Thursday, 6 August 2009

A pat on the back for Air India !

I had some superb experiences with Air India - the erstwhile Indian Airlines part of it - during my recent trip to India. Readers of this blog would remember that I have been scathing in criticizing Air India here. But praise must be given where its due. So here goes.

I flew Air India on two extremely short haul domestic sectors last week. Had a brilliant experience on both flights.

Fares were the lowest amongst all airlines flying that sector. Check in took 2 minutes. Both flights were far from full; so had empty seats next to me. The aircraft on this route was one used for international sectors – spotlessly clean, brightly coloured seats with individual TV screens even in economy. Both flights took off 15 minutes before time (now that’s a first. I have never ever experienced flights departing before time). The cabin crew were smartly dressed and very courteous. Even on the very short haul, there were nice snacks. Courteous enquiries as to whether they could get anything else. The smiles were genuine. Smooth flights with not a single bump. The planes landed like a feather. 15 minutes early of course. Disembarking was fluid and quick. Baggage came in 5 minutes.

Not an once off experience, but twice.

Well done Air India. It just shows, you can run a world class airline when you want to. Forget bailouts. Forget sops. If you run flights like this, you’ll beat anybody.


BTW - I'm back into the waiting arms of the Net Nanny. Back to the pain of dodging this invisible monster. Hopefully more regular posts from now on.

14 comments:

A journey called Life said...

a ha the words of a person whose expectations have been exceeded..
hope things remain this way and its not a flash in the pan..

Ramesh said...

Oh yes - sometimes surprises can come from unexpected quarters !

thethoughtfultrain said...

Welcome back! AI has its heart in the right place, I guess ... :-)

le embrouille blogueur said...

Ramesh ... welcome back .. can totally relate to your good experience ... not once but several times ..AI has been my choice for flights to India ... the crowd from London..not so great ... but the service has been everything that you mentioned ... I have never flown AI domestic ...but I join you in the applaud ...!!

Adesh Sidhu said...

Lets hope that satisfied travellers can save this ailing Maharaja of skies.

BTW welcome back.

rads said...

Looks like ur a gr8 fan of Air India...but after reading ur post guess I'll prefer it the next time I'm flying...

Ramesh said...

@thoughtful train - Thanks. Not sure where the heart really is, but they can do an excellent job sometime

@blogueur - Thanks. My international experience with Air India has unfortunately been uniformly awful. I really think Indian Airlines portion of the merged entity is better than Air India.

@Adesh - Thanks. They can turn their business around, if they put their mind to it. For that ther babus sitting at the top have to go.

@Rads - I am actually a huge critic of Air India, but on this case I was wonderfully surprised.

Preeti Shenoy said...

Oh! That is indeed a surprise.Good to read this. may be I will try Air India now :)
Cheers
preeti

Satish said...

Welcome back Ramesh. Mera Bharat Mahaan. Good to hear Air India Service has improved so much, May try it when coming back to India.

Ramesh said...

@Preeti - Try with caution !

@Satish - Ditto !

hansjoerg said...

glad you are back....

Ramesh said...

Thank you very much Hansjoerg.

Ajay said...

Good to hear that about AI. But I guess they have diluted their brand name so much by now that it's going to take some time to undo the damage.

Ramesh said...

@ Ajay - Yes, once your brand has got sullied, its very very difficult to come back again.

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