Ever heard of booking a ticket on an airline, from point A to B, with two stops in transit and not flying in an aircraft of that airline at all? Well however improbable it may sound, it’s true. This time when I was traveling back home to the US from India I happened to book myself an Alitalia ticket, to fly via Abu Dhabi and Rome. However I did not experience Alitalia at all because, I flew Jet from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi, Etihad from Abu Dhabi to Rome and Delta from Rome to the US. In this era of airline tie-ups and codeshare flights one would assume that one would be flying on the aircraft of the airline with which you booked the ticket atleast on one leg of the journey. Never mind, I am not complaining, just stating facts. It was pretty amusing as I was expecting to fly Alitalia to or fro Rome. But like the good old saying goes – I experienced best of both the worlds, in this case ‘all’ the worlds given that I flew on three different aircrafts of three different airlines.
The first leg of the journey felt like a home run what with flying in Jet Airways and getting the same home-like Indian meal, red wine being the only differentiator. Young and pretty hostesses with their ever smiling countenances at your service at the click of a button, has always made flying with Jet a pleasure for me. That I’ve been a frequent flyer for over a decade now has also a good reason for the good service. It was a nice and comfortable three hours of flying in a familiar aircraft with familiar faces around me.
I was really looking forward to the Etihad service as I had heard so much about them but never flown with them before. I was impressed by their level of sensitivity when I fell ill on the aircraft. They handled the situation well and made me feel that I was in safe hands. Though they didn’t serve hot meals the food was decent; but nothing earth shattering. It was a comfortable flight and the crew was very helpful. I was lucky to get the window seat at emergency exit row with no co-passenger on the middle seat. This made the six hours of flying even better.
The last leg was with Delta. I’ve flown with them a lot of times to Europe and the US and it is almost like Jet Airways for me. The stark difference between the first two and Delta though is that the crew on board is pretty senior. Apart from Air India (where the less said is better), Delta is the only other airline were I have seen senior crew members as hostesses and pursers. The service is commendable; I’ve never had any issues with them. The only bummer for me is the food part. I have to book the Asian vegetarian meals which are often a disappointment and I also miss out on the goodies which they serve otherwise. Usually vegetarian meals also have eggs which I don’t eat so food becomes a slight problem for us vegetarians. But otherwise, it was a great eleven hours of flying with Delta.
All in all it was an enjoyable albeit really long journey and I hope I do get to experience the Alitalia service the next time I book myself into an Alitalia flight!