Once upon a time, I would take a flight when my heart desired, it led me to the beaches, mountains, immaculate cities full of lights and impressive structures. But like I said, it was once upon a time because then 2020 happened and the only time I was taking flights was in my dreams.
I was almost (My heart wasn’t) convinced that I won’t be taking a flight this year until the much-needed Goa plan materialised!
My choices from Mumbai to Goa were simple. I either take a long road trip or catch a flight. I thought taking a flight was my best bet, why you ask?
Why travel by flights?
I personally found Mumbai – Goa road trip impractical because that would include driving for over 10 hours / hiring a driver, packing some meals for the road, and the most challenging one using public washrooms and wonder if they’re sanitized.
My best bet would be to avoid sipping water which would then lead to dehydration and headache. The road trip sounded exhausting even before it had begun.
A flight from Mumbai – Goa is in fact only an hour, and the airport authorities are known to take precautions. Now my next task was to research and book a flight on the safest airline.
How I picked my airline
I was extremely clear that I needed to book a flight that matches the following criteria:
– Undertakes ample of safety precautions
– Is a trusted airline
– Is on time (I didn’t plan to spend the better part of the trip waiting for my flight)
– Serves food (Because if you factor in the time before boarding, the average 1.5 hours road trip to a hotel in Goa, hunger pangs strike, eating on the flight is the best bet)
After investing some quality time and engaging in a bunch of discussions with my sister, I decided to fly by Vistara.
Why I chose Vistara:
– Over a Dozen Precautions: Vistara has been undertaking over a dozen of precautions which covers all your wildest of doubts.
Precautions like regular health check-up of the crew members, secondary temperature screening while boarding, safety kits that mandate every passenger to wear a mask and face shield. The aircraft is sanitized after every turnaround and goes through a deep cleaning every 24 hours.
– Lavatory Sanitization: As female travellers, one of our primary concerns is the washroom usage. I was impressed and relaxed to witness Vistara crew members sanitizing the lavatory thoroughly after every usage putting all our doubts to rest.
– In-flight hospitality: To experience every aspect of Vistara’s 5-star service, I flew Business Class from Mumbai to Goa and Premium Economy from Goa to Mumbai.
Business Class Experience
The seats offer an enormous amount of legroom with leg rest and headrest. While I was relaxing, I had the best view of the dreamy sky and a bird’s eye view of India’s favourite beach destination – Goa while landing. If you’re visiting Goa, the Vistara Business Class experience is a visual treat for the view it has to offer!
Speaking of a treat, I enjoyed the most scrumptious In-flight meal. My meal consisted of a croissant sandwich, a dessert, a salad, a water bottle and a beverage of my choice.
The cabin crew handed over the meal in a tray while dressed in gloves, protective gowns, masks and face shields. The meal was handed over from a considerable distance. All non-essential contact between the passengers and crew members was avoided.
Even underneath the masks and face shields, I could see them wear their biggest smile and be extremely hospitable.
Once we landed in Goa there was no stopping us from beach paradise because our bags had arrived at the conveyer belt thanks to the priority baggage perk which is a part of the Business Class experience.
Premium Economy Experience
The Premium Economy experience is a major winner because it lets you experience a lot for a little more.
The seats are located at the front of the aircraft, has ample legroom and my favourite has perks like priority check-in and baggage to it!
There’s some great food onboard Premium Economy too. I had the Focaccia sandwich, a juice, some cookies and a bottle of water.
Things that helped maintain social distancing at the airport
– Markers at several points of the airport: There are several Markers at the airport to guide passengers to social distancing. It begins at the entrance queue leading to the security, followed by seats at the waiting gate (Every alternative seat is left empty to follow social distancing)
– Vistara’s Self Check-in Kiosk & Baggage drop: There weren’t long queues at the check-in counter because the self-check-in kiosk, automated baggage drop, E-Bag tag made the process extremely hassle-free.
Little things that made a big difference
– Soothing music while take-off & landing: I’m usually calm on flights, but 8 months is a long gap to feel slightly anxious while take-off and landing. Vistara had the most soothing music at both points of the flight putting me at ease.
– Crew’s Attentiveness: I was in awe of the crew’s attentiveness towards passengers. I observed a lady who couldn’t use the washroom as the doors had shut for takeoff. The crew member had made a mental note of the same and walked her to the sanitized lavatory once we were mid-air after a safe take-off.
Requirements for travelling to Goa:
– Aarogya Setu App indicating that you are safe status
– Negative Covid Report