. Meanwhile, arrival announcements for my flight and the SriLankan flight from Male’ were taking place. After a 7 minute long immigration, we headed for the Duty Free, where we had to find out the costs of a microwave, 3D LED TV, fridge and an Android phone. After finding out all costs, we went to the baggage claim area, which didn’t take too long. We headed out to book a taxi and headed to the Cinnamon Grand hotel. The sun was just about rising as we exited the airport, and I fell asleep, hoping there wouldn’t be more surprise wake ups. After reaching the hotel, I slept for about 5 or 6 hours, and at 12 noon, I felt normal once again, after a long night. I prepared for my first day in school, hoping to make new friends right from day 1.

Mt. Lavinia Beach

Mt. Lavinia Hotel

Nothing better than having dinner while watching MasterChef Australia!

Galle Road

No electric poles! I am going to miss IR for sure!

Galle Face Green (just like Mumbai's Girgaum Chowpatty, except its WAY cleaner..)

Just like I was saying..

Galle Road again..

Sea food lovers: STOP LOOKING, BOOK YOUR TICKETS!! Very Happy

Inside of the hotel..

4 days of great people, food and places was setting up my life pretty well. 24 hours before departure, I web-checked myself in seat 25A, while dad took 21A. The action for the flight started in school: I was told that an inter-house swimming competition was supposed to take place that day (Friday, 7th October). Later that morning in school I was told that all of us had to stay in school till 1630 and could not leave before that. As I calculated time, I knew that if I stayed at school till 1630, I would miss my flight back. And to make things worse, I left the piece of paper in which I had written Dad’s mobile phone number in the hotel. I explained my situation to the Head, and she immediately sent an email to Dad. I kept my fingers, hoping that he’d read the email. Luck was with me. During my lunch break, I saw Dad waiting for me, so I went back to the hotel, to pack my things and get ready for the flight. Checking that everything I had packed, I had divided things to be taken, and things to be left in Colombo. We left for the airport, about 4 hours before departure. I took a quick nap in the car, after a hectic day in school.

Ads for the SpiceJet flights to Colombo, and SriLankan’s destinations on one side, and the under construction Express Way greeted us into the airport. I then saw the ultra-rare Airport Express train at the Katunayke Airport Railway Station. It’s a disappointment no one is using it, because of its out-of-sorts timing. Usual practices, a set of military personnel checked our passports and the driver’s license, and let us go. As we entered the terminal building, we went through the metal detectors and put our baggage in the X-Ray machine. A surprise ad was put up: Aeroflot flights from Moscow to Colombo! I hope they use the Ilyushin IL-96 for this sector! Entering the not-so crowded airport, the passengers had to follow the check-in lanes: SriLankan Airlines passengers on one side, other airlines on the other side. Check in was underway for flight 9W-255 and 9W-251 (to MAA). There were separate counters for Web-Check in, Transit to Europe and USA, Premiere, 255 Economy and 251 Economy. The Web-Check in line was quite long, so we entered the 9W-255 Economy class line. Our boarding passes were already printed. So, they handed us the boarding passes, and checked in our luggage. Dad had asked the agent if she could put Priority baggage tagging. The agent called her supervisor, and he was kind enough to allow her to put Priority baggage tagging in our luggage! This really speeds up things in arrivals at Mumbai! We headed for immigration, and then towards the gates. The flight was departing from Gate 6, once again. As we had more than one and a half hours to spend, we went to The Palm Strip Lounge.


Walking to check in

Seating for all visitors...

Entering check in area 'for other airlines'

That's us!


A SriLankan A330-200 to Male’, a SriLankan A320 to COK, Qatar Airways A321 to Doha and a Mihin Lanka A320 (the far end) side of the tarmac.

I checked out the gadgets, the die-cast aircraft models, and the BMW 5 series car. As I went to the washroom, and went back to the restaurant, Dad had given his name in the $50 lottery for the BMW car! It was unusual to see 9W-251 depart from Gate 10, as it is usually alongside 9W-255 in Gate 7. We waited for our flight to depart. I took a quick glimpse of the Airbus A330. It wasn’t there! Where was it? Showing off its big stabilizers and the long wing span! I was sort of scared to see the A330 just ‘disappear’ from the tarmac!

As time passed, the status of our flight changed from ‘Check In’ to ‘Gate Open’. We went towards our gate, and I saw the registration, which looked like ‘VT-JBU’. I was trying not to get carried away because VT-JBU is a Boeing 737-800, the first one with the new Sky Interior in India. I entered the security holding area, which was a LONG line because of 1 security line for 2 flights with loads above 70%. But, the registration of the aircraft was VT-JBP, for the second time this year! I was frustrated now! I hoped for 2 different aircraft, as they have 19 of them, but I ended up with two aircraft which I had already flown a few months earlier. I asked the agent, who marked us as boarded, how many passengers were onboard today. She told that 118 passengers had checked in, 3 of them in Premiere. Last time I travelled on JBP, the ground staff was fixing some parts in the engine, and last time flew 9W-255 out of Colombo, again the ground staff was fixing some parts. But this time, it was no such thing. Everything looked normal as the bags and food were being loaded.

At 1935 hours, boarding had started, according to seat rows. First, rows 1 and 2, for the Premiere class passengers and then rows 37 to 20, and then finally rows 20 to 10. This really sped up the boarding process. I headed towards my seat, and to my horror, there were 2 kids, under the age of 5 or 6 years, screaming out for something. An elderly person came and sat in Seat 25C, and I hoped 25B would be empty.


Registration/Aircraft type: VT-JBP, Boeing 737-86N.
Seat: 25A, Economy
Scheduled departure: 2020 hours, Actual Departure: 2004 hours.
Scheduled Arrival: 2245 hours, Actual Arrival: ? hours.
Loads (Estimated): J=37.5%, Y=71%

Doors were armed at 2000 hours, and pushback began at 2004 hours. I realized that the captain for this flight was the same as my incoming flight! I decided to ask the crew the name of the First Officer. The engines revved up, most of the crew were distributing out cold towels, while the In-Flight executive had started the safety demo. Half of the passengers were given the cold towels, not the others, complete confusion! As the safety demo went on, we started our taxi, going past Qatar Airways 303, and Emirates 653 to Male’ and Dubai, a Boeing 777-300ER (a frequent equipment change, just like CDG-BOM-CDG on Air France). The F/A’s then hurried for giving everyone their cold towels, and collected back the cold towels of only a few passengers, before they went back to their stations. They were getting everything horribly wrong! We took off and headed northwards immediately, with the kids behind me feeling scared because of the sharp turn. The reflection of the glowing moon was showing on the wings, which looked great, but too dark for a photograph.

Start up:
Take off:

Just after lights were turned on for service..

About 10 minutes later, the FAs gave towles to the ones wo didnt get them, me for example. Drink services followed. It was the same options as the incoming flight. This time I chose a glass of Pepsi.

As everyone finished, the F/A’s asked all passengers if they wanted a second round. All passengers drinking beer took a second round, while me, and along with a few others took a second round of non alcoholic drinks. This time, I took a glass of Apple Juice.

Meal service had started a few minutes later, but they were really slow. This was something unusual with Jet Airways. But anyhow, I got my dinner, which had complete Indian food. Tea and coffee service started about 20 minutes later.

This was truly AWESOME!! Very Happy

Perfectly focused cabin shot! Very Happy

Exit seats, 4 rows ahead..

As food services were complete, I went to the washroom, which looked pretty ordinary for a Boeing 737 (oh wait, this is a Jet Airways Konnect aircraft, but its brand new!). No soaps, no lotion, etc.

I came out, and entered the galley. I asked the F/A , the name of the First Officer. She said that she didn’t, but she’d check and tell me. She also asked my seat number. I then told her my seat number, and then told here why I was asking this (the same Captain on my incoming flight). She told me that this happens most of the time, and changes every few weeks. I went back to my seat, and with nothing to do, I just started fiddling around with my camera. Meanwhile, the F/A came and told that the First Officer wasn’t the same. Well, never mind. We still had more than one and a half hours to go. So, I just put my seat behind, and fell off to sleep. Kids screaming behind woke me up, and by then, it was 2217 hours. So we had just another half an hour to go.

Safety card..


Creepy! Razz

FA's kept going through the cabin, kept checking on passengers around, so I asked for a water, given really quick!

The blue light up there? Guy using his iPad, tracking flights. Wait, THAT'S DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!!

Cabin lights were turned on, one the F/A’s sprayed the ‘pretty nice smelling insect killer’ (they did on all the 5 previous flights I wrote a TR on, sorry didn’t mention it.) and were preparing to land.

We didn’t have to circle over Mumbai and we landed on Runway 27, as usual, reaching pretty much on time.

It's never easy!!!

A long taxi followed, and we parked near an Air India Express Boeing 737-800.

Super long, landing Smile :

Last arrival into Mumbai, I don't know for how long Crying or Very sad

Can you spot the Austrian Boeing 767?


Again, I was the last one to get off the aircraft, and before I could speak, the Lead F/A told me that the first officer was not same. I smiled and thanked them for the wonderful flight. This time, as I went down the stairs, I had my camera strapped beside me, so I got a few angled photos of JBP.

I was the last person to board the bus, and we drove past the under construction New international terminal. By then, VT-JEM had arrived from Hong Kong. And we raced with it until we reached the terminal. JEM docked at the gate right in front of the arrivals hall. I was literally pushed out of the bus, so it meant no photo. Immigration looked empty. So, this took a remarkable five minutes. Dad called me up, asking where was I. I told I had reached the baggage claim area. He was surprised to hear and told me that he just entered the immigration line. To follow up my usual practice at the arrivals, I went to the wash room, with my bag. As usual, the security, rudely asked me: “where you going?” I said I’m going to the toilet. He then let me go. 3 out of 4 stoppages for me in this! We waited for the bags to arrive, which took a long time. Even with priority baggage tagging, we had to wait for half an hour. Arriving in Mumbai International at night is a horror! Air India from Dubai also had its passengers irritated.

Priority Baggage tags..clicked at home..

We came out, into a crowded car waiting area. And from there, I went back home, for my last few days in Mumbai.
This was it. The atmosphere in Mumbai for the last few days was sensationally different! I had no idea what was going on! Despite the sunshine all over, I saw darkness. I knew it would be EXTREMELY hard to get through the whole period of changes.

Smiling crew early in the morning is a great sign, but screwing up the towel distribution was a slight of a disturbing sign. Of the 3 trips on 256 and 255, this was, by far, the best trip. The highlight: crew checking on the passengers, all the time, no matter how tired they were! Jet Airways has its own share of flaws, but a great airline and surely knows how to match international standards, top notch!

Link to next TR:


Last edited by jbalonso777 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:13 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...yet another enthralling trip report! You have a real talent at making a report - `can't-put-down-until-the-whole-thing-is-read'. Thanks, Sir for taking the time out to share this with us!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing report - thanks for posting. That meal on the return really looked good!
We miss you Nalini!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
...yet another enthralling trip report! You have a real talent at making a report - `can't-put-down-until-the-whole-thing-is-read'. Thanks, Sir for taking the time out to share this with us!
Cheers, Sumantra.

Thank you for the comment, once again! Very Happy
3 more TR's to come, out of which two are super long!

Nimish wrote:
Amazing report - thanks for posting. That meal on the return really looked good!

....and it tasted better! Paratha was hot and soft, chicken was tender, dessert as brilliant as ever!
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, good TR mate. I'm just beginning to read your bunch having merely skimmed over them earlier.

Like Nimish mentioned, the dinner on CMB-BOM sure did look very appetizing!

And a pity about the adverts. I fly the 738s on KWI-BOM-KWI often, and am yet to encounter an aircraft that has them, or a non-IFE 738 in general. I guess I just keep getting lucky.

Good shots too.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiderguy252 wrote:
Hey, good TR mate. I'm just beginning to read your bunch having merely skimmed over them earlier.

Like Nimish mentioned, the dinner on CMB-BOM sure did look very appetizing!

And a pity about the adverts. I fly the 738s on KWI-BOM-KWI often, and am yet to encounter an aircraft that has them, or a non-IFE 738 in general. I guess I just keep getting lucky.

Good shots too.


And there I was, thinking that you just didn't take note of my TR's!
Take your time sir, I think there are too many Smile

Yes, it surely was a fantastic meal! As it is with all Indian food on board the aircraft, it tasted better than it looked.

I think all 9W aircraft (except maybe the B77W's and A332's) have the adverts on the seats. Its pure luck, sir, one day, it will end.

Once again, thank you for taking your time and reading Smile

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