Vacation Report, India: Departure

Vacation Report, India: The Arrival

Vacation Report, India: Poetree Sarovar Portico

Vacation Report, India: Periyar National Park

Vacation Report, India: Grand Hyatt Mumbai

Vacation Report, India: Airport Lounges

Vacation Report, India: Departure


Upon arriving at the airport I inquired to see if it was possible to upgrade to Premiere (Business Class). Finding out that there were seats available, we opted to pay the difference (cheaper than a single ticket from COK to DOH, amusingly enough) for the upgrade.

The seats were noticeably wider than economy, as to be expected, but were not lie-flat as it was a Boeing 737-800. They did, however, have extra recline and calf-rests which helped considerably. We were offered per-departure beverages and we were soon on our way.

Premiere Seating
Leg-Rest controls
Plane Demographics for #AvGeeks
MInt-Lime and Watermelon Juices

The only frustrating thing was that the TV screens were shared and were always on for the duration of the flight, so it made sleep a little difficult.

Warmed Nuts and Wine
Murgh Muligatawny
Chicken Shish Taouk / Laham Kefta / Grilled Prawns


For the flight from Doha to London-Heathrow, I opted to take the backwards facing window seat on the B777. While this made for some frustrating navigation when leaving my seat, it offered some excellent views of the terrain!

As we boarded, I managed to capture a few pictures of the suites available in the First Class cabin.

First Class Cabin
First Class Cabin
Scotch and Nuts!
Mezze Sampler
Poached Salmon
Lamb Shank
Sandwich Selection

Full Menu

Terrain Shots

London Approach
London Approach

Sheraton Skyline

With a 20 hour layover in London, we took some time to really catch up on sleep. After having spent a lot of time with recycled air and confined spaces, a nice big bed was definitely appreciated.

As a pleasant surprise, I was given a toy Mini-Cooper upon check-in (the local specialty) and was given a customized fruit basket! Talk about service! It is nice to see brand loyalty rewarded, truly.


The Champagne Belle

From London to Detroit we used Delta SkyMiles to book Upper Class tickets on Virgin Atlantic’s VS107. This flight is serviced by an Airbus A330-300. This was our first experience flying Virgin Atlantic, let alone their Upper Class product, so we were both extremely excited. The seats were arranged in a herringbone configuration with the ottomans facing the aisles.

Seat Controls and IFE
Stowed LED Reading Lamp
Aux Inputs and USB charging (110V under the seat)
Swanky toiletry kit!

Though we already had a feeling we were in for a treat from everything we experienced getting situated, the meal service is what really made that clear to us. In addition to a private bar available (not pictured) behind the Upper Class cabin, the menu is carefully thought out with fairly healthy options. Furthermore, everything was adorable.

How can you not love this mug?
The other side of the mug
Salt and Pepper shakers!
Wholemeal dinner roll
Tomato Basil soup
Chicken Breast!
Steak and potatoes
Cheese for dessert
Pre-Landing Quiche

One interesting feature of the flight-map is that it also showed various landmarks, like the location of the Titanic, in addition to cities.

The “fun fact” map!

Full Menu


The last leg of our flight was by far the most frustrating. Instead of the initially scheduled 5 PM departure, our flight was moved up to 3 PM, which left very little time to get through customs and re-check all our bags. Thankfully, the Diamond Medallion line was very helpful and took care of rebooking both of us on the 8 PM flight (keeping us in First Class, no less). Though it took a fair amount of time on hold, everything was sorted out before we even boarded our flight in London. I love how helpful Delta staff are – they go above and beyond, consistently!

Instead of a regional jet, we returned home in a Boeing 717-200, which offered a lot more room for our cabin luggage (to our relief!).

Vacation Report, India: Arrival

Vacation Report, India: The Arrival

Vacation Report, India: Poetree Sarovar Portico

Vacation Report, India: Periyar National Park

Vacation Report, India: Grand Hyatt Mumbai

Vacation Report, India: Airport Lounges

Vacation Report, India: Departure

The Route

We took a rather round-about route because we wanted to land directly in Kochi as opposed to another city (like Delhi, Mumbai, etc.) and go through customs there. To achieve this, we flew Delta to London, British Airways to Doha, and then Jet Airways to Kochi.

Outbound Routing


On the flight to Atlanta, we had the opportunity to try Delta’s new premium peanut snack. No more self-branded nuts!

Honey Roasted!

We had a short five hour layover in Atlanta, so we went to the SkyClub in terminal E and stretched out a little. We took this opportunity to get a quick nap before our next leg.



On our next leg, we flew in DeltaOne on one of Delta’s 767-300ERs. This meant we got Westin blankets and pillows, as well as Tumi toiletry kits. On longer flights, this makes all the difference in the world.

Lie-Flat Seats!
Personal lighting, 110V outlet, and USB charging.
Ridiculously comfortable bedding and the Tumi kit
Lumbar massage? YES PLEASE!
Passive noise-cancelling headphones
The Tumi Kit
Older OS but the screen tilts!

For our snack, we were given spiced Georgia pecans. These were offered with our selection of water, orange juice, or champagne.

Champagne and Juice

We were then introduced to our purser and given our dinner menus. I opted for the lamb while Carrie opted for the fish.

Once we were in the air, we were given our three course meals: appetizers, main course, and our choice of dessert.

Creole Blackened Fish
Wine for my lamb
Cheese plate for dessert

We made excellent time thanks to some storms in the US giving us a very strong tailwind. The downside being that parts of the flight were bumpier than normal.


Closer to London, we were given the option of having breakfast. Unfortunately, they didn’t bring the cabin lighting up so we weren’t able to get a very good picture of it, but it was delicious!

London-Heathrow Sheraton Skyline

We planned a nice long layover in both London and Doha to give ourselves some padding for local customs, and time to leave the airport to find a local hotel. Here, we opted for the Sheraton Skyline. They offer discounted cabs to the hotel and since I had SPG Ambassador service, I was able to arrange everything well in advance!

London-Heathrow South Gallery

Upon returning to the hotel, we had plenty of time to relax at the South Gallery, as we were flying Club World to Doha. The WiFi was nice and fast, and the food was quite nice. The cheese and wine were probably my favorite – no surprise, there!

More juices!
Chili… rice… pasta…


Though we were late in leaving for our plane, we made it with plenty of time thanks to heavy fog which delayed our departure by an hour. Once we were in the air, it was smooth sailing, though! This was my first experience with a Club World seat, and though we didn’t have Westin bedding, the seat itself was much more comfortable than on Delta (even without the massage).

The Boeing 777-200 we were on was divided into four cabins: First Class, Club World, World Traveler Plus, and World Traveler. The Club World cabin was arranged in a 2-4-2  configuration, which was a little cramped compared to the 1-2-1 layout of Delta’s 767. We also do not have direct aisle-access for all seats as we do with Delta. The nice thing was that since the seats were arranged facing each other, Carrie and I were able to talk to one another without having to turn constantly.

Conversations without twisting…
Makes for happy necks!
The seat!
TV controls
Folding TV and table
Seat controls

Instructions for operating the seat!

As with our DeltaOne experience, we were given our menus by our purser and asked to select both our appetizer and main course. I opted for the steak while Carrie went with the chicken.

Mezze plate!
Delicious steak…

A very cool feature of our Boeing 777-200 was that our in-flight-entertainment OS showed us what we were flying over from different angles!

Viewing Options
Over-Wing View

Close to landing, we were given a very quick breakfast. Pastries, smoothies, and fresh fruit.

Pastries and fresh fruit!
Buttermilk and oat smoothie
Mozzarella danish

Doha Airport

Upon landing in the Doha airport, we made our way to the arrivals area to collect our bags. I was lucky enough to notice a very distinct curved wingtip and was rewarded with a sight of one of Qatar Airway’s Airbus 350s! For an AvGeek like myself, this was a real treat!

Another shot!

Doha Marriott

Since we had 13 hours in Doha, we opted to head to the nearby Marriott. Thanks to my status, I was able to guarantee a room for the same day! Gotta love it! The light poles we drove by were actually laser etched with the Qatari National Anthem, which I thought was a nice touch. They also change color periodically!

The beds!
The TV and table
Amazing shower
Opulent bathroom!
The balcony!
Balcony view at night


Our last flight was in economy on Jet Airways, on a Boeing 737-800. Since it was just 3 hours and 40 minutes, we thought we could tough it out. It was fairly cramped, but we were still given a full meal service and fresh tea, which was nice.

Overall it was a very positive experience, and I am decidedly pleased with my expenditure of miles!

@Delta and @JetAirways Reciprocity


Stefan from RapidTravelChai noted that in the near future, the partnership between Jet Airways and Air France/KLM will be expanding to include Delta! Near the bottom of the article, found here, is this tidbit:

Air France-KLM Flying Blue members are already eligible to earn and redeem miles on all routes operated by Jet Airways and vice versa.  Soon, Delta SkyMiles and Jet Airways’ Jet Privilege members will also enjoy network-wide, reciprocal mileage earning and redemption privileges.

To add to the fun, this could mean new destinations for Delta.

Subject to government approvals, Delta’s customers connecting through Paris and Amsterdam to Mumbai and New Delhi will have codeshare access to 20 onward destinations in India  served by Jet Airways.  After government approvals, new Delta codeshare destinations will include Calicut, Coimbatore, Goa, Indore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mangalore, Pune, Trivandrum and Vadodara.

Existing Delta destinations available through the Jet Airways codeshare are: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi.

Air France-KLM customers departing from Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol currently have access to 10 codeshare destinations across India such as, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata and Mumbai.

As well as new destinations for Jet Airways customers to the US through Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schipol. Check the article above for a full list of destinations

Jet Airways A330-300

I’m hoping to take advantage of this sooner rather than later, especially with family still in India. I greatly prefer Jet Airways to other airlines in India – even though their planes aren’t the newest, they have a much more attentive cabin crew and they have meals even for short flights, and even in coach. Talk about a rarity !