London Heathrow from the Window of Flight 9W 121 from LHR to IGI New Delhi
Time of Flight, Jet Airways vs BA (Delhi-London-Delhi)- Jet airways flights are more convenient if you are flying out of IGI New Delhi as it is around 2.15 pm in the afternoon vs. 1.00 am at night for British Airways. If you are like me and find it difficult to sleep on planes with Jet you reach London without missing a night’s sleep as you reach London at 11.30 at night (summer, Indian time, 6.30 UK time). With BA as you fly out of IGI New Delhi at 1.00 am chances of enjoying either the in-flight entrainment or getting some sleep are low.
The return flight of Jet Airways is at 8.45 pm (British Time) from London Heathrow and arrives at 10.00 am (Indian Time) the next day, so you end up missing sleep and not enjoying in-flight entertainment with Jet. For BA one flight is at around 11.00 am (British Time) that arrives at IGI New Delhi smack in the middle of the night (India Time). Not sure which one is better for coming back.
I was lucky to get all the three seats to myself (so did my four colleagues) at the rear of the Jet Airways flight while coming back from London. So, I did get to lie down and thus attend office on Monday but I was dead tired.
Leg Space, Jet Airways vs BA (Delhi-London-Delhi)- I thought the leg space in the economy on Jet Airways was more rather than BA. But this is an impression (both mine and of my colleagues) and who knows by how much do actual measurements vary. Jet Airways planes are probably new and hence give the feeling of being better maintained than BA. But one has to wait and see how Jet fares as the planes become older.
In-flight Entertainment, Jet Airways vs BA (Delhi-London-Delhi)- Once again my vote goes to Jet Airways. It could be sheerly because I was awake in the afternoon during the IGI New Delhi and London Heathrow Leg and half asleep when I flew BA at night. I could explore Jet Airways entertainment and watched back to back movies, three in all, all Hindi. Managed to catch up with Arth (loosely translated- Essence), Jab (when) We Met and Teesri Manjil (Third Floor). I did watch movies on BA flight too but I was half asleep at that time. While coming back I tried watching Mugal-e-Azam (colored version) on Jet but could not resist the two empty seats next to me and tried to catch up on sleep. On BA return flight I had watched movies and completed two.
Food, Jet Airways vs BA (Delhi-London-Delhi)- Yes, once again I thought Jet Airways was better if you are looking for Indian food. Wine tasted similar on both the flights to my uncultured taste buds. Portions also seem to be same on both. But the flight attendant on BA was much more attentive than Jet Airways.
Check-in, Jet Airways vs BA (Delhi-London-Delhi)- I believe both were equally fast and polite but then I check in really early, when it is not crowded.
In-flight Service, Jet Airways vs BA (Delhi-London-Delhi)- I would say both have same training program! They train their crew to ignore passengers in the economy section. Jet Airways have trained them better than BA, to ignore that is, in my opinion.
I mean, I almost always ask for a second cup of coffee during a flight. And here is how it goes. The crew comes back to collect the empty cups. They will extend their hand to take the cup without giving you an eye contact (always happened on Jet, but not always on BA). The trick is to delay giving them the cup. Then they are forced to look up and I can ask for that second cup of coffee. I know they are rushed but I mean how much time does it take to give a glance to a passenger?
That way, I had a really attentive cabin crew on my London-New Delhi flight on BA. And that added to the experience. On BA they also routinely asked if you would like some more tea or coffee. Smart idea, doesn’t cost much and people like me appreciate it a lot, particularly when you are tried and need that brew to open up your eyes properly. And we remember it too. I think BA has a better in-flight service.
Overall, if someone asks my opinion (both the time the tickets were booked by my employers/sponsors so I had no say in deciding the airlines) I would choose to fly Jet Airways because of the afternoon 2.15 flight out of New Delhi. That way, I am less tired when I arrive in a semi-familiar country with a long line at the immigration. But it would be really nice if Jet did not train their crew to ignore passengers in the economy. That brief split second eye contact helps.