The NextGen Passengers…the pun!

Low cost carriers have definitely carried a new generation crowd at the airport, the already clogged airport terminal now look flooded with nextGen passengers …the airports have started looking like a City Central Bus-stand !!


The easily identifiable species not found abundant in Indian skies… Yes, the nextGen passengers..

• Like the one’s forming huge lines waiting in front of check-in counters…
• Like the one’s who carry the entire baggage in hand fearing that airlines will charge them if they use the trolleys…
• Like pushing you from behind even if the line moves some inches ….
• Like most of them on their turn going from the check-in counters back to the baggage screening queues…
• Like the one’s who will quickly form another parallel line for security check…
• Like the one’s who will get amazed if you apologize if your handbag has touched them while they glue to your back in the line…
• Like the one’s who will try move their other family members upon reaching the security check..
• Like the one’s who will be showing the entire wealth they are carrying out of their hand baggage in front of CRPF men…
• Like the one’s who will run to the gate as soon as the announcements are made..
• Like the ones’ who will keep watching their feet on moving escalators and rescue other family members off it upon the exit way…
• Like the one’s who will try and squeeze their hand bags in overhead bin just above their seats even if they are occupied.
• Like the one who will examine the seatbelts of all their family members and start the cockpit training of opening Ac vents, switching lights on and off …
• Like the ones reclining the seat to it’s maximum as soon as they tighten their seat belts..
• Like the one’s who will be peeping through the windows even if the aircraft is at the terminal gate.
• Like the one’s who will open the front tray and examine it as soon as they are seated and do open everything kept in the magazine pouch..
• Like the one’s who are eager to go to the toilet as soon as the plane is airborne.
• Like the ones who eat everything and carry back some goodies including tissues if served …
• Like the one’s who will not sleep and keep observing everyone on board..
• Like the ones who will stand up in the pathway as soon as plane lands the destination even if the seatbelt sign is not switched off..
• Like the one’s in great hurry to rush out of the plane once the doors open..
• Like the one’s who will be standing near the baggage belt with entire family to look for their bags and seem happy to trace them on the belt…
• Finally, Like the one’s who will get a trolley after fetching the luggage from the belt and take it till the nearest bus stand …

I hope you agree that we have just added a whole lot of NextGen passengers a.k.a. commuters to the world of erstwhile so called elite passengers and taken away most of the flying charm(!) till the day airlines either have separate low cost carrier terminals or everyone is educated with erstwhile airline etiquettes which are now getting rare and found only as endangered species of passengers with flying miles…

18 Comments so far

  1. silkboard (unregistered) on January 11th, 2007 @ 9:51 am

    Rajesh, I am certainly not complaining. Neither should you, isn’t it? You got to pay the older/higher fares if you want ‘elite’ company (in those lounges)!.

    Let me warn you that you run the risk of getting pounded by the neo-socialists on this blog :)

  2. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 11th, 2007 @ 10:53 am

    Yes, I expect that too! it’s like the paradigm of making one ready to have a unlimited thali in a five star property.

    In my observation, it is a new revolution towards expectation management that we all should be ready to deal with. There are learning’s from other part of the world who has already taken this in consideration and have begin buidling separate terminals (SFO,US) to avoid inconvineence and maintain the ambience of the rich travel experience generally associated to air travel.

    Thanks for your ‘warning’, ;-) I would continue to put my observations straightforth still being sensitive to reactions..

  3. Vijay (unregistered) on January 11th, 2007 @ 10:56 am

    Good takes…lol
    The ones who go to the toilet… as soon as the seatbelt sign is turned off after take off… especially annoying if you are in the last seat (aisle) and the guy is waiting uneasily next to you..

  4. Ravi (unregistered) on January 11th, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

    Very astute observations, Rajesh!

  5. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 11th, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

    Thanks Vijay Ravi…keeps me going!!

  6. mansoor (unregistered) on January 11th, 2007 @ 12:57 pm

    good one rajesh!

    lets see which idea takes on first :P

    karachi MB

  7. Anil (unregistered) on January 11th, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

    Good points Rajesh…
    I wouldn’t call these as NextGen. Appropriate term would be FOB’s (first time on board). There are just too many FOBS’, which is changing to make it look like a bus stand.
    I feel that there should be etiquette sheet with the air tickets to guide people. If we don’t do it now then very soon it will be another Bus stand. One of the airlines is already trying hard to make it one.

  8. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 11th, 2007 @ 1:35 pm

    Anil, like the context of FOB’s…but truly speaking it took me quite some flights to know all of these ‘expectations’ myself, thus FOB’s may not be applicable in true sence as it does not teach anyone all of these things in their first flight. ;-)

  9. Mysore (unregistered) on January 11th, 2007 @ 5:12 pm

    Sigh!! I have travelled many times, unfortunately sign me up for,

    Like the one’s who will be peeping through the windows even if the aircraft is at the terminal gate.
    • Like the one’s who will open the front tray and examine it as soon as they are seated and do open everything kept in the magazine pouch.

  10. briju prasad (unregistered) on January 12th, 2007 @ 3:43 am

    well……….it took me a while to read through the whole lot as i had to relive some or perhaps most of the experience you mentioned.
    Initially i thought you were drawing good humour into the nitty gritty of todays air travel only to be surprised at the end that you were infact serious about the segregation of airport on the grounds of Class……….i am sorry i am no Neo socialist but i find this idea very primitive in this day.I believe everybody start from somewhere and the likes of the elite you mention also might have had their fair share of hiccups in the past.I dont think anybody can be called elite if they cannot tolerate others inexperience and i suppose most of us/them are tolerant.
    I can understand money can buy you class and rightly so as they deserve but to think others who dont have that class but also have worked hard for a share(be it a small one)deserve equal status.
    I will agree if you say building a seperate Airport to avoid congesion but certainly not according to class because i cant imagine one wonder “HOW WOULD I CLASS myself BEFORE BOOKING A TICKET”…………i will be still left imagining??
    You also talk about Flying charm,i cant understand how it is not charmful assisting your fellow passenger who makes his brave new journey into a different world?……….if at all it is?
    I am sorry i find you latter comments very Victorian.
    Sorry to differ!…..but an interesting post.

  11. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 12th, 2007 @ 8:59 am

    @ Mysore, thanks

    @ B.Prasad, Thanks for sharing your honest feedback, and indeed I agree that everyone should be compassionate about the other fellow passengers on their way to learning these ‘flying colors’.
    You have every right to differe as I have mine. Unfortunately we still fail to realize thet this ‘mess’ is going to help all of us lowering our fares and obvious to let go some comforts ( comparing the business class and economy makes sence as along flying jetairways to Air deccan.) The point is that if you have paid through your nose for making it easier for your travel and to your expectations of the entire user experience, if it fails you regret the system and the mode it operates. I know it is going to be hard even to realize and digest when you pay a full non discounted fare and made to share the experience with someone who had got that ticket as low as Rs.6 the treatment from airline remains same, why?
    Then why do other airlines have this business class separate from economy on the shear basis of money paid!! isnt’ it? Thus we learn to live with it unlike all major international airports have initiated seggregating the low cost carrier terminals e.g. SFO,US is already building one and that’s how I feel it endorses a fact that affordability has a perspective on your experience and comfort.

    Thanks for bringing this important point, keeps me going!!

  12. Christopher (unregistered) on January 12th, 2007 @ 10:56 am

    I disagree with you regarding
    ” Like the one’s who carry the entire baggage in hand fearing that airlines will charge them if they use the trolleys…”

    I thought it was the first timers who have the notion that you have to use trolleys in a airpot even if you have just one bag to carry.
    I have seen plenty of people with easy to manage luggage(I mean medium size strollers or easy to carry bags) using a trolley and standing in a queue. Ever seen a person travelling on business using a trolley…??

  13. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 12th, 2007 @ 11:49 am

    Chris, you have a point!!

  14. Chitra (unregistered) on January 12th, 2007 @ 7:05 pm

    Rajesh, I must say that I am glad that a lot of people are getting to at least experience air travel. But for these low fare carriers, air travel would still remain a distant thing for the common man. Yes, the common man may not know much about the etiquette, but that is no reason to keep him away. Disparity in wealth and affordability will bring in extreme social issues. Lets not forget to embrace all, if not all atleast most. :)

    Also, though most of your points are dead on the nail, I am sure most will cause you little or no distress. For example: “the ones who will keep watching their feet on moving escalators and rescue other family members off it upon the exit way… ” Isn’t that a fun thing? Going on escalators for the first time?

    BTW, though I hardly know you, I do consider you my friend in blogosphere. I enjoy your posts here and love your city pics in your blog. I am sure you will understand my ‘quite Left’ point of view. Yes, I am Left, quite Left! :)

  15. Briju Prasad (unregistered) on January 12th, 2007 @ 7:05 pm

    Thank you,
    …..The airlines industry have far changed now and they cater to various different groups of passengers,including the new “Flybees”(if i may say so)that we are at reference here.
    there are various circumsatances in which a passenger books a ticket……let us take the example of your Rs 6 traveller……i guess he would have booked ages ago and risks forfeiting his money if he were to cancel at short notice,he will also lose the tax and the much awaited holiday.
    I am not an economist but i guess airline companies like quantity but not opposed to safety because this can bring them in serious trouble.
    So my point was that people book tickets in various circumstances and time scales ranging from Rs 6 to Rs 6000(for example) in the same class(economy for instance)………and…..that should not stop the airline company treating passengers differently as i think it all comes under the grounds of human dignity(i know you are not refuting this and was not your original point…….i do appreciate it)
    Just think about a situation if an Air steward/stewardess asks for your ticket and says “sorry sir i cannot serve you dinner” and immediately says to the next passenger “chicken or veg”……how would one feel………i think we live in a shared economy……..sorry if i have been too sarcastic….just some light vein??
    I can understand the preference for the Business class passengers as they rightly deserve….i dont think the the flybees are troubling them in any sense…..if only they are…sustaining the already fragile Airline industry?(i guess so) but the point here is about the same class of travel ………..different fares………why different treatment.(well…how could there be a different treatment)……as the famous line goes “customer is the king”…….at least hopefully near to a king?(subjective to the airline company)
    We hear news about Millionaires taking Journeys to Space stations……………well i am not even near to proposing that it will be a reality to common people soon but i guess thats how humanity evolves?……..atleast Charles Darwin thought.
    ….. the point about etiquette……i wonder why we should only restrict it to airlines/airport……….we could extend it to all public spaces etc etc……..etiquette is (i think)not about class but is about human behaviour towards his fellows!
    If there is a need for airports for lowcost airlines they will appear sooner or later……..nobody can stop that but we cannot start differenciating people by the fare they pay for the same class.
    So the moot point here is live and see others live.(at least it may look “good enough”)
    Many thanks again for your choice of topic and also for the many different topics of late….
    you really made us think…

  16. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 12th, 2007 @ 7:19 pm

    Thanks Chitra and Prasad, I respect and understand the perspective you are bringing in. if you observe all I say from this ‘pun’ is not dare disrepecting others but express my feeling as they came through my own experience I faced! The separation by class is/was always there based on money paid by railways with class, Buses Govt ply to the best in class cruizes, it is also seen in sports like cricket stadiums where each class attracts and expect few protocols to be followed.

    Again,Thanks for being there in the blogosphere i.e.blogland my friends…

  17. Chitra (unregistered) on January 12th, 2007 @ 7:47 pm

    There is class in railways, but not in the stations. There is class in stadium seating, but not at the entrance gate. There will always be class in the airlines. I am sure we don’t have to worry about that. :) Remember the airlines have to make money too, a lot of money.

  18. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 12th, 2007 @ 9:07 pm

    Thats exactly the point i wish to deliver, the airlines could be different but the experience at the airpost is common for all…

    Imagine a condition when you are standing in a queue and someone would try breaking it and move forward withour respecting others, then other do have a right to ‘explain’ the person to follow this ‘unwritten protocol/code of conduct’ for self descipline.

    I am sensitive to the fact that escalators are so fun, but that is not it’s purpose and if someone makes it to enjoy esclators at others cost, it becomes noticable. I think tolerence level at the airport with so called ‘elite’ class is much higher than you can expect at the bus station, e.g I was never pushed at any airports by purpose by any other feloow passenger but chances are far more at the railway station.

    I guess this is one’s perspective how he wishes to see his surrounding and tries to set a expectation from others without any supporting code and then the fun begins…

    thanks again! I keep going!!

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