Reading that Praful Patel, Indian Minister for Civil Aviation, is visiting Manmohan Singh with a range of ideas that could turnaround India’s state airline, I am reminded of my few unique experiences on Air India which, no matter what Mr Patel proposes, will undoubtedly remain etched in my memory.
Having experienced great luxury travel with the likes of Jet and Virgin, especially of the sumptuous Virgin lounge in Heathrow, it remains a constant surprise that Air India’s lounge is just so, so shabby. To the point that the furniture has ciggy holes in it and everything looks greasy – including the samosas! Let’s not even mention the unbearable stained carpets, the over-weight and heavy handed flight attendants, or the sub-standard on-flight entertainment.
I agree with Praful Patel on the count that the issues with Air India are deeply systemic and go to the core. If they can’t get customer service right, then why expect a higher demand on their flights?
Not so long ago, a friend of mine – during a conversation of the excellent service I had received with Jet, quipped amusingly that she always flew business class in Air India to Mumbai, for the simple reason that “who else would let you put your kids down to sleep on the floor in front of your seat”.!!!!
What a great USP.