Monday, February 13, 2006

One flew over the cuckoo's nest...

There is a flip side to every story and there’s a funny side to every such flip side. You may realize this bit of truth after traveling in some these so called affordable airlines which have swarmed our skies. Agreed tickets are cheaper then the trains in some cases but there are things which might remind you of Railways or even worse than that.
So what’s its like boarding a flight? Well, the nearest experience can be a theatre where tickets do not sport seat numbers. Any body who gets in first gets the seat of his or her choice. So once the flight is announced there is more than a bit of wrestling to get a window seat. And sometimes if you are unlucky you might also remember your childhood fights with your siblings to sit near the window. They should actually put one “*Conditions Apply” tag on the tickets saying that, “Window seats are subject to your fighting skills.”
And then there are intermittent delays ala Bharatiya Rail. The only difference here is that you get an SMS instead of calling the enquiry and finding out. The thing is patience is the key while you travel in these planes. You will reach your destination for sure but when and how are questions which are answered differently on case to case basis.
But don’t the air hostesses act as major differentiators in terms of quality of travel? Well, in these flights the air hostesses spend so much time selling snacks, home appliances, bags and so many other things that by the time you feel like asking for help the flight is over. Hospitality sells and how? The airhostesses are also sometimes so uninterested while explaining the safety parameters that one starts to think how bad are they as mime artistes.
And then there are also some other similarities with Railways which can take you by surprise. Even though the flight is only for a few hours, there are families who spend most of the time eating. There are people who push your baggage aside so that their bag is exactly on top of their head. And I haven’t yet realized why they do so because the chances of somebody stealing your bag in the flight are in fact wafer thin. There are also travelers who misread the hand baggage as handful baggage. One can always see them entering the plane with their life’s belonging.

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