For the return leg of my Vistara premium economy booking between Mumbai and Hyderabad, I decided to upgrade to business class. In this article I will take you through my experience of the flight (with lots of pictures) and review the short-haul Vistara business class product.
Booking my Vistara flight
I booked my ticket just two days before my outbound flight from Mumbai to Hyderabad, directly on the Vistara website. The cost was INR 10,787 (USD 142) for a return in premium economy.
The day before my return journey, I used Vistara’s website to upgrade my flight to business class. The surcharge was INR 6,100 (USD 80):
Vistara Business class A320 review
I arrived at Rajiv Gandhi International airport at 7pm for my 9.35pm flight. I had some time to spare after clearing check-in and security so I headed to Plaza Premium Lounge. My Vistara flight to Mumbai was departing from gate 22, a short walk from the lounge.
The boarding pass indicated that boarding was due to start at 9.05pm, but due to less traffic, boarding began five minutes before the scheduled boarding time.
I was greeted by the group of flight attendants at the front gate and made my way to the seat. The issue with this flight was that there was only one entrance and all the passengers passed through the business cabin, which took away from the feeling of luxury and exclusivity.
Vistara has eight business class seats on the A320, spread across two rows in a 2-2 configuration.
Seat pitch for business class seats was 41”, so these seats were comfortable. I assigned myself seat 2D, the aisle seat on the right side in the last row.
Business class on this flight was followed by the premium economy cabin, both were divided by a bulkhead.
My seat had a recline of 7”, extendable leg rest and height adjustable head rest with wings, which made the seat comfortable enough for a short-haul flight. There isn’t much difference in leg space between the front row and the second row.
The tray table folded out from the near side and could also be folded over in half.
Waiting at each seat was a pillow, and newspapers.
A couple of minutes after boarding the flight, I was offered a pre-departure drink, with the choice of orange juice or lime juice. I selected the orange juice, which was fresh and tasty. Shortly after, I was handed a cold towel.
About five minutes later I was offered a menu for the flight.
The flight was mostly empty due to the covid-19 scare at the time. I took this flight when the virus was still starting to show its effects in India (and for your information I am absolutely fine!).
Most of economy and premium economy was free as well. There were only three passengers in business class, which meant that I could have the window seat as well to myself.
The food order was taken before take-off at around 9.15pm. I asked for the multigrain vegetable crepe but was told that they only had one continental dish available in business class, and somebody had already ordered that. I instead ordered the Indian dish, paneer tikka masala.
The safety demonstrations were given immediately after and the flight took off at 9.30pm, which was earlier than the scheduled departure time (9.35pm). The seatbelt signs were turned off five minutes after take-off, and my table was set for dinner at 9.40pm.
To my surprise I was served the multigrain vegetable crepe I had originally asked for. I called one of the flight attendants to make sure I hadn’t received somebody else’s order, but she replied that she arranged for the continental option specially for me from the other section.
That extra step made me feel nice and special, and made up for a very noisy engine and heavy vibrations during the first 15 minutes of the flight.
The crepes were very hot when they were served so I had to wait for a couple of minutes before I could dive in. They tasted just average but the red sauce made it better. I took the stuffed paratha as a choice of bread and it was fresh and tasted very nice as well.
The salad tasted like it was freshly cut, though the gulab jamun was a bit of a disappointment and I would have liked it softer and warmer. I was served mango juice, which tasted alright, along with dinner and the table was cleared at around 10pm.
After the meal I was offered a choice of tea or coffee, to which I enquired about the mocktails that were listed on the menu (please note that alcoholic drinks are not permitted to be served on domestic flights in India).
The crew member said that the signature mocktails weren’t served on short duration flights because it takes time to prepare the drink and that way they can’t attend all the customers, so I requested an orange juice.
Although there is an apology mentioned on the menu, I felt that if that’s the case then the airline shouldn’t list it on the menu. That would save them from saying “no” to the customers, which takes away from a good impression.
There was no infotainment screen in this business class, though you can use Vistara World in-flight entertainment by connecting to the wireless network on board. You can only use the Vistara World app and vistaraworld.com site on this network.
There was no internet available on this flight, but a senior crew member mentioned that Vistara is going to introduce wi-fi internet on international flights from June onwards (but looking at the aviation industry all across the globe, I wonder if this might get pushed further).
I spent some time browsing through the collection of movies and TV shows, though nothing stood out for me. Anyways, there wasn’t enough time for me to watch anything and, before I knew it, the crew started preparing for descent in Mumbai.
They announced that Mumbai was experiencing some showers of rain. The flight landed in Mumbai at 10:36pm, 19 minutes earlier than the scheduled time of arrival.
Other than the noisy engine (to which my ears became immune) and some turbulence mid-way, the flight was comfortable and pleasant.
The crew was very warm in their approach and went above and beyond to make sure I received the food of my choice, which was nice as well. The crew wore protective gear throughout, which kept me feeling safe and comfy.
Overall I had a very good experience with Vistara on this short-haul business class flight.
What are your thoughts about Vistara’s business class? Do you plan on using this product for your short-haul travels?