Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Captain Cheerful

Well in today’s era of mushrooming low cost airlines in India, there is scarce difference of one from the other. And leading the band wagon is the home grown Air Deccan which has the dubious distinction of being never on time. But I would like to pen my thoughts about an occasion when a subtle service provided by the airline really made a difference.

I was traveling with my mother from New Delhi to Bhubaneswar on 14th of April. The scheduled time of departure of the flight was 8:20a.m. But because of air traffic congestion, there were some 12 airlines waiting to fly. So our flight was tentatively delayed by an hour. As soon as this announcement was made by the captain, all the passengers started fidgeting. The cabin crew started dispensing food stuffs and beverages, which irked the passengers even more maybe because they had to pay for the same. It was then that the captain of the aircraft took control. His voice boomed through the microphone and he said, “This is your captain speaking. Now before you start cursing Air Deccan for causing this unwarranted delay, I would like to clarify that the delay has been caused by Air Traffic Control which has to give clearance to some 12 airlines before we can get air bound. But I would assure you that I will try to make the wait as pleasant as possible.” Then he said,” I know by this time most of you would have zapped on to you cell phones to tell all your kith and kin that you are stranded in Delhi airport. But this is a very common occurrence in the Delhi sector. So those of you, who are new to the same, might find this pretty irritating. But I have been flying in this sector for nearly a year and a half so I am amazed if any day we are able to be air bound on time.” This resulted in peals of laughter from the passengers. Then the captain again said,” I can see a Spicejet airline in front of me, and there is a lady in the window seat. But she is busy fanning herself. But I hope all the Air Deccan passengers are comfortable at the temperature of 28 degrees which is being maintained inside. I could entertain you all a bit more by taxing around the run way. But that would burn a lot of fuel and we are already burning fuel by keeping the ac and the lights on.” After that he went on to give a description of the Delhi airport and the various run ways there, the itinerary of the flight and an overview of the places that the flight would go through. At one point he told, “We would be flying over Agra which would be on our left. And given the visibility that we have today, you would be able to see some minarets. But my suggestion is that you pay a visit to Agra for the same. Any ways Air Deccan offers you many flights from Delhi at convenient times.” This again was a smash hit among the passengers.

And this way he kept the passengers a bit occupied.

I was really impressed with the thoughtfulness and the presence of mind of the captain. He could have carried on his designated work, but he took to onus to extend the purview of his responsibility. He took the responsibility to make a difference and he did. The airlines industry is a part of the hospitality domain and he actually held the banner of hospitality aloft. Thanks to the unknown captain.

1 comment:

vk said...

He is a man who works not to collect the paycheck at the end of the month.. He's man who loves his job and works for the love of it. Its nice to pen down such instances...giving others the realisation that such sweet hearted people are infact around..

Featured Post

Business with acquaintances

I have always found it weird having to interact with people I know personally in an official setting. But I have had innumerable such scen...