Airlines industry needs a regulator. Period. A regulator beyond air safety and training guidelines. A regulator which protects the rights of customers.
While over the years, I have experienced inefficiencies by most of the airlines on not-so-vip sectors, I feel that the taken-for-granted attitude of airlines is increasing day by day. And the lessons in customer service being completely forgotten.
One such instance – On the Christmas weekend, I was travelling back from Kolkata with Indigo airlines. The airport was comparatively crowded as lot of people may be returning post vacations.
The luggage had to be pre-screened at the X-ray counter, at all places I have always seen one person to help put the bags on the machine, and another one on the other side to put the luggage back on trolley after checking. This was not the case and since the bag was little heavy I requested for help. The couple sitting there curtly remarked that I would have to wait since they do not have people. An example of customer service would have been if the man sitting there would have gotten up to help!
While I was waiting in the line which also was taking lot of time (definitely due to inefficient working pattern), I tweeted my experience. And the response to that was that if I need assistance, I should take a paid porter!
I am not an invalid person, I can manage my own luggage – thank you very much! All that women and elderly passengers ask for is little help to load the luggage on and off the carousels as long as luggage trolleys are available.
Is it too much to ask when we pay such an hefty amount for the tickets? And that too when the difference in fares between normal and no-frills airline has become negligible over time.
Another instance from the same trip, I was trying to reschedule my flights and I was politely told that I would have to pay Rs 2500 per ticket for rescheduling and the fare difference which totalled to Rs 12k, while I had already paid Rs 24k for 2 return tickets. These kind of prices are definitely not of a no-frills airlines. At these prices, I think I am entitled to a super-luxury travel and not getting fleeced. And to top this up, when I did a Web Check-in, the only seats which were available were row 21 onwards, for everything else I was asked to shell out more money!
This note is to bring to notice what an airlines should not do and I hope other players in the industry will learn. In the case of Indigo Airlines I think that the success has gone to their head!
P.S. May be #Indigo Airlines should also relook at their ORM agency or social media manager. What a simple apology can do to earn money and respect, selling more inventory to earn (or extracting) more money cannot do.