I am home now!!! But my stay is only for a short while as I would be leaving for the US in a few hours. Sounds great? Well, another 2 months away from home sounds pretty lousy to me. But there I would be staying with my uncle and that is always an interesting experience!
I went home in two airlines – Lucknow to Delhi in India Airlines flight # 604 and Delhi to Hyderabad in Kingfisher Airlines flight # 804. It was a great journey for me! I took Kingfisher especially to see the girls (a.k.a. Air-hostesses) on board. But what struck me was something more amazing. I happened to notice a new trend and also learned a few new things.
The first flight was pretty good (I must admit) inspite of certain glitches. The flight was 25 minutes late from the starting itself. I got the news 2.5 hrs in advance when I reached the airport. To my surprise, there was a courtesy call from IA telling me that my flight has been delayed and that they were sorry for the delay. It was a small gesture but significant. The flight was good overall. The airhostesses were neatly-dressed. They welcomed us properly and the boarding went well. Just before take-off a strange thing happened (The first time for me). One of the cabin-crew came to all our seats and personally inspected the safety for the take-off. He told many people who were in the wrong position for take-off to actually shift a lot of things. This was a clear indication that IA cared a lot about safety.
Though the flight was only 50 minutes long, they served us with snacks and tea. That was interesting as I always felt IA was trying to cut-down on the costs. The food was a surprise and was really worth more than what I had expected for Indian Airlines!!! The landing was smooth. So technically, all went smooth save the delay in the flight timings. My Kingfisher flight was at 2040 hrs and the IA flight landed at 1935 hrs. The baggage delivery took me 20 minutes – This is what I consider the biggest bottleneck plaguing the airline industry as on yet. The airlines concentrate so much on the in-flight and pre-flight service that they completely tend to the neglect the immediate post-flight service i.e. baggage claim area. I felt that this is crucial to the passengers as this is the place where a lot of time is spent. Hope the officials are listening!
The Kingfisher Service (which I will henceforth refer to as KS – no pun intended!) was too good to be true! In-flight TV, great food and the utterly-gorgeous air-hostesses made up a part of this. The climate inside the flight was just perfect, the service was excellent. I want to tell Mr. Mallya one thing through this post – You Rock Totally!!! The video message was stirring. And the attendants had their task cut out by none other than Yana Gupta who comes in a video explaining the safety procedures. What more do you want friends? The service was so good that I hardly noticed the air-hostesses for whom I boarded the flight in the first place! But for the part that I noticed, they would make the perfect woman (atleast physically).
But there is no way we can compare IA and KS in a way as they target different segments. People say Kingfisher must cut on its extravaganza and reduce the prices. But hey, it’s made for the Business and frequent-flyers, not for the once-a while economic traveler. Two hours in heaven, that’s how I can describe KS.
Well, now back to reality – I am home and am having the usual squabbles with my parents. By the way, I saw a talk show in NDTV hosted by Ms. Barkha Dutt in the KS flight. It was on “The Gender Difference”. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll write on that in the next post.
Ciao till then.