Last week, I travelled on one of the LCCs from Hyderabad to Delhi. It was my first experience on board this airline — and I must say, I was disappointed. No, not with the flight. The crusty British veteran in command seemed the only cheerful person on board. He had a freebie for the ladies (a free drink and sandwich) because it was international women’s day and didn’t have the monochrome tone and tenor that most commanders have when broadcasting on the public address system at 32000 feet. And I must confess, it was an uneventful comfortable flight that landed before time in Delhi because there was no traffic over the national capital!
The cabin crew looked like they were strolling at MG Road and giggling and laughing while they made up their minds on which movie to take in at the multiplex and where to jive once that was over. They were amateurish and downright tacky. I wouldn’t blame them for their demeanour. After all, what are you doing distributing sandwiches and litchi juice in your early twenties. It’s time to salsa and burn the floor and here they were working the aisles.
But the point is, most of them chose the aisle over the dance floor. The attractions of a glamorous job, zipping off to new cities each day and a comfortable pay packet has been too alluring and like Twenty20 cricket every young man (and woman) wants to have a taste of the magic. The consequences are there for everyone to see. Poor training and even poorer accent and pronunciation cause a huge mismatch between the travelling public and the people who are supposed to be their interface while on board. What makes it worse is the changing demographics of those on board.
Many of them are shy, unsure and hesitant to reach out for help. It happened on the way out to Hyderabad, again, on an LCC, departing bang on time. While it’s good to leave on time, some allowance has to be made to get passengers seated. So, here we had the spectacle of a big jamboree from Andhra...