I was pretty excited for this flight. After researching options for domestic flights in India it seems Vistara was the best. Their marketing materials advertise how they are more premium and upscale than their competitors. One of the things the marketing materials called out was better boarding music (it was more rock-n-roll-ish with some pop).
Date: Saturday January 26
Seat: 2D Business Class
Scheduled Push Back: 6:10 PM
Actual Push Back: 6:05 PM
We headed to the gate at 5:35 PM as shown on our boarding passes. Boarding started at 5:40 PM. There were 8 business class seats (of which four were taken). These seats are standard seats you’d find on US domestic first class. Waiting on our seat was a pillow and blanket.
Upon being seated we were immediately served a pre-departure beverage and given menus. Due to this being a short flight, a “snack” service was being offered.
A few moments later we were offered a choice of hot or cold towel. I’ve never seen that option before. In the seat back pocket was the inflight magazine, Hindu times, and the economic times. The newspapers were a nice touch.
What was missing was seatback entertainment. However, you could connect to the inflight WiFi to stream. Disappointingly, there is no plug or USB port which seems like a shortcoming for a new airline offering a BYOD system. After the safety demonstration meal orders were taken. I went with the non-vegetarian option of chicken and prawns.
We took off at 6:28 PM and the seatbelt sign was off by 6:33 PM. The crew sprang to action to start the service on this short flight. Our meals were served on one tray.
I don’t normally comment on airline food. Mainly because liking food is subjective and it’s … airline food. However, the chicken and prawns was very flavorful and seasoned well. After the meal tray was collected I ordered coffee. Business class and Premium economy are served a special India Estate Starbucks belnd. The crew heated the milk up and poured it table side and provided biscoff cookies. The mugs even had the Starbucks logo.
I connected to the in flight WiFi and checked out the home page. Unfortunately, you’ll need the Vistara app to watch the TV and Movies.
Before landing the crew offered “after mints” (not sure what exactly these were) and toothpicks. The crew prepared the cabin for landing and put back on the cabin music. Upon landing the crew thanked us for “flying the new feeling” and greated us by name as we de-planed.
The crew was amazing and friendly. All the flight attendants were wearing purple uniforms (passport plum?) with the Vistara logo printed on as a pattern. It really seems Vistaras strategy is to build a brand. I wouldn’t be surprised if they measured their Net Promoter Scores on a regular basis. Additionally, the whole crew was young and spoke with almost UK/English accents (part of the training to seem more premium?).
A few examples of nice touched by the crew.
- Before the cabin lights were dimmed a crew member came over and put my reading light on since she saw I was looking at the magazine. It’s the little things like this that really stand out.
- The pilots provided continuous updates from the gate to landing. Even keep us informed of runway congestion.
Color me impressed. Compared to Air India, Vistara is a premium airline (they had diet Coke and Splenda!). I was impressed with the crew and service. Vistara really puts their brand front and center and it shows. I look forward to flying them in the future.