Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways and Indian!

Earlier My favorite Airlines used to be travel by Air Sahara. Air Sahara has a very warm ambience, or so it used to be. But combined with its internal troubles, and the industry in general, it would be a difficult comeback for Sahara now. Any other time, ie in absense of the price undercutting in the industry, any good marketing guy could have turned it around (Hush Hush about the financials). And Air Hostesses at Air Sahara Still had that old charm, untill stewards ran them over..


So now, about the only airlines left are Jet Airways, Indian and Kingfisher Airlines, and if you book at the right time, the economy fares offered by these airlines are not very different from that offered by the so called budget airlines. Of the three, Jet airways is clearly the market leader, with good service and a percieved brand Value. I have had only good service from Jet except for the fact that the Air hostesses are relatively rude. Rudeness Factor is clearly a parameter that Jet Airways consider when recruiting Flight Attendents. I long the golden days of Air travel when Air Hostesses were no less than Super Models, and some even marrying into Industrial Houses and with Actors.

Indian, is not coping well with the sudden opening up of the skies. The over aged Air Hostesess and Flight Stewards, and their fake smile have become an eyesore at best. And if you happen to fly by Alliance Air, god help you. Other the service quality and the rest, it is the ricketty condition of the Aircrafts that is most disheartening. In fact a weak hearted might have a heart Attack. The other day I came back by Indian Airlines, and the plane was giving out a VERY strange Noise.. It was indeed scary to be listening to sounds when you on board an aircraft, and the aircraft is about to take. I asked the Air Hostess who politely told me that it was the baggage handling system, and I was calmed. And the flight took off well.

It was when we landed in the Delhi, and the plane was taxiing, ie, the baggage handling system was no where close to the aircraft, and we just touched ground when that Creaky sound came again. I promised myself that it was an Airlines that I should avoid.

Only about the best thing Indian Airlines is that if you have extra baggage, it is the only airlines that allows 30 Kilos for domestic travel. But that creaky sound was too much a price to pay for a few extra baggage huh!

In another Indian Arlines flight, the toilet was dirty, and add to it, some fellow passenger had dropped Chewing Gum Wrappers and a small empty water bottle in the sink. Of course, I have photographs of the same..that I took with my Camera phone.

Kingfisher is however is an exception.
Service quality relatively much better.
Umm.. Air Hostesses attractively dressed. And well recruited.
I mean, take out the air hostesses, and there is no fun left in travelling :)
Inflight entertainment, which will pay for itself with inflight promotions..

I expected it to be nothing more than a Huge flying bill board , and a Massive surrogate advertising campaign for Kingfisher Beer. But, with the whole industry in troubled waters, Kingfishers might come out a clear winner. At least they would be selling more beer even if the airlines run into losses. And it will hold out longer than any other Airlines in the case of a price war going out of hand...

Fly the Good times.

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