02 July 2008

Traveling Woes

All these people making a noise about making Airlines more responsible in India have got themselves one more supporter. I never thought that I would be so het up about the shabby treatment of passengers but I am, and with good reason.

My Mother and Grandmother had to fly to Nagpur from Delhi recently. My Grandma is in her 80s and can’t walk around too much. She just about manages to shuffle around from one room to the other in the house. She also suffers from Odema (swelling up of the feet due to water retention) and tends to get cramps in her feet. All contributing reasons for getting from Ambala to Nagpur as quickly as possible. As a train journey was out of the question the only option was the flight.

They booked their tickets on the net to get the best fares possible. Then drove down from Ambala the night previous and got ready to go to the Airport after tele checking in. They made a request for a wheelchair at the airport and the front seats in the economy class next to the aircraft door. They were expecting to pay a fare hike attributed to fuel surcharge and they were not disappointed. Why should the Airline absorb the cost and cut into its profits?!

The wheel chair was available and so my granny thankfully sank into it and allowed herself to be led to the aircraft. Getting up into the Aircraft was yet another monumental task well achieved. The crew was attentive and responded well to their requests. The problem was that the flight happened to be a hopping flight via Raipur. So my poor maters had to wait an hour there and eventually the cramps did set in. Totally defeating the purpose of a quick and painless trip.

If only the airline had specified that it was a hopping flight they would not have taken it. They only realized that it would stop in Raipur after the pre-flight announcements were made once they were settled in. I do feel that a lot of things could have been done differently to let my Grandma have a better trip. Thankfully she is now well settled in Nagpur and over the ordeal.

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