35,000 ft up with Air Arabia

International travel and huge expenses go hand in hand, starting with flight expenses. Flying abroad comes with a huge hole in pocket but not when you have pocket friendly schemes on the airlines.

Recently, I visited Jordan and tickets were booked with Air Arabia. Air Arabia, which is the first and largest Low Cost Carrier (LCC) of Middle East and North Africa’s region with its headquarters in Sharjah, started its operations in India in 2005 and now flies from 13 cities in India. It operates over 115 weekly flights to 34 countries, covering more than 100 airports.

Air Arabia operates one aircraft type, the Airbus A320, the world’s best ever selling commercial jetliner, which is recognized as the benchmark for single-aisle aircraft and feature all-economy class cabins. With Economy or Low Cost airlines we have a general notion that passengers may have to in turn sacrifice something specially giving up the leg room but that’s not the case with Air Arabia.

The Route

Mumbai – Sharjah – Amman

Amman – Sharjah – Mumbai

My Experience

Greeted by sweet smile, we were welcomed and then directed to our respective seats.

Soon the LEDs were on and to my amazement instead of listening to same old safety instructions from the crew member, this time it was cute little kids on screen explaining how to be safe and what measures to be taken in flight during emergency. Well, this feature was the highlight.

Then Air Arabia as I said is low cost but contrarily with quite a legroom.

The crew was friendly and jovial.

Food was about good. While traveling to Amman, I had a non-spicy sandwich and juice, so like non spicy Jordanian food, while returning I was served vegetable biryani, gulab jamun and juice, the Indian food. So does the airline try and give a peek inside the cuisine of the destination or was it by chance.

Nevertheless, flight was on time and the journey was comfortable.

My life has been about about traveling, meeting new people and keeping long lasting friendships. Travel has taught me well.

On board I met two Iranian girls traveling to India, sitting next to me. I initiated the talk and then there was no looking back. From what’s your name to the purpose of traveling to India and sharing tid bits of traveling in our respective countries, we chatted about all.

Name of one girls was Souror and other one was Zahra. Well, Souror was quite excited about the fact that it’s also an Indian name which she came to know a few days back. They also wanted to know places to visit in mumbai in half day, desi food and where they can buy saree. I made a quick note for them and handed over so that they can refer anytime they want. But i was really taken aback by Zahra’s interest in buying a saree. Happy to find that how much foreigners are interested in our culture and lifestyle. Nonetheless they were travelling to India to visit igatpuri’s global vipassana centre to practice yoga and meditation over a fortnight.

Lastly, to keep in touch we did share email ids and Instagram handles and waved good byes at Mumbai airport.

Air Arabia definitely gave me new friends too.

Pros

  • Plenty of legroom
  • Easy to shuttle around
  • A good magazine called Nawras to accompany you. I especially liked the travel column where itinerary was given for a particular place
  • On board sky café and sky mall

Cons

Since it’s a low cost airline, the checked luggage has to be booked. You have to pay for what you carry and this can be done online thereby saving some amount by way of discount.

The Verdict

I would give Air Arabia a 3.5 / 5 for the cabin crew, the legroom and a good experience in low cost.

Written by – Stuti, Contributor, The Brown Scooter

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