LONDON – After the Government of India lifted the price cap, airfares seem to have reduced drastically on certain routes. I found an amazing deal on Vistara airlines in their BLR-BOM sector, so I decided to take it up as it had been a long since I flew with Vistara.
- Flight Number – UK 864
- Departure Airport – Kempegowda International Airport (Bengaluru)
- Arrival Airport – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (Mumbai)
- Registration – VT-TNE, 5.1 Years old during the time of flight
- Aircraft Type – Airbus A320 NEO
Vistara does have a user-friendly website as well as an app. Being a Full-service carrier Vistara offers free seat selection to all its passengers (except the emergency exit row which is still chargeable) and Vistara does offer free meal onboard as well.”
“But when I tried to select Meal of my choice for some reason it was by default set to “No Preference” so I decided to select it on board and completed my “Web Check-in”
Arrival at Bengaluru Airport
Kempegowda International Airport (Bengaluru) is quite far from the city (Around 45km from my house) and sometimes the cab charges are almost half the fare of one’s flight, so I always leave early and use public transport as it gets me to the airport in around 45-60 minutes and doesn’t cost much ($2 to be precise).
Bengaluru Airport is one of the most spacious airports in the country, I had arrived almost 4 hours prior to my departure time as I had a meeting to attend, and I did not want to take any chance with the city’s traffic.
Check-in at Bengaluru Airport
This is where Vistara fails to shine, they have many counters allotted at the airport but then they reserve one counter for “Staff Travel” and another for “Payment” rest 3-4 counters had a banner which said “Closed”.
What surprised me was the queue for “Premium Economy” was longer than “Economy” because they had only one counter for “Premium Economy”. I was very disappointed as it took almost 27 minutes to reach the counter.
Security Check at Bengaluru 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 Bengaluru Airport
Plaza Premium is one of the lounge operators in Bengaluru Domestic Airport, as I always mention everyone in India has access to the lounge by using their credit/debit cards. Luckily today it wasn’t much crowded, and I was easily able to find a spot. I sat there and enjoyed my cup of coffee and spent almost 3 hours.
I reached my gate 20 minutes before the boarding and the chaos of Vistara’s Ground staff continued. They couldn’t just manage the crowd, once my seat number was called, I headed towards the counter to scan my boarding card and proceed towards the aircraft but once the agent scanned my card it showed red light.
This puzzled him as well and after a few clicks on his computer, he informed me that I have been upgraded to Business Class, without any hesitation I accepted it and walked towards the aircraft.
The seat was spacious and very comfortable. I had the chance to fly in Jet Airways business class and I felt this was one of the best products after that. There was a pillow and blanket kept on the seat which I felt was a nice touch and was not expected on such a short flight. As soon as the boarding was completed, we were served a hot towel accompanied by a welcome drink.
They also handed out the in-flight menu which had a decent choice of options to choose from. There was no one else in the row and I just relaxed. The crew came around offering magazines and newspapers and then we were all set for our departure.
Soon after take-off the cabin crew started the meal service, we were first served with a choice of soft drinks and by the time crew put out a tablecloth for service we entered turbulence and the service had to be stopped, the crew did apologize for the inconvenience and handed out a pack of salted almonds as the POC decided to stop meal service due to bad weather.
Vistara offers Vistara World as IFE which can be streamed right on personal devices, and it has a USB port for charging the devices. I checked it out and it had a decent choice of movies and tv shows.
Arrival at Mumbai
As our flight was delayed due to bad weather, and after an overall delay of around 35 minutes we landed at the swanky new terminal in Mumbai. For the first time I arrived in Mumbai T2 and the flight was parked at a remoter bay and we had to take a bus to reach the arrival hall.
Vistara defiantly has one of the best products on board, their IFE, crew everything is the best. But the on-ground experience can definitely in fact be improved and must be.
I could see that behind those closed check-in counters the staff sat there chit-chatting or using their phone while their passengers waited in the never-ending queue. What surprised me was that Vistara Premium economy customers also had to wait as long as economy passengers.