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Flying in an Unreserved Compartment
Sep 25, 2007 01:04 AM 3898 Views
(Updated Sep 25, 2007 08:50 PM)

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While writing my experience with extremes, I visualize the TV commercial of Ginger hotels and my own experience in a Subhiksha Store. Carlos(Carlos is Arthur Conan Doyle’s Watson where I am the self styled Sherlock Holmes) came with a brilliant idea to solve my problem of finishing an urgent work at Bhubaneswar and reach New Delhi the same evening.

Preparing to cross the river:I booked the tickets(to & fro) before two days. I have never traveled in any low cost airline before since I travel mostly for my company at the Company’s cost. I am a frequent flyer for Jet, Kingfisher and Indian. For leisure trips, I prefer not taking any anxiety of trouble thru the cheaper options. However Carlos is an entrepreneur and has good experience with Low cost airlines.

I heard horrible experiences of flying with low cost airlines. I clearly visualize a scenario of the unreserved rail coach where you do not have a reserved seat and the noise of vendors selling anything from “Fire & Lonely” to “Nesscupe” vis-à-vis the reserved chair car.

At the river Bank: An SMS from Carlos reminded me of the “Kido-Lazy Dog” which I am going to bring for his daughter at in-flight auction. I was reminded again that I have paid less and should not compare my journey with the niche segment Airlines.

To my surprise I was given the seat number in my boarding pass and was happy to get a better service than expected. As usual I boarded the bus for the aircraft where R K Laxman’s common man(Air Deccan’s new brand ambassador) greeted me at he entry point.

Inside the ferry: My earmarked seat was little dirty(impression of vomiting) to make me uncomfortable and the cabin crew was kind enough to allow me to change it. I could see some advertisements inside including one from the NDTV at overhead cabin baggage. I took a swig of water(complementary bottle) after about an hour of flight take off. The second discomfort came when I went to the wash room (better not be elaborated). Cabin crew and the pilot’s announcement were comparable to other airlines. Seats were cramped not to allow you any push back. Snacks will be with a price. You will be handed over a leaflet to bid for the auctioned items in-flight. I checked for the item(for Carlos’s daughter) and postponed the buying till return journey. Landed safely and timely.

Return in the same boat: If I compare my perception before boarding and after landing, I was fairly satisfied. While taking the return flight I decided not to use the wash cabin and spent time on “Rich Dad Poor Dad”(the book I bought there) to kill two hours.

Now the third surprise – I was not given a seat number with the boarding pass and I saw a long queue at the boarding gate. I am yet to understand why they do not allot a seat number. I saw many co-passenger’s discussion on their(to be) flying experience. I again changed my seat here to accommodate a micro family who were not getting any window or isle combo. I felt better than a second class train journey.

I had a small pack cookies and a coffee inside the flight(both from Café Coffee day) for 30 buck and the Kido-toy for 700 buck

Any Damages? Absolutely no!   I could not have managed to fly Bhubaneswar, complete my work and be back on the same day with any other means and paying a price comparable to upper class train fare. I would have been highly disappointed if my expectations were different. I did not get the “Class” service coZ I didn’t pay for it.

After everything else: Thanks Mr. Gopinath, you have provided an option to me and all my fellow common man to “Simplifly”. It is my choice to fly “Good Times” or “The joy of flying” if I chose to have a Newspaper, Food n Snacks, a Comfortable Seat, blaah… blaah…by paying more.

Both Carlos and me know that Quality comes at a price …………

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