Air Deccan Chronicles!

Air Deccan – a flight that is often very heatedly debated by all common people like me, you and the dog named boo. Every time I visualize the experience of taking an AD flight, its chaos on the left, chaos on the right, and more often than not, a mayhem in the center.

Air Deccan – Couple of Weeks Back

For the umpteenth time, I swore that I would not take an Air Deccan flight and for the umpteenth time, I took another AD flight. Funny, the initials match. AD giving a hard time to AD.

It starts off with their website, which in times not so far in the distant past, would crash the moment they announced discounted fares. I know of zealous people waking up at 5 in the morning and trying to log on to the AD website (Another coincidence – my previous blogger site had the word – zealots). And yours truly has also been guilty of this. Maybe not 5 in the morning, but definitely 2 in the night. Logging on to the site is like penetrating the defences of Rahul Dravid at the peak of his career. Its as fatal as trusting a depleted Newcastle team to win the EPL. You can hope, but you can not hope to see your coming true.

The second stage – After a lot of typing and clicking you reach the stage of authorizing payments. There is a significant chance that something will go wrong here. The payment would not get authenticated, or maybe, worse still, the payment will get lost somewhere in transit. The bank would have paid, AD would have gotten the payment, but they would not have realized that they have got the payment. You don’t have a ticket. Bank is happy. You are using your credit card. AD is happy. They have the money. They have an extra seat in their flight. (Not that they need a reason to overbook on their flights, I hear). Show me a better example of a greater social good at your expense.

Stage 3 – the traveling experience. You enter the airport. Shoddy baggage screening counters. Security checks that can be violated through at least ten different chains in a check-in baggage that are left just like that, between the time you get your baggage screened and leave it at the check-in counter. Counters – unmanaged. The processing time for each traveler is too high. Some people tell me that even that is by design. God forbid, if you ever run into a problem, there are chances that by the time you get to meet the manager and get your problem resolved, the flight would already have taken off.

You are finally issued a frail thin boarding pass which does not have a seat number.

Now comes the counter from where boarding passes are screened and flight boarding is announced. The moment a flight’s departure is announced, you can see all AD travelers scampering for being first in the queue. Reminds me of the rush in a national food scheme. In the end, everyone gets a decent enough seat. But the old economy culture of putting a rumal (handkerchief) from the window of a bus and then claiming that the seat is yours just because you put your rumal or gamcha (towel) there, is a sight to behold. Funny anecdote – in the first few flights of AD, couple of sophisticated people ambling into the craft at the end did not get any seats and had to sit on stools/chairs for the duration of the flight holding on to the aisle seats to avoid toppling over.

And finally, at the luggage belt, AD usually has luggage from 3-4 flights coming on the same belt, causing a huge commotion, and yet again, longer wait times.

 

A lot of this changed in my most recent experience with AD, this morning.

 

Air Deccan – Yesterday.

It was quite an intriguing thing. Air Deccan has started issuing seat numbers… Finally! And the dude on the counter was talking pleasantly. For a change! And the flight was a far more pleasant experience. There will still be a few of those who want to run and be the first one to get their boarding card checked (the flight won’t leave any sooner dude!), get on the bus (ditto), get down from the bus (more ditto), run to the stairs for getting on the flight (whats more than more? ditto), and repeat the drill the other way to reach the luggage belt (hmph!). Reminds of the line from Katha Collage – II, where the protagonist pehelwan mentions that the nation might have benefited a little more if these people were to invest their adrenalin rushes on something more productive!
How I love it when their luggage comes last! (some sadistic pleasure!!)

Anyway – a lot of other pleasant things about this Air Deccan flight (I am just trying to correct myself, because I don’t let go of any opportunity to do Air Deccan bashing either). It left 5 minutes before time. They had mentioned flight time as 5:45AM, boarding time as 5:25AM (all the flights have that). But having had all the passengers come on time, they decided to let the flight take air sooner. We reached Mumbai about 10 minutes before time. And on a pleasant morning in Mumbai, I was home by 8AM. Nice!

If only they are able to maintain this experience consistently.

 

A Thoughtful Musing – The womb of humanity carries not the foundation of tomorrow, but also the ruins of the past. Its either the conformation to the ruins or a rebellion against the disaster that shapes the future, much against what many would have you believe- individual brilliance

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About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

3 Responses to Air Deccan Chronicles!

  1. ashish kila says:

    well i almost lost my baggage once…

    we once thought if the govt allowed
    air deccan would remove seats and give some holders at the top for all people to hold on while standing thorough the flight just like a local train

  2. Amit says:

    Yeah.. I guess a lot of AD Bashing is driven by peer pressure! 🙂

    But yeah.. site issues.. I have faced plenty in the past. Now, it seems to work much better.. and with the seat numbering system, way way better! There wasnt the same kind of chaos anymore!

    Services.. I anyways dont have too many complaints (I sleep through most of the flights!) 🙂

  3. amit says:

    well, I hv had some good experiences with AD’s flights & their reservations systems.. remember booking 12 delhi-hyd flights (dont ask me why) for a total of 16k bucks, incl. 2 Rs 0 tickets.. all I did was to log on to their site at 12 midnight exactly 1.5 months before journey date.. thats when I think they open reservations..& then book like mad.. & I didnt face any site issues.. I think Deccan (& all LCAs in India) bear the brunt of this perception game by the Full Service guys.. at the end of the day, does a Indian or Jet give you more legspace.. unless I travel business class, I am used to all the hassles & nuisance provided by LCAs anyways. But yeah, some basic improvements are much welcome for AD flyers..

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