Kingfisher: Where art thou

Posted on April 22, 2012

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I don’t know why I used Shakespearean language in the title.  Maybe just got bored of the abysmal service provided by other Airline operators that this expression came out from a dormant portion of my mind which I do not usually access but accessed it now since I didn’t have anything to do. You see where I am going with this rambling (even I can’t 🙂 ). Actually I travel a lot in my job and this blog article discusses my fussiness.

With the severe curtailment of service by Kingfisher , the other Airline operators are enjoying their new found freedom, extra business and their authority to impose back the crappy service they used to provide before Kingfisher. When Kingfisher was really the “King of good times”  a couple of years back, Air travel was good in India. We had comfortable Aircrafts, good staff , good food and TV on economy class seats. My two hour flights were a breeze. Also check-in was fast and efficient , liberal on luggage, occasionally you got bumped to business class for free, and the best part was at all major Airports Kingfisher ensured better landing bays with almost 100 % on Aero-bridges, no silly stuff of getting down and boarding a bus to reach the terminal from the landing or boarding spot. Quite frequently you bump into celebrities who usually travel by Kingfisher. Just yesterday I saw the whole Royal challengers Bangalore IPL team board the aircraft . Two weeks back I saw Karisma Kapoor boarding an Indigo plane in Kolkata . Poor thing had to take the bus to reach the aircraft with everybody asking for  a picture with her till the time she got on her seat

Let’s look at each Airline individually

Low Cost Guys: Indigo, Spicejet and Go: Pros: On time service, clean aircrafts, decent staff.

Cons: Where do I start: All economy and cheap tickets so occasionally (read frequently) you bump into idiots who don’t know that it is essential to shut down your cell phones when the plane is taking off and flying. Extremely cramped seats with very less legroom. Food is just pathetic. I mean they charge 200-250 on an average for a meal packet which is served at room temperature. Seriously eating a terribly made dosa served cold makes me just want to throw up. And on top of that they don’t serve any napkins spoons or forks with it. Wow !!!!!. No TV ,no magazines onboard except for their stupid shopping manual. No Aerobridges. Always have to go  through the crappy bus service

Jet: I was hoping after Kingfisher this guy is the next best. But I was so wrong. Jet is trying to cut corners at every aspect. Very strict with luggage, extreme delays at luggage carousals. Jet suffers from a lot of delays too. On a couple of occasions the pilot proudly claimed that we will be reaching 15 mins earlier just to know that ATC hasn’t cleared him for landing for the next 20 mins and after that our luggage gets delayed. So in short we were late by an hour. Jet also cuts cost by not landing in premium spots with Aero bridges so this adds to the delay and inconvenience.  Again no TV on most of the flights, so extremely boring. Food is just passable. Staff on the flight and also while check-in is too arrogant

Finally our Darling: Air India: Surprisingly after Kingfisher at present Air India is the the best domestic carrier. They serve good hot food, quite a few of their Aircrafts have TV, very liberal with luggage and cancellation. And best they land in premium spots with Aerobridges. Finally their staff is starting to look good.

The difference in fares for the low-cost airlines is just a couple of thousand bucks sometimes and the corners they cut in convenience and service are beyond imaginable. I am not sure about others but if I get better service I can shell out a little bit more ( 2 thousand max 🙂 setting the record straight)  . Its true that Kingfisher blew away its finances by giving all this extravagant stuff below cost just to stay in competition. But till the time Kingfisher was in the sky all these guys especially Jet was towing along the line. Now with nothing to compete it is back to the usual level of disrepute service

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