There have been lot of responses to my Blog and People are generally Appreciative of the content. As I am preparing to spend a weekend at home, back from a week in Pune, I thought I would share some thoughts.
The Kingfisher trip this week to Pune and back was a kindof experience,it would Put Indian Airlines to feel great. When I phoned last Friday to telecheckin for the Saturday morning flight, the reply was no such PNR( I had confirmed ticket, I was wondering if I would sign in on Saturday with Honeywell, else Lalitha would say wait till the next auspicious day and I have learned the very very hard and tragic way, never to Ignore her on this, that's for another episode) then they called me after 2 hrs and said they have confirmed me and gave me the seat no 24F). I reached Airport Saturday, told 24 F while checking in and didnt bother to check the Boarding pass,(never did after Jet airways spoiled me well over 250 flights, and when I entered Aircraft, the Horror was Middle seat 8B.Hell of a time, I ordered coffee as Ididnt feel like having breakfast, as luck would have it, due to the turbulent weather conditions no coffee was served. (Cant blame them)
The worst to come and that was when I planned to return to Bangalore,last night. I reached the airport at 630pm for the 710 pm flight, they said technical delay at Ahmedabad and flight would leave at 8, and then 8 become 830, then 9,9.30,10,10.45, 1130 etc. At 945 pm I thought enough was enough and canceled the ticket and managed to get a seat for the Jet flight this morning.
The Station Manager was a poor guy, people mobbed him and he did his best, but he had no higher ups to turn to, looks like, as expected in crisis, all the bosses disappear, I guess. (He told us that his boss is Inside an aircraft, and not reachable !!!! can you beleive that) I am told the flight left Pune at 3pm this morning. I saw first hand, experience of mob hysteria, More men Coat and Suits screaming for attention, but you cant blame the passengers, Can you??This was my 3rd tist with Kingfisher (I have Hobson's choice for this odd route as Jet doesnt cover this sector that much) probably the last for some time to come. But the station manager was a great guy, handled very very well the situation.
I hope Kingfisher would have some learnings and would work plan B in future for such situation as they multiply their fleet. Their services are good and so are the aircrafts, But to win Jet Loyalists, business travelers like me, they need to go extra miles. I was comforted by their efforts that they did their best to accomadate as many passengers for the morning Jet Flight, but very few seats were there for grabs. I had a similar situation with Jet in Calcutta last year, when I had gone for an interview, I got a call that Flight was delayed 150 Minutes late, and thats it, The flight left Calcutta 150 minutes late, an aicraft was diverted and sent to Calcutta for this flight.
The silver lining in the whole episode was I got an upgrade to business class to accomadate more passengers.
By the way, it was great to see the Sun God on the flight back after 6 days, I was so thrilled to see him that I just stared straight back at him for a minutes and tears rolled down, I enjoyed it. It was pouring and pouring in Pune so much so that all my plans to meet my friends went in smoke.
I also bumped in to some of the BASF Mangalore plant guys in the hotel lobby unexpectedly, Met them after 7 years, some of them just look the same, some people dont grow old, I guess, unlike me.
Wanted to leave you with this sad story, How promising lives are cut short.
Take care and Have a good time