Monday, December 17, 2007

flight to nowhere!

a mumbai-ahmedabad Go Air flight took off on 13th december without 24 passengers. (read all about it here).

no i am not going to shout myself hoarse that this is grave injustice and that the airline should refund the money. nor would i say that the passengers deserved such treatment for reportedly being abusive and violent with the airlines staff.

i think the truth, like it mostly does, lies uncomfortably somewhere in between.

(i recently had a similar experience on my way back from delhi. waiting for your flight in delhi airport after your security check is a very depressing experience as compared to any other airport in the country.)

- the airline for some inexplicable reason chooses not to keep the passengers updated on the status of the flight. why don't they realise that passengers would be less upset if they were told about the problem upfront?

- i don't like to crib, but the state of the delhi airport brings out the worst in me (maybe bangalore is a close second) - its usually dirty, there are not enough chairs, the air-conditioning is either too hot or too cold, the snack counters sell food at a premium, the indicators are usually not working, ... i could go on and on... but like i said, i don't like cribbing :-)

- and passengers don't help the situation any. they normally tend to do one of the following

  • start pouncing on the poor ground staff as if they have purposely delayed the flight and are taking perverse pleasure in agonising the passengers!

  • start crowding around the gates demanding to know what is happening, when they will be asked to board, will they get some refreshments, will they get a refund, will they be accommodated on another flight, etc?

  • demand that the airline charter another aircraft because the aggrieved person who is making this brilliant suggestion has to reach his destination to meet some other equally important person at any cost (as long as he is not bearing the cost!)

  • threaten the afore-mentioned ground staff with dire consequences and demand that the top honcho of the company appear in front of them right now and give them an explanation for this mess.

  • or threaten to drag the airline to court for the mental torture and trauma caused and the irreversible damage caused to their delicate psyche! (how about the poor staffer who's wondering what sins he had committed in his past lives to land this job!)

  • and the smarter ones are trying to negotiate free life-time flights, upgrades to business class, use of the vip lounge, etc. to compensate for the inconvenience.
sometimes i miss the good old journeys by train!


Anonymous said...

Hari Om Bhaiya,
This brings out another question in my mind as to should we go ahead and complain or just sit in one place. I have never tried to go ahead and complain whenever such an injustice arose. But recently I heard that there wasnt water available in trains(sorry for drifting from planes) since morning and some commuters complained of no water and since all of them unianimously objected, they got each a bottle of water. IT does work sometimes... but only if people come together and take some action.

Guruprasad said...

thanks for posting the comment. have published it. and i believe sometimes its worth fighting for it. but many times, especially in groups, it goes out of control and becomes a mob mentality and then people do things which they normally wouldn;t under normal circumstances.