ComfortThis is one area where Air Costa scores very high. With their smaller Brazilian made Embraer Aircraft, none of their flights have middle seats. The 2+2 seating relieves the pain of getting sandwiched between two other passengers in a cramped fuselage. The interiors feel lot less claustrophobic and lot more comfortable than most long haul flights. The cabin is fairly clean and well-kept. They do not have an in-flight magazine to kill time, so don't forget to pack a book or two for the way. I did not take a look at the luggage space above, since I almost always leave my bag under the seat. But with only 4 passengers per row instead of six, I expect there shouldn't be a need to rush and board first to find enough space for your baggage. When it comes to space and legroom, it appeared that Air Costa fares well. I haven't felt particularly inconvenienced in any aircraft and same was true with my Air Costa flight too. But with just two seats instead of three, I felt that I had a lot more space around me. Comfort level of the seats are on par with other airlines.
On board experienceAir Costa is a low-cost airline, so do not expect complementary refreshments or attentive service. The crew are fairly competent although I wouldn't rate them best in class. The captain of my aircraft made it a point to address the passengers at the beginning, mid-way and at the end, which seems to have become a standard practice for most domestic airlines now. There aren't a lot of choices in the on-board menu. But prices are much less than other airlines. There wasn't anything particularly exciting about the on board experience. There wasn't anything to complain either.
On time performanceMy aircraft took off from Jaipur in good time. Being a smaller aircraft, boarding was complete much faster than what it would take for an A320 or B737. Boarding was complete well before departure and I wished they took off early too, but they didn't. We flew out of Jaipur in the exact hour and arrived in Bangalore a few minutes before the scheduled time. Just one on-time departure may not be a good indication of on time performance of an airline. So, I looked up DGCA data for November 2014 for more information. DGCA doesn't provide on time performance data for smaller airlines, but a few other statistics were interesting. In November 2014, Air Costa had -
- Zero cancellations against an industry average of 3.34% (much higher than normal, caused by a spike in cancellations by SpiceJet). Air Costa was the only airlines that had no cancellations in the entire month.
- 0.8 complaints for every 10,000 passengers against the industry average of 1.6. Only Indigo fared better.
- Air Costa was the only airline that suffered zero delays beyond two hours.