A few days back I had to make an outstation trip. At the time of booking my tickets Jet Airways was on strike – and I was not sure whether it would be called off. And using this opportunity Kingfisher had raised its fare.
It got me wild and decided to try Spice Jet. So inspite of being a frequent flier in JA and KF, it was Spice Jet. It was a fantastic experience. The morning flight reached 20 minutes before time. But on landing most of the passengers saw a fight between the leader of the group bringing the ladder and the airhostess – at 8 am. The volume was full blast and the language colurful. Frankly Sanjay Agarwal may not be happy to see this post! The evening flight was again almost on time – 15 minutes delay- which was made up while flying. Good work Spice Jet. Wondering whether to buy the equity share. However the schedules are not very friendly comared to J and KF….so will continue using the others too. However whenever I travel by SJ – and it is not very often – I have a huge ear pain. I do not know whether the pressure is not managed properly and takes me back to the early days of flying when we used earplugs and toffees…can somebody explain why this happens in SJ and not in JA and KF? Spice Reminded me of the Avis ad…’we try harder’! But they should sort out this pressure problem..and it was not just me – saw a couple of others complaining.
The other experience during this trip was even more bizarre. I called up Meru taxi THE PREVIOUS night asking for a taxi at 4 am. Thanks to technology they recognise my name, address,…everything, but the service was appalling. The boy at the other end of the phone said “Sorry sir we have no taxi’s available at that hour at Nerul”. I took a seedha saadha black and yellow cab – and paid Rs. 500, perhaps saved Rs. 30-50.On the way I saw at least 4-5 Meru taxis idling between Nerul and Vashi – waiting for a call perhaps. In fact on probing the Meru drivers do not have to much love for the call centre help and support….so here was one more proof.
On the return trip from the airport I asked the Meru guys to send me a cab to the airport, they said no – you will have to go to Sahara star hotel. Now I travel without baggage and do not have an issue but had a friend with some baggage. So we decided to take an auto – again the auto guy said “Flat Rs. 300”. We took another auto and paid Rs. 126 per meter. Thanks to Meru we saved about Rs. 100. And reminded ourselves that if you are a Mumbaikar you need not be addicted to Meru – it is necessary to stand up to the local taxis and autos once in a while at least.
Some how at the operational level people forget what Vijay Mallaya tells us in every flight – we have a choice. So wake up Meru – guys like us travel J class, First class, Y class, driver driven cars, Meru, Mega cabs, black and yellow rickety cabs, auto rickshaws, BEST buses, NMMT buses, local train, bi-cycle, and we also walk. We do have a choice, don’t we?
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