In Conversation with Amit, In-flight Executive, Jet Airways

(These are my notes from my conversation with Amit, In-Flight Executive of Jet Airways en route from London to Mumbai, – August 29, 2007)

Amit has been working with Jet for about 3 years now. He started working in the domestic sector first, and then took up the international flights about an year back.

He was a part of the cabin crew initially, and is now an in-flight executive. Critical difference, I figured, was in the level of responsibilities. IFEs lead flights. Amit, here, was responsible for handling the entire Economy class of passengers (my guess is that this responsibility can be a handful).

Choice of Career – Amit mentioned that he was keen on being a part of the hospitality sector pretty much from the beginning itself. Entered the line of Hotel Management from Bandra itself (after his Class XIIth), he was a chef (4th in line from the head chef) at JW Marriott. A lot of people in the hotels do realize after a while the slowness in growth. I know it because my own cousin quit JW Marriott to join a cruise where the growth, excitement, money- everything is higher. Back to Amit – his view is that in the hospitality industry, airlines is where the highest growth is. Net net- he took up this job, and is probably one of the younger IFEs at Jet Airways.

About alternatives to being a IFE/Cabin Crew Member – Mentioned that there are a lot of alternative careers available if you decide to quit this amount of flying. People take specialized courses once in a while in areas such as HR, marketing, etc and move to specialized roles. He mentioned examples of people moving not only into Airlines, but mainline IT firms as well. His point of view is that the experience of handling a flight and the number of people that we interact with is so high, that it gears them up for handling a lot of stressful people situations as well. Even otherwise, when these guys are not flying, they are involved in a lot of training etc.

About the traveling – Amit mentioned that the travel is not so harassing as it seems simply because they get comfortable breaks between flights unlike us corporate travellers, where the travel part is just the begining of the pain. They dont have to carry any work home. Pang of jealosy, I did feel! 😉

On asking him about the places he had been to, he mentioned that all the sectors where Jet is flying right now, he has had a chance to go – Toronto, NY, London, Brussels, Singapore, etc. Jet is starting a UAE sector as well. However, he mentioned that after a while the amount of traveling you do within the location goes down – Same location every time, how much can you spend, are the kind of questions you ask yourself.

About Jet’s performance –

Jet is apparently strongly emerging as a strong competitor to many airlines, as evidenced by the Singapore Airlines comment where the opening line mentioned Jet explicitly as the biggest threat. Now, we all know that Singapore Airlines is considered to be one of the best airlines in the business.

He was all praises for the new crafts Jet has introduced, in terms of comfort, ambience, the shades used, etc. He insisted that those flights give you less of the tardy feeling of having been aboard a flight for so many hours. He encourages you all to try them at least once.

Another passenger onboard who is part of the international marketing team for Hiranandani Builders was all praises for the marketing efforts of Jet. Cited the case of a recent marketing event in Toronto where Jet had invited about 500 prominent people from business and Economics kinda areas and gave them an experience of the new crafts by even having seats/layouts the way it would be on the flights.

About important people on flights –

Interesting tidbits here. It came out during our conversations around how Jet is becoming a preferred airline on many circuits and is giving tough competition to mature players. The flight I had taken had Juhi Chawla on board (now I know that she isn’t that big a celebrity anymore, but that does not mean that she is pretty and famous and all that and all that and things like that). He mentioned that because you have to handle so many other activities for these important travelers (like film stars, politicians, cricket players, etc.) you automatically start understanding their travel habits, etc. And if they are frequent travelers, they also start recognizing faces and people who are taking care of their travel needs. Net result, it becomes something far more valuable than just a traveler-facilitator relationship. Interesting, isn’t it? I have seen people bragging about knowing important people so many times. But its quite interesting that for them, usually, a business class is about important people and they end up meeting/knowing a lot of interesting people, and probably the high and drama of meeting them tapers off after a while.



Now, you might be wondering after reading this long post whether I am advertising Jet Airways, or the career of an in-flight executive. Neither. I just find it very interesting to understand people from different walks of life. Being on a flight with fewer passengers just helps get a chance to interact more. Its like having a conversation with the Mumbai cabbie about how he makes his living, the auto driver about his expensive music system when he is saving every penny for survival, or the musician or advertising professional who discovers his creative penchant very late in life.

About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

2 Responses to In Conversation with Amit, In-flight Executive, Jet Airways

  1. Amit says:

    Yep.. true.. but interesting nevertheless 😉 I am not giving in! 😀

    Yep.. Interactive TV on flight rocks!

    Juhi was fully aware of being clicked.. I was in the first row of economy seat and she was in the first row of business class.. first class stuff! 🙂 and she turned around.. and our eyes met.. and pop came out the .. emm.. camera… and she is BEAUTIFUL! 🙂


  2. Sreejith says:

    as they say… interesting to one is mundane to another 🙂
    No idea about Jet’s international flights but some of their new domestic flights have good in flight entertainment. The likes of friends, everybody loves raymond and more importantly its pick and choose on Jet unlike the the crappy TV like stuff of Kingfisher.

    Did Juhi know u were clicking that? 😀


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