I have taken roughly 12 flights in the last two years and the only, I repeat the only final criteria to pick a flight has been the price. Anything more than a Rs 100 above / less the mark, I would chose the other! So be it Go Air, Indigo or Kingfisher. If you are the cheapest, I fly you. However this changed and changed for good after my last flight with one of the low cost airlines. I tweeted when boarding that that flight that it would be my last flight with this airline, why? Well there was nothing particularly broken on their part, its just that by design their system doesn’t work for me anymore.
The rush on the faces of the staff, the loud whispers of money being exchanged to buy food, the ignorant ground staff (who can’t even ensure that a Que. is maintained) and the failure to give even a glass of water without charging. Perhaps the last one would have been a good reason, but that wasn’t really the cause. Yes I went thirsty on a flight back from Delhi, for I had no cash but cards – But that isn’t what made me pay a premium.
As I type this, I am off to Kolkata, seated on a window seat onboard an early morning flight. After seeing the sunrise, its the mild heat on my right ear, that is pleasing me. Even as that same heat irritates a co-passenger asking me to close one of the windows, I am enjoying it. I can calmly put my head into the system and type out a few articles in the hour that I have in hand and its so much more peaceful. I can see the onboard crew’s eye for detail.
They aren’t busy in their heads thinking about the sale of sandwiches, peanuts and water bottles, but turning on reading lights for passengers reading a newspaper before the lights are dimmed for take off. They aren’t busy preparing for the safety demonstrations (it plays as a video), but giving the extra helping hand to get all the luggage bags settled. Yes the passengers by all means are rude, before you even reach their seats, they would pickup a couple of bottles from your tray and all you would do is smile and offer them a juice along.
For some reason, this gives me a space to be calm and enjoy the takeoff which would normally have me scared (yes, I am terrified during take offs, landings are better). IMO with less than 3 hours of sleep last night, this is a well deserved peace of mind that I have bought. Yes I paid a premium, but I am happy. I find it worth the added cost.
Note: Yes, I can’t afford the couple of grands extra every-time I fly, but whenever I see the difference in my hitting range, I would go for it.
Note 2: Its sure a pain to fly early early morning. And more than getting the entire day in hand when arriving at the destination, its the sunrise from 10000 mts up in the air that has started to attract me.
Recommended read: Anaggh’s – Indian Airlines Post! Inspired me to write this.