Glitches with Air Deccan

I suppose, with a small airline that is trying to expand, glitches are bound to develop; but it is not a good thing if passengers are put to difficulty; in today’s scenario, they might just take their custom elsewhere.

Yesterday, (21 March 2007) a passenger with a confirmed booking on the 8.45 am Air Deccan flight from Bangalore to Chennai reached the airport in time for the check-in (half an hour before the scheduled departure time), Imagine his surprise, when he was told that he could not check in because the flight timing had been advanced by half an hour–the previous night!

On querying how they could advance the timing in the middle of the night, and that too, without informing a confirmed passenger, they had no convincing argument in response. The passenger insisted, naturally, that there was no way he could have divined their timing advancement, and was finallly allowed in for security check, after an argument that completely spoilt his morning mood.

In the security area, he met another friend who told him that probably his not being informed of the time advancement was the better of two evils! Why? The friend said HE was called up at the unearthly hour of 2 am, and informed that he had to be in the airport half an hour earlier! His sleep thoroughly ruined, the friend was trying desperately to contact the taxi that he had ordered for the next morning to ask the car to come earlier. Obviously, there was no reply at that time, and he was finally able to contact the taxi service only after 6 am…making for a tense and sleepless night.

And the best part of the story? The flight took off, not a the “advanced time”, but at 8.50 am….!

Erratic re-scheduling;even more erratic information to passengers; failure to be professional….Air Deccan….unless you can avoid contretemps like this, it’s not necessary to use a crystal ball to see stormy times ahead….

13 Comments so far

  1. SHADOW (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

    Offlate we are hearing loads of complains with Air-Deccan.

  2. M O H A N (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

    I think customers should boycott such airlines to teach them a lesson. Its due to customers these folks exist!

    Shame on you AD

  3. Prabhu (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2007 @ 3:22 pm

    Air Deccan is good for only 1 thing. Because of them, the flight fares reduced and a common man is able to fly(Ofcourse, not on Air Deccan).

    Its not just with the delay or baggage losses. Even their taxes are a bit dodgy. For instance, check the tax amount for the same sector across different airlines. You are in for a surprise.

    And, Air Deccan flights are parked somewhere in Marathahalli or Whitefield and it takes 20 minutes bus journey to reach the terminal. Needless to say about bigger airports like Mumbai and Delhi. You wonder if the flight actually landed in Mumbai or Pune.

    I dont see anything good in Air Deccan. Their customer service is the rudest. Even Indian Railways is far better!

  4. Sajith M (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2007 @ 3:39 pm

    Deepa, thought you were also writing about the CNN-IBN report. Looks like these are guys are creating some serious trouble for passengers:
    1. Offloading passengers
    2. Bending Safety Norms
    3. Crazy rescheduling (your post)

    Wow, don’t think there is much left that they can do to screw up the passengers. And what surprises me is that despite all this, this airline continues to operate…

  5. Ajith (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

    Don’t expect very high standards of service from a low-cost carrier. Some precautions that you can take:

    1. Take ticket on Air Deccan only if you do not have a time-bound commitment (like say connecting an International flight or attending business meetings). Choose KF or Jet for such important trips.

    2. Call them once on the previous day and also a maybe, 5-6 hrs before the dep. time and confirm the status of the flight

    3. Reach the airport 2:10 hrs before departure time.

    Low costs does not necessarily mean low costs!!

  6. Raghu (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

    I have traveled a lot with AD, and here is what I have to say :
    a) Would never take AD or for that matter any of the low cost airlines for time-tight trips.
    b) For normal visits to home town, which I am able to plan atleast 2 months prior, AD / other
    low-cost airlines cost avg. 1/4th of Jet/KF.
    c) For trips like c) I prefer AD since there is
    money refund on cancellation, which at best is 85% of basic fare. Most other LCs give credit note. Sahara, well, they recently deducted 95% for a ticket they called promotional (Rs. 3500 Blr-Del)
    d) Now AD is not the only cheap one. GoAir, Indigo, SpiceJet..etc. But read c)
    e) AD sucks big time with their ground services on airport.

    f) CNN-IBN also stands for sensationalism. Though the story would sure be true. But that was not “investigation”. AD had a booking engine change recently. They should have investigated since when AD was doing it. AD isn’t pardonable, but IBNs half cooked reports are nothing but media’s high handedness & moral_highground_seeking.

  7. Ravi (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2007 @ 5:19 pm

    I have flown on AD only twice to a non-metro city and apart from a delay, nothing worse happened. For major metro cities, my airline of choice is the Kingfisher. High on their fares but hi-flying, nonetheless!

  8. Ravi (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

    pls omit ‘the’ before Kingfisher!

  9. NAREN (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2007 @ 6:10 pm

    Right post @ wrong Time!! The Story comes after the day of CNN IBN story. The Second reason is the AD has just made some profits (10.32 crores) in last quarter(Q3) for first time.

    Rescheduling are Common as far as flights are concerned. It happens with all flights.

    Recently Business world has stated Airlines is the worst Business to Start. Kudos to AD which is the first Low cost airline in India and for taking risk and selling tickets for as low as Re.1 plus taxes. I am sure many people have flied in AD for three digit amount about an year ago.

    My experiences in AD is so far good. Once i got an SMS for Pre-pone of 20 mins. in departure.
    I think AD has not Outsourced its Call center to US, to call in Mid-night!!??

    I had bitter experience with Air Sahara couple of years ago. So, I feel air Deccan is far better, If air lines are considered as an mode of transport minus luxury.

  10. anonymous (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

    Air Deccan have a fundamental problem… aside from the fact that they are cheap, there is nothing that they do that could endear them to anyone in any way.

    The stupid practice of not allotting seat numbers (how do you save money by notdoing that!!) is the first step in demeaning passengers, by forcing them to jump up, queue early and fight like animals to get board the bus or the airplane.

    Next, cap gr gopinath’s statement on CNN IBN that their “website being hacked” was the reason for overbookings is laughable, esp given that this is a city of techies who see through such dumb statements.

    I have had the pleasure of having an AD flight delayed by 3 hours, fighting for a seat on the bus, bus waiting outside the plane for 10 mins before being allowed to board (locked inside the bus all this time); with passengers abusing AD in the foulest language possible while locked inside the bus, with women & children around). Sometimes those who pay the least expect the most; but low fares are no excuse to degrade your passengers.

    No thanks to air deccan… I hope they stay alive till a better low cost carrier come around, then the lose money and close down.

  11. Chitra (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 4:13 pm

    Wow, I have never been on AD, and looks like I will never be.

    Anon, when you said “with passengers abusing AD in the foulest language possible while locked inside the bus, with women & children around”, did you mean “men passengers”? :) The reason I ask is if it was said around women and children, I am guessing the only lot left is the men!

  12. Anonymous (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

    Hi there,

    Yes, it was 4-5 men only… the women were quiet… was sad to see such language hurled around. It was a Delhi to Bangalore flight, and in true national unity the abuses came from 4-5 people in 3 languages. After boarding the flight delayed by 3 hours I was asked to pay for the small bottle of water. Upon reaching Bangalore, it was quite unsafe to catch a cab at 2.30 AM so we ended up waiting outside the airport

  13. akansha (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

    well had a very funny experience with go air – another low cost airline.. became great material for my blog. as far as air deccan..hmm i dunno never travelled on it, but might i say i stand forewarned!

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