What follows is a letter written by a friend of mine to the Air India Chairman. To some it may sound a little snob, first class international frequent traveller's frustration, to others it's an incredible, funny and well written insight into why Air India is not worth paying for. Can assure you that Mr. Jadhav has read it and hopefully did not just chuckle and ignore it. Read on.
Dear Mr. Jhadav,
I am a frequent traveler of Air India vide FF no 331489. Recently I had undertaken a trip to New York and returned to Chennai last night. I travelled by first class and I had fully paid for it.
I presume you must also be using Air India and should you undertake a similar trip. Here are a few points to help your travel be more comfortable.
1. If you take AI 101 to New York (as I did on 19/03/2010) you may want to carry your own night wear as the cabin has only medium size. I needed a large one and then I had to sleep in my lounge suit which I had to wear, going into the aircraft straight from a meeting.
2. If you had to fly from Newark to Frankfurt ( as I did on 27/03/2010 by AI 144) you may again like to carry your own night wear as you don’t have large size.
3. And if you land in Frankfurt by AI 144 you may like to have a meeting of your staff in the luggage retrieving area, as otherwise, you will find no assistance and you will trek between belt 10 and belt 16 over 100 times because the outsourced staff are utterly unhelpful. Since it takes an hour it may be a good idea to finish all your work at the airport. Just a thought Mr. Chairman.
4. I hope you do not have the misfortune of taking AI120 from Frankfurt (as I did on 30/03/2010). When I brought to the notice of the Ground Engineer, part of your outsourced ground staff, the call button was not working, he said he could fix it provided I could be grounded for 4 hours. A Great Ambassador for your airline indeed. As if that was not enough, Mr. Chairman, when I checked in the first class counter at Frankfurt, and when I asked if someone could escort us to the lounge, a normal courtesy extended to first class passengers, the girl at the counter encouraged me helpfully that I should travel Lufthansa for such courtesy!
I am told call buttons failure is common and therefore I strongly suggest that you provide for manual call bells, to first class passengers to enhance their comfort!
Another thing you need to plan ahead Mr. Chairman, is that a sex change may be necessary as on this sector, you have only ladies night wear.
Also Mr. Chairman from Frankfurt to Delhi the reading light did not work and if you want to read on work you may have to request the cabin crew to vacate their seats near the exit door (exhibit 1).
The acme Mr. Chairman was on IC 801 of 1/04/2010, on arrival in Chennai. After two union ministers got into the coach along with a few other business class passengers, the ground staff said that the coach was full in a bus which is normally packed like sardines. When I insisted, I would also get in the coach with my wife and forced my way in, the bus took off with my wife perched dangerously on the footboard. I have known Government trying to reserve for women, but you must be the only airline reserving space for women on the footboard! A unique airline indeed, a union minister and a former chief secretary were witness to this.
All in all Mr. Chairman thank you for the third class treatment for first class fare.
I am taking the liberty of calculating this experience to many to encourage people to contribute ideas to you for making air travel by your airlines memorable.