Fly Away Deccan

Posted: April 17, 2006 in Arbit Thoughts

Two little dickie birds Sitting on a wall;
One named Peter, The other named Paul.
Fly away, Peter! Fly away, Paul!
Come back, Peter! Come back, Paul!
My ordeal with Air Deccan on my return journey to
Delhi is difficult to ‘Simplifly’ into words. I set forth for Delhi from
Hyderabad after being informed that the flight originally scheduled at morning 0700 hours would be actually taking off at 1830 hours. This was good news as now I could save my one day of leave and yet continue with my preplanned itinerary.
The fun started once I boarded the autorickshaw to the airport about an hour and a half before scheduled departure. Halfway down the way I was informed by a helpful Customer Care ‘Executive’ from Air deccan that my flight was further delayed by 2 hours. On Enquiring the reasons for being informed so late the gentleman replied that he had 300 passengers to inform, I understood the implied message that ‘for an LCA you should be thankful that we at least care to inform’. Decided not to be penny wise and pound foolish, decided to spend my time and save on the moolah. Went to the airport and started waiting in the ‘lounge’ if you can call it so. Looks apart, I think that most big bus terminals are better planned and managed than

Hyderabad
NTR
Airport. To add insult to the injury was the fact that market perception in
India find it perfectly justifiable to keep people flying budget airlines waiting without any information whatsoever. Honestly, the customer service doesn’t even pretend to exist in this segment.With Security Checks done, we went for boarding; a long queue which thicker at the midriff and thinner at the ends was visible, affording the bystanders the full entertainment of any such social arrangements. Whether is was a well built Marwari Couple with their innumerable kids or students fresh out of B-School (ISB, One of the country’s elite B-Schools had its term break at that time) vying for foot hold. Reminded me of the famous line for ‘Kerosene’ in the ration shops during the starting years of the gulf war.

The reception provided to us was even more startling. The whole aircraft was being attended by three attendees of whom one seemed to be the senior ones. This lady was well dressed, but something about her body language spoke of an air of unfriendliness. Worse, her behavior was closer in spectrum to that of a kindergarten class teacher than an attendee or a waitress. On one instance, she told an elderly gentleman waiting behing another person in the aisle to go to the restroom, “Only one person is allowed to wait in the aisle, go back to your seat”. The words ‘Sir’ and ‘Please’ were conspicuous by their absence and one could feel the disrespected melted to the elderly gentleman, who silently walked back to his seat.

As if as a silent mark of protest, most passengers who could overhear the didactic discourse gave a cold condescending stare to the hostess who comfortably chose to whiff it off.

 

Though the rest of the flight remained rather uneventful, if I discount the near hour long wait for my luggage, this whole journey taught me some very critical lessons in management of an organization.

  1. In any Business Environment, all your actions are observed by people all around, and these play a critical role in deciding their reactions to you. So STOP and Watch it!

  2. Impoliteness is a CARDINAL SIN! Business is an activity practiced by gentlemen & Ladies of good upbringing, nobody likes to do business woth a Grizzly Bear.

  3. Smiles go Miles!

  4. It is in interest of the organization to sport a well managed and systematic front. A shabby show there can wreck havvoc on its reputatiopn and tarnish it beyond recognition.

  5. Lastly, Proper Human resource training is opf utmost importance, they are afterall the face of what you claim to stand for!

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