Air India because We Hear You (WHY) that should be the motto for asking customer feedback. Let me share my first & the most recent family travel experience with Air India (AI). I always heard or read AI is not doing good or it’s in heavy loss so writing this blog to highlight positive side of AI as well criticize it’s operations.
AI started 72 years ago but it’s operations are not impressive hence it’s YoY growth declining.
We booked British Airways to travel from Richmond USA to Bengaluru India via London UK. We’re not allowed to on-board at Chicago USA for not having transit visa or visa stamped on passport with validity date as future date, we had original document of visa extension approved letter and I-94 but they didn’t consider. We slept at airport and my employer re-booked the tickets. I quickly learnt my lesson so requested for Air India tickets (ORD->DEL->BLR). Every problem or bad experience gives us an opportunity to improve or grow, this time it’s a growth opportunity for Air India CMD. AI CMD should introduce ‘Welcome Back‘ specials i.e a discount on travel ticket(s) to Indians relocating to India. It’s his\her responsibility to connect with all companies with good offers and promote the growth of Air India in competitive air travel business.
Win Customers for Lifetime: At O’Hare Airport, AI staff said you’ll get free hotel stay with free pick up and drop off at Delhi. AI staff approached us at baggage in Delhi Airport and helped us with hotel accommodation. We got free dinner as well.
We saw airport staffs wearing No Tips Please jacket hence we didn’t spend single rupee at Delhi Airport. After 4 years I returned to India to witness India has changed for good, thanks to Aviation Minister. Please note, No Tips Please not followed at Bengaluru Airport.
So far all is well with AI. We reached Delhi Airport at 3:30am and it took 2hrs to reach Gate 31B i.e. 5 minutes prior to onboarding. I was bit tensed thinking we might miss the flight. My mind was thinking about writing a blog on those 2 hours of waiting. Let me first thank the AI crew and then will briefly explain opportunities to improve for better travellers experience (TX).
Kudos to AI Crew: My daughter was hungry, she didn’t hesitate to ask the crew for food. AI Crew with big 💓 offered her cookies and again with cheese bread+juice. He served breakfast to her first and then other passengers. It’s nice to have a #AIKidsFirst policy to treat our future generation today with great care and generosity. Thank you #ANISUR RAHMAN ANSARI #NITIN YADAV
I asked Nitin, what inspired you to become a crew? He Love’s to Travel and Serve, this is the only job that matched his interest.
Critics Are Important To Improve
Good feel about India suddenly changed while waiting for boarding pass to Bengaluru at Delhi Airport for below reasons:
No Lane discipline: Indians are self-centered so we need 1 or 2 staff to remind people to follow the lane discipline. Several passengers were standing in front of the boarding pass issuer expressing frustration and asking to speed up the service. Foreign visitors too will feel bad about India.
Display devices: did you notice static Air India logo displayed on those TV’s? It reflects AI’s poor management at resource utilization. It’s you hub so put a big banner visible to all and utilize display devices to show flight departure details like flight no, boarding time, Gate no, destination, status, avg security check time etc. It helps all travellers.
Loud Mouth For Announcement: AI staff loudly announced – Final call to Ahmedabad, hardly few people heard that announcement. AI should provide public announcement speaker or install similar device to make announcements more professionally.
Extra Kilos in Check-in Bags: 23kgs per check-in bag allowed but few bags weighed more than 25kgs. This caused unwanted dialogue with staff and delayed issuing boarding pass. AI staff was noting the weight and manually added the numbers to get total weight, he walked to senior to get approval to allow extra Kilos!! Will you tolerate 15-20 minutes per passenger while waiting for your turn? How do we solve this?
Recruit handicaps to sit near weighing machine, allow passengers to self-check the bag weight. Airport Staff will put green (<=23kg) or yellow (<=24kg), Red (>24Kgs) label sticker to indicate bag weight. Red labelled bags not allowed to enter boarding pass or baggage drop-off lane.
Express Lane: Govt did nothing effective on population, pollution, and traffic control so there is no point in blaming traveller who comes late to airport. Airport should mandate 1 or 2 boarding pass or baggage drop-off lanes dedicated to flights with departure time in next 60 minutes.
Security Checkpoint: one person tried to skip the queue, crossed the rows but Security staff stopped him and made him to come in queue. Please note, his flight departs in 40 minutes. This kind of incidents will be common in India so we need to solve it without any delay. How?
Reserve 2 lanes at security Checkpoint for flights which departs in next 60 minutes.
AI Meals: crew asked me veg or non-veg? It means AI placed meal order more than required. AI should stop offering meal options, stop wasting food and tax payers money. Just go by seat no and meal option selected while booking tickets.
Remember, AI is govt-owned enterprise. AI’s loss is your loss. Your tax money will be wasted on AI if you don’t act or react.
#TravelWithAI share your experience.