Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The dangers of flying with Indigo!

I was rather amused to see an article in the paper today about a passenger who was deplaned from an Indigo flight for having spoken rudely to the pilot! Even after he apologised! While I have not had much time (or inclination!) to get back to the blog for the last few months, I really thought I could not let this go without adding a rant of my own! Because, you see, I have had a chequered history with this particular airline! First of all, while it boasts of being the airline with the best record for time-keeping in the business, I have somehow always managed to travel on the one flight in 4 which (according to its 74% on-time performance) gets delayed! But that is not my main grouse. I guess all of us have got used to the fact that air-travel and tight schedules are not very good bedfellows. Better to be safe and travel the day before, rather than late and miss the wedding! Which, by the way, recently happened to a friend of mine! Fortunately it was not his own! 

My irritation with this particular airline stems from the similar problem our passenger faced. Its staff seem to forget they are supposed to be service providers. I can remember at least 3 instances when I was at the receiving end of their rudeness. Once was about two years ago when I arrived for a flight half an hour before scheduled take-off. The airlines people took great joy in informing me that the counter was closed and all my entreaties fell on deaf ears. In fact, there was much merriment made of my plight among the airline staff, which as you can imagine, was most disconcerting given my already stressed state! But the last straw was when a young man, who had checked in online, arrived 20 minutes after the flight was supposed to take off and was ushered in right in front of my eyes to the plane! It then became obvious to me that the reason I had not been given a boarding pass was because the flight was over booked and not for any other reason! A similar incident happened recently when I was (fortunately) travelling by another airline. I noticed a huge altercation going on in the adjacent counter where a man in a similar situation to mine was in the middle of a shouting match with the airline people. It didn't go very well for him, either, but this was the only time I have ever seen airline employees actually shouting at the people they are supposed to serve!!

And my final story is of another personal incident. I was travelling with a friend and when we had alighted, we found that another passenger had gone off with her bag, which was of the same make and colour. Now this was no fault of the airline of course, but what would have been a simple matter became really complicated when the airline staff took this as an opportunity to vent frustration and made our life miserable. The less said about that humiliating incident the better! So that is why I read today's story with some amusement. Rudeness from the airline staff is normal and acceptable, while rudeness from a passenger is such a huge crime that the poor guy gets chucked off the 'bus' for being rude to the 'driver'!! After all, if you travel with Indigo, that is what you should expect!!

13 comments:

  1. Dear Arpit, Being an airline staff myself, let me apologize to you as well to all of us who have faced problems from whichever airline we have flown. As an insider let me share some facts that I have learnt. The people who are in the frontline in most of the airline counters are on many occasions temporary staff or someone on contract with very less experience in this area. Even if they are permanent staff they as human beings go through the same pressures all of us go through as people serving a crowd or trying to dispell a Que. Atleast for us as doctors we can expect to see them again and on a later date be shown some respect ,if not in the first instance. The counter staff does a monotonus work with very less appreciation from their bosses, wheras easily get reprimanded if someone makes a written complaint or even otherwise. It is a strict rule to be enforced by the airlines that they should close the counter atleast 45 minutes before departure and the computers actually send the system to standby mode and it can be released only at the special intervention of the terminal manager , for which he might be asked to explain later.

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  2. Arpit....Its time you start travelling business class. I think you will appreciate the difference in service!!!

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  3. When I review my experience with different airlines, I have noticed a common factor. In India or abroad, airlines operated by Indian companies or government show no respect for Indians. For their employees, all the Indians are same like the ones they see on the streets of Bombay. I have noticed this in New York, how Air India treat Indian passengers; In Dubai, how Air India Express do not bother to inform their Indian passengers about flight delay; In Bombay when Air India express do not bother to inform cancellation of their flight or the reason for cancellation. However, the same airlines, when dealing with foreigners are more polite and careful.

    During my air travels from 1977 onward, up and down 30 countries, I never noticed any other airline treating Indian passengers this way. Today, while I plan my travel, airlines operated by Indian companies or government are the last choice that come to my mind.

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  4. How are you doing Doctor saheb.....??

    and regarding these airlines, indigo or anyone else, when it comes to provide on/off board services...its all same now a days....PATHETIC...:(

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