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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Low Cost Airlines-do they deserve the hullaaboo??????

India has a long history of consumers taking all sort of crap behaviour from the ppl who provide them with sales and services.For too long we have been a meek people who think dat it is our moral obligation to accept watever treatment is meted out to them.The quality of a service has always been out of the question for us,ven it comes to certain sectors like low cost airlines even the reliability of that service is very low.We have a consumer court that is very similar to the united nation council of today-harmless,but opinionated as hell.The latest news that i heard was that a flight got cancelled as there was no crew.The airlines in question here used to be know as Aunty Airlines (before they lauched their LOW COST airlines,heard that hasnt changed a thing) for their YOUTHFUL,enthusiastic crew(hey that could be another topic in its own!!!) :-P!!!
Isnt that quite obvious??My question is what where they thinking when they scheduled the flight...Maybe they must have thought the aircraft might suddenly get a mind of its own and like a homing pigoen reach its destination....yeah i can imagine it now-with the officials going "fly birdie birdie....come on u can do it!!!"(Check this link out-
Now lets come to the serious part- why does this happen???
The problem is dat we as a people think that reducing the cost of a product or a service should be at the the cost of quality in the service.Economies of mass and macroeconomics is out of the question. This has been instilled in us from the very basic unit of society-our houses....compromise is the only way cant have your gaajar halwa and eat it too......
I think low cost airlines should be rechristened as No Frills airlines and the naming shud reflect the character.The thing that we forget is that low cost airlines should have the same set of rules for accountability as they are mainly removing the frills such as serving a meal on board the flight and/or providing entertainment.The other method by which they cut their costs is by reducing the parking time at a particular airport and making a quick turnaround .
Sob stories of officialdom and unaccountability used to be the exclusive turf of government sectors like the railways and the public works department( However some of these sectors have made an amazing turnaround from being loss gathering institutions to examples of good management practices).Nowadays such stories have spilled over to the private sector especially in sectors like Mobile services and Low cost airlines.This is mainly due to the fact that we are fast becoming an increasingly consumer society.We think that wat is important is not to enjoy a product or a service but the act of purchasing it. So if things turn out to be just a reason to spend some money then there is no problem even if we get muck for the price that we pay.
The crucial thing we should remember is dat the low cost airlines wouldnt exist hadnt it been for us customers and as long as we dont have an accountable body which has got the authority to address consumer grievances (yeah screw the consumer court), the only people who can make a difference would be us.Some of the things (a few are plain wicked....)that we can do would be to
1) go for a service that offers you some sort of guarantee that they will put you on the earliest flight on some other airlines to your destination.
2)try travelling on the railways, you get the best service and unless some unforeseeable delay comes up, they run mostly on time.Not only is it more comfortable but we would also get to meet interesting people on board the train.
3)the other day my colleague had mentioned to me about how her flight(which was on the day of holi) got delayed and how the people who got irritated started bathing the officials present there in colours(after all it was holi).So the last thing we can do would be to carry colours with us whenever we fly(preferably of the permanent type) and coat the officials in it(i don't suppose that wud be illegal).
4)Better still if you are travelling with your kids give them water guns and/or guns with darts and tell them to aim for the person wearing the funny costumes!!!!!

if you would like to add to this list with ur innovative ideas do let me know!!!!


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