Sunday, September 12, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Even before I could forget what it means what it is like being better, amidst all the low cost carriers operating under cut throat competitions, I had a chance to fly with Indian Airlines. A trip from Goa to Bangalore, a journey of 40 minutes, just got extended by an hour because the flight was late. Never mind, it is to more than that. Dabolim Airport at Goa is a less crowded place, frequented by either exhausted with fun crowd or the spurt of enthusiasm from the arrivals. My flight being the last to take off on that very day made the terminal even deserted with only my co-passengers waiting for the flight. Presenting my passport and e-ticket at the counter of Indian Airlines, I looked at the person on the other side of the counter. A person who did not seem to be very attractive, a male of around 40+ age with a properly tucked in shirt and an even firm smile on the face. Gladly he asked me for any preference for an aisle or window. Surprisingly when the entire terminal seems to be sleepy, the staff of Indian Airlines seemed to wake me up with their warm gesture and a pleasant smile. It was not a fake one; it was not required to have a good customer relation but a smile with assurance and greetings. Collecting the boarding pass, I passed that 1 hour of delay reading everything that a page of newspaper, the name of which I has not heard before. The flight came and I boarded the flight with a little apprehension of the Govt. organization somewhere residing very firmly in my mind. The interiors were very clean and pleasant. Well equipped communication and entertainment setup. The crew was an all male staff, with flight stewards in their crisp uniform and a better than anybody else attentiveness. Just after the take-off meals were to be served, the staff was joined by one of their senior or may be very senior personnel who I am sure either would have happened to be travelling along or was certainly not there to serve the passengers. The sense of urgency by the two stewards and that one official was commendable. Just trying to fill every moment of those 40 minutes of your stay with them making you special. Making the way the Maharaja would have it had for himself. The food was good and even better was the sweet dish which was a Gulab-jamun with custard. The landing was a bit shaky but leaving the Bangalore terminal the services of Indian Airlines made me think.
Think of the beauty that it not always apparent. No offence to any flight services in particular. But imagine somebody just put out of age or moved to some other may be or may not be a lesser important job role, because he/she grew old? Is it so important to look young and may be attractive rather than pleasant to be onboard and face the customers. One may look at a very attractive and well painted face and have a feeling of awe, but look at the experience I had, a well seasoned staff just being themselves, just being ready and glad to have you onboard. The clean aircraft, a mature staff knowing that you might just require another water bottle not because you want to have more but may be you could be reminded of using another bottle, so carrying a couple more when giving it to one that asked for it. Making things better does not requires to be done different things, rather things differently.
Amidst a crowd of so many flashy and prompt flying experiences, flying Indian Airlines was a sense of pleasure. We might just crib about that Government organization but still speaking of Maharaja is not anything lesser special especially when I think of the airlines that was the first to make India Fly.