Taking Customers for a ‘Cheap’ Ride…

Ok, let me confess the price point to air travel Bangalore Goa ( Saturday 14/03/07 noon flight )was too tempting to me at Rs.10 per passenger. I booked the tickets in advance some two months earlier and choose knowingly to travel with them …this time again the schedule was perfect and I got an SMS three days before that my flight is departing bit late…

On the airport the episode took a wild twist, with few fellow passengers clogging the boarding gate and standing 40-45 minutes in the line as this airline does not offer seats on boarding cards and there is a mad rush to chase the seats thus the boarding gate queues are large and at large….

As we stand almost near the counter we saw approx 17 passengers seating near the gate, that group comprised of a mix of few friends, families with kids, one family with special child and a foreigner along. As the boarding time approached the airline staff was quite attentive to them ignoring others. The check in for them was done altogether differently; they did not stand in any queue and were allowed to pass atleast five minutes before…I know that the airlines give preference to challenged /special kids family but the whole crowd in a holiday mood just passed the security gate and boarded the bus waiting on the tarmac…

Story begins here, I raised an objection that the group did not stand in the queue and should not board the flight as the airline does not have any other special class ,with and exception but for the one family with special child others should not be given the preference…as I shouted the most few fellow staffers took my boarding pass and let me and the family go first..

Now at the bus, the ground staff of the airline did not allow any other passengers to board the bus but only to that ‘group’ which took them to the aircraft…they managed that the ‘group’ given the first preference to board and block the seats discriminating others…again when we started to shout ( now few others join me hearing me back on the counter..) the reason given is that the bus is going to some other flight and not GOA…a ‘safed jhoot’ from the ground staff…when I objected and said that they are giving unfair preference to the group even they hold the same class…the reason given was that they are from management / close relatives of Capt Gopinath and there is a directive to treat them specially…the truth finally came out!!

My next few questions to them were

• Isn’t that the airline is cheating me by way of giving preference to select few despite there is only one class and thus deviate from all approved processed airline should follow for all passengers in same class?
• That the ground staff lies to passengers when the group was given a separate bus exclusively when even there were many seats available to ply others to the aircraft, isn’t it the waste of money?
• That the special attention is given to the ‘select’ few at the cost of others, without their permission, isn’t it a restrictive trade practice?
• That the seating preference is given to them where airline breached its own commitment given to others when they say ‘airline’ does not reserve the seats for any and all passengers. Isn’t this cheating?

There was no answer from anyone from the airline ground staff, they just took off from the gate as soon as we boarded another bus…

Taking the word from the airline ground staffer saying they all were Captain Gopinath’s relatives; they should fly ‘exclusively’ booking a charter flight and not take advantage of customers who book and wait for months ensuring airline’s revenue. Obvioulsly these cases are never investigated bu AAI as they seem feel pride collectivg taxes and not moniitoring what happends on the ground….

Are you listening Air Deccan!!

14 Comments so far

  1. famus (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 10:11 pm

    cheap practice, file a case aganist the airlines. Give them a strong feedback. might b Mr.Gopinath not knowing of these things. shoot a mail to him.

  2. chitra (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

    Rajesh, thanks for this report. I have been wondering if I should book their cheap tickets too. But, I won’t. We recently flew Kingfisher and I was very happy with their service. Maybe, we will stick with them!

  3. Altoid (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 10:39 pm

    Is this Rs 10 flight fare for Bangalore-Goa?

  4. Ravi (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 10:38 am

    Cap. Gopinath is contactable via email at chairman@airdeccan.net, i think. If you feel very strongly about this issue, please mail him. You could be doing him a big favour actually bringing this matter to his attention!

  5. saaya (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 10:59 am

    When you book these people be prepared of schedule violations and delayed flights and horrifiing take off and landing experiences !! It is the cost you pay for buying those “CHEAP” tickets :|

  6. silkboard (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 11:14 am

    I am waiting for the day when fares will be even lower, and in return air-deccan or some new air-makhan will offer standing space instead of seats on the plane.

    I know that they cut costs by not having designated seats on the boarding passes. But fail to understand why they cant manage civilized boarding for their planes – that doesn’t cost money, and it could make for faster boarding as well (anyone remember southwset’s “zones”?). Instead, their staffers blame “these” people.

    I know you get what you pay for, but I sincerely hope Indigo or Spicejet make you history Air-Deccan.

  7. Raghu (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 11:18 am

    In all other walks of life we see such things. Our reaction is milder.
    When it happens with airlines, we make a huge hue & cry about it. We have not yet come to terms with “cheap” airlines. Haven’t we accepted such things when traveling by train. We have, because that’s what we have seen from our childhood.
    Air Deccan is the first “Lala” company in aviation sector and there would be many more. India is a country of lifetime incoming free, BigBazaar, 1 Lac car, Rs. 10 basic air fare….

  8. M O H A N (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

    Shun these carriers like plauge and cholera. Let them learn a lesson or two. Kingfisher offers such excellent services, they are truely worthy to be flown with.

  9. NAREN (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 12:17 pm

    Rajesh its very common yaar. I hav seen better dramas in airports and flights with “High” Costs airlines. UR experience in very minimal and sounds silly atleast for me. couple of days ago Sahara created hell in Thiruvananthapuram(refer some news Sites). ur experience happens in all places like Thirupathi to Common Road(wen VIPs move Roads are blocked). U r lucky to get ticket at 10 rs. plus tax.

    To all air Deccan Haters, Delays are common in flights. ITs unfair to brand air deccan for all negetive reasons. for that matter “schedule violations and delayed flights and horrifiing take off and landing experiences” are often seen. Atleast AD doesnt provide lizard food like Jet. And before anybody asks let me tell am not working in Air deccan:).

    Air lines is the risky Business. ITs the initiative by our Gopinath which made dream come true to common man to fly in air. If air deccan were not there there would not be KF, SJet or Indigo. Wen vidhan saudha was built there was an allegation on then chief minister kengal hanumanthaih. But today he is remembered for his novel Initiative. So, only time will Prove.

    @ RAGHU if “India is a country of lifetime incoming free, BigBazaar, 1 Lac car, Rs. 10 basic air fare…. ” US is of Free Phones, Wal marts, Targets, Cheap fuel and also low cost airlines, MIND IT!! :))

    Kingfisher doesnt offer Cheap flights. So, KF is not for common man.

  10. silkboard (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

    Agree with Naren. Delays aren’t a Deccan thing, (though I haven’t seen anyone ‘advance’ their flights!) and its unfair to say only Deccan creates these bad service situations.

    BTW Mohan, KF to Deccan isn’t apple to apple comparison. I wanted to say that cost of an air-ticket is inversely proportional to the average length of air-hostess’ skirts. But Indigo beats that rule!

  11. NAREN (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

    AAaah!!!!! “inversely proportional” Pranav AKA Silkboard, tell in laymens language buddy!! ok the longer the skirt lesser the price and Vice Versa. hmmmmm….

  12. vk (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 5:31 pm

    Rajesh, first of all, did u make ur trip to Goa. If u did then u r lucky. How did u feel while travelling for Rs 10 from Blore to Goa. Probably u wud have paid more for ur auto/taxi to get to the airport from ur house. Now that u have made a massive saving on ur pocket, what makes u think that u shud be accorded princly treatment when u fly. For all I care, that group ppl might have actually paid the full amount to travel to goa which is several hundred multiples of ur princely Rs10 and the ground staff did not want to embarass u infront of others..so they lied (as u say..safed jhoot).Did u think abt this fact before ranting. If Air Deccan hadnt arrived in India then would u even have thought abt flying to Goa in the first place??

  13. Rahul Narula (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 11:45 pm

    I too agree with Naren,
    I have traveled a couple of times on AD between Blr-Del & touchwood the experience have been really good with them. Maybe its because I travelled with my family & daughter & was always given the “special” treatment as discussed above. :-) I had till now enjoyed first entry to the aircraft with them & hence the choice of the best seat. Believe me in my 3-4 journeys with AD I had never had faced any delays from them(permissible till 15-20 mins)
    Overall I must say that the money I paid & the experience I had I am “1 Happy AD passenger”.
    Try to compare the benefits of flying AD with traveling by train.

    Disclaimer: Have flown Kingfishers of the indian sky too which definately has a class of its own but the price is also of their own.

    Moreover had it not been AD we would be forced to fly atleast 4 times the fare right now & then ppl would not be complaining about delays

    As far as AD goes it has time & again revolutionized air travel this time with Free Tickets (ie Rs 0) against the applicable fare(though you still have to pay around 1000 as taxes & surcharges)
    To have a feel of it try this :

    The above url will give the desired results till midmight 22/04/2007

  14. Ujjal Kar (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 2:27 pm

    I did an online booking for a ticket from Guwahati to Kolkata on 2nd May 2007 but received no PNR or ticket. The credit card (VISA)

    company confirmed the transaction (Rs 2574/-) but Air Deccan Help line says that they cannot see the PNR online so they can’t

    trace the transaction. Gave me a number (080-41585225) which is the contact for the department at Air Deccan handling credit card

    transactions….number is permenantly busy…Tried 178 times (counted) …no go.

    Surprisingly ALL THEIR CONTACT NUMBERS keep ringing without any one picking up…tried over 4 days.

    These numbers, as published on their website CONTACT page are:

    080 41148190-99 / 41585000 / 5200

    This is a total nightmare !! I found that I am not the only person to suffer…they seem to be making quite a packet from people who

    don’t have the time to bother following up such false transactions.


    Ujjal Kar

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.