Ever since my last trip on Vistara’s Airbus A321 aircraft I had made my mind to fly the same type of aircraft to experience their business class products, AviationSource writer Gaurav Gowda reports.
Firstly, I had to first track the pattern on which their A321 flies and after a lot of research I zeroed in on the 22:40 flight from Mumbai to Delhi which was operated by its A321.
All set, I reserved my seat on this flight – then suddenly, seven days before date of departure the type of aircraft was swapped to A320.
Honestly, I was very disappointed as my goal was to fly their A321, so I contacted Vistara’s customer care to try and explain to them my reasoning.
Initially, the executive gave me the standard reply that a change would be chargeable and no seats were open on the 20:40 flight. However, after explaining that my sole reason to travel was to experience the A321, she put me on hold and voila!
I had a ticket on their A321 again. Three cheers to the Vistara customer service team!
Vistara – Mumbai to Delhi
- Flight Number – UK 988
- Departure Airport – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (Mumbai)
- Arrival Airport – Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi)
- Registration – VT-TVJ, 0.1 Years old during the time of flight
- Aircraft Type – Airbus A321
Vistara has a decent application/website which is bug free, and one can complete their check-in hassle free. I had pre-selected my seat at the time of booking as I did not want to take any chance on missing out on a window seat!
And to my surprise during check-in, I found out that the Business Class was only half occupied. The reason could be that the last minute aircraft change meant the last row remain unoccupied.
Arrival at Mumbai Airport
I had arrived on Air Asia India flight from Bengaluru and spent nearly 6 hours at arrivals before entering the departures area.
Having flown quite a few times from Mumbai Airport, the best way to reach this airport would be a taxi as there is lack of public transport from the airport to anywhere in city.
The Western Express highway near it is notorious for its traffic, and it takes 40-45 mins to even cover a distance of 2 km in peak hours, so it is always recommended to leave early when travelling to CSMIA
Check-in at Mumbai Airport
As expected, Vistara had dedicated counters for business class passengers, and it took me only around 5 minutes to complete the process.
Security Check at Mumbai Airport
Mumbai airport, like any other airport, has a dedicated security check area for all its business and first-class passengers which meant that within 3-4 minutes I was done with my security check.
Lounge at Mumbai Airport
As usual I always first head to T2’s food court, which has an amazing view of both the apron and the active runway. To my surprise, I had Air India Boeing 777 parked at a gate and behind it was the “Queen of skies” Boeing 747 – having a cup of coffee and taking in this view just made my heart melt.
All said and done, I had complimentary lounge access at Adani Lounge. Though this lounge is always crowded, they have a separate section for business class passengers and hence it was an easy task to go inside and find a spot to sit for an hour or so.
The food options were fairly decent with nothing much to offer, considering it was evening time they had put out a few Indian snacks along with sandwiches and a drink.
As expected, I had priority boarding and soon after taking our seat we were served with welcome drinks and a menu to select our meal.
The A321 is a narrowbody aircraft and having a lie-flat seat on this is a challenge in itself, but Vistara has executed it beautifully, giving their customers ample space.
There is a small partition in between gives one a little bit of privacy; the seat in itself looks elegant and somewhat reminds me of their Boeing 787.
The leg space is decent enough and even in lie-flat position the leg space is decent enough, I am 5.11 and I had no trouble in turning from side to side so 10/10 for Vistara in seat configuration.
The seat also features a USB charging socket and a universal power outlet. For some reason, the one at my seat did not work the entire journey and I had used my power bank to charge my phone.
The cushion on the seat was very comfortable, all in all I was highly satisfied with their hard product.
Soon after take-off, the cabin crew started meal service. I had already pre-ordered my choice of meal while we were on-ground and unlike last time this time they had the option available.
Something that did disappoint me was crew did not spend enough time in asking what the customer wants to have, as last time I was served soup and dessert by default and I had to only order my main course.
This time it was quite different, and I wasn’t even asked about my choice of beverages or coffee. Strangely I was directly served the main course, but all my disappointment vanished when I tasted the food!
I had ordered prawn curry along with fried rice and it was just amazing – it was neither too spicy – not to blunt it was just perfect and at 34,000 feet the food still tasted as it was freshly made.
Time and again I have praised Vistara for their food, be it in their economy class, premium economy or their business class.
They just know how to serve delicious food and probably according to me the best on-board food served by any airline in the country.
Soon after the meal tray was cleared, I waited for the crew to come and ask for desserts, but they did not. That’s when I asked them for it and they promptly served it to me.
The IFE had decent selection of both Hollywood and Bollywood movies.
Arrival at Delhi
We arrived after a delay of nearly 15 minutes due to congestion at Delhi airport.
Having travelled on this flight, I have now experienced all three of Vistara’s cabin classes on both the A320 and A321.
I can conclude that yes – Vistara is worth paying extra for than other low-cost carriers, as compared to them one gets extra baggage allowance here, free meal (which is delicious both on short haul and medium haul flights), plus decent leg space.
Surprisingly, this time I was a bit disappointed by the crew in business class, but having flown with them so many times before I can clearly say this was a once in a while experience.
As crew on-board, Vistara flights are super nice and super helpful. With the airline now pricing aggressively and almost close to the air fares of other low-cost airlines in the country, Vistara’s service can be game changer for them.