A SpiceJet 737 at the Mumbai terminal.
Photo Credit: Gaurav Gowda

Trip Report: Onboard SpiceJet 737 from Mumbai to Leh

MUMBAI – After waiting for several months with a SpiceJet voucher (which was given to me by the airline after a big goof up on their part!) in my mail, I finally decided to use it for a trip which had been on my bucket list for too long.

SpiceJet flies to Leh via Delhi from Mumbai, and the fares were far too cheap for this sector for me to ignore it. So, after nearly 5 years or so I found myself booking on SpiceJet.

Photo credit for all photos in this trip review: Gaurav Gowda

SpiceJet Mumbai to Leh (via Delhi)


Flight Details

  • Flight Number – SG 712 (BOM-DEL) & SG 121 (DEL-IXL)
  • Departure Airport – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (Mumbai)
  • Arrival Airport – Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi) & Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (Leh)
  • Registration – VT-SLA, 15.3 Years old during the time of flight (Same aircraft was flown on both the sectors)
  • Aircraft Type – Boeing 737-700

Pre-Check-in Experience


SpiceJet’s website has to be one of the most unreliable airline websites in India. My previous experience with their app. Their website and even their customer support hasn’t been great, and this time was no different.

I was unable to apply my voucher and pay the rest as it said “Name mismatch” and when I then connected with customer care, I was told they weren’t sure why this error was popping up and that I should give them a call back in the morning (specifically between 10:00am – 6:00pm).

This surprised me as this is the first time ever an airline customer service centre has ever said this to me. I had to wait till the next morning to get in touch with the agent and complete my booking. Web check-in had no issues, and I was looking forward to being on-board their flight.

Arrival at Mumbai Airport


I had arrived in Mumbai almost 18 hours before my scheduled departure time from Mumbai, on-board Go First. You can find my previous review on this flight here.

I had arrived at T1 whereas my SpiceJet flight was scheduled to depart from T2, luckily for me CSMIA has started Inter-Terminal coach transfers which departs from the terminal every 30 minutes.

I had spent most of time at Starbucks outside T1 arrivals and exactly at 5:00pm IST I boarded my bus to T2. My departure time was 12:30am next day. The bus ride took almost 30 minutes to reach T2.

Check-in at Mumbai Airport


As I had reached airport almost 8 hours before my flight, I spent some time at the restaurants outside T2 and entered the terminal building only 5 hours prior to my departure time. Once I found the empty SpiceJet counter I went ahead to drop my bag and procced towards security.

The agent at the counter was least interested and after seeing my departure time she very rudely said to me “Come before 4 hours of departure, we can’t check you in now as you are 5 hours before departure time.”

I was surprised this isn’t the first time I had arrived at airport hours before my departure time and till date no airline had ever asked me to wait. I decided not to argue, and I waited till the time she was ready to check me in for my flight.

After passing almost one hour, I again went towards the counter as now it was 4 hours until my departure time – the agent at the counter accepted my luggage and very rudely just placed both my boarding cards on the counter and started to use her phone.

I was quite disappointed by such an attitude I have flown almost every airline in India and not even once I have had such a rude staff at the airport, there was no thank you, no explaining about which gate the flight boards from nothing.

I was already very disappointed and at that point of time I just wanted to reach my destination.

Security Check at Mumbai Airport


The security check area was big enough and had enough counters so that passengers could be processed quickly and efficiently. Always happy to finish this section of the travel quickly.

Lounge at Mumbai Airport


Adani Lounge at Mumbai airport is one of the best lounges I have been so far, but I decided not to spend much time here as the food court at T2 has an amazing view of apron which gives one a front row seat to all the departures out of Mumbai Airport.

Boarding Experience


I reached my gate and somewhere was just wishing that I do not have to face another rude SpiceJet ground staff, and to my luck I did not.

As soon as I boarded the flight I was shocked at the state of the aircraft, thought the crew on-board greeted every passenger and was kind enough to guide passengers towards their seat.

I just couldn’t get my eyes of the sad state of the aircraft. As soon as I sat on my seat I realised that the recline of my seat wasn’t working (the seat was pushed back), and even the seats in front of me had their recline malfunctioning.

A faulty seat recliner on the SpiceJet 737.

The Seat


The seat and seat belt on-board this aircraft was in a desperate need of change. The window glass had a crack, seeing this I immediately informed the crew as this was a safety hazard. On seeing this, the crew said it would be reported to the ground staff at Delhi.

I was surprised by how the airline was not prioritizing passenger safety. In case of emergency I would have found it difficult to move out of my seat, as the seat in front of me was pushed back to its maximum, and the recline was malfunctioning.

And how could a aircraft be released to service with a crack on one of the window glass panels (we are well aware that there are three layers of glass)?

Cracking around the cabin window on the SpiceJet 737.

In-flight Service


Soon after take-off the cabin crew started meal service, I had pre-ordered “Chicken Meal” but was in no state to eat anything as all these safety issues kept haunting me throughout my flight. The meal which was served to me I didn’t bother to open, and I decided to eat after I had landed at Delhi.

The in-flight meal onboard the SpiceJet 737 from Mumbai.

Arrival at Delhi


We arrived at T1 terminal in New Delhi, and I was glad to be back on ground and just wanted to exit the aircraft as soon as possible.

Conclusion


There can never be an excuse for any airline to ignore such safety issues – the seat has to be kept in upright position during take-off and landing as if any emergency situation were to occur during this scenario a passenger should be able to quickly vacate his/her seat and move towards the nearest exit but having such seats with malfunctioning recline it could be a serious safety hazard.

The crack on the window glass is also another major safety concern – I was surprised when even the DGCA – the Indian civil aviation regulator – did not reply to the complaint raised by me to them via their email.

I did mail the nodal officer of SpiceJet and got a standard reply that the issue has been forwarded to the concerned department and will be resolved at the earliest.

I was highly dissatisfied by my experience with SpiceJet and have no intention to giving another try until the airline fixes its safety issues, the only good thing in this entire journey was its cabin crew. 

The only conclusion of this flight review would be that SpiceJet needs to sort out these safety issues on-board its aircraft.

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