Monday, August 8, 2011

Airline Customer Care - Part Deux

Airline Ishtrikes Again…

Hi there, so my vacation is now officially over, I am back to Sydney after spending about a month in India.  

This is a follow up to my post a few months ago,  Airline Customer Care

Recap – 'On my last month’s visit to Inda I had to travel from City A to City B and since there was no direct flight, I had to book using a connecting flight through City C.

So I had booked 2 flights by the same Airline flying from City A to City C and then onto City B (my final destination). 

But after a lot of cancellations and calls, (read details here) I got my tickets from City A to City D to finally reach City B as City A -> City C flight was cancelled.'

On the day of Travel, my revised first flight from City A was at 9:30 AM, arriving at City D at 11:20 and comfortably allowing me to catch my connecting flight from City D at 13:50.

But I had not taken into account the Legendry Screw-up’s of Airline into consideration.

I have a bad habit of waking up every 2-3 hours to check my Email on my phone, but this bad habit pays off sometimes and this was going to be one of those days. 

On the day of travel as well I checked my Mail at 5:30 AM in the morning and was delighted to see an Email from Airlines that my first flight from City A has been delayed by 2.5 Hours and would be reaching City D just 20 minutes before I need to catch my connecting flight. (Which is near impossible)

So once again, I called up the 24 Hour Super Friendly Customer Care of Airlines. And as before was put through the paces of pressing 1s and 2s and 349s to speak to a sleepy human being at 6:00 AM.

Creature: Thanks for calling Airlines. It’s too early for me to comprehend what you are about to say right now and I probably won’t understand and if I do understand I might not bother responding to you so How can I be of Assistance today?

Me: Hey Creature. My Name is Shrijeet. My PNR Number is #### and I have a flight from City A to City D and then connecting flight to City B, but now your City A flight has been delayed which will make me miss my connecting flight.

Creature: Ok Bhai Sahab (Brother Sir), I would need some more information to bring up your details. Now if you can just tell me your name.

Me: Well.. What….Err… I just did that.

Creature: Well Bhai Sahab, you were not supposed to tell me your name then but are supposed to tell me your name now. Now please tell me your name please.

Me: Ok. All right. My Name is Shrijeet.

Creature: So that’s S for Snake, H for Horse, R for Rat…. (continues revising his Biology classes) … and T for Tooth Fairy ?

Me: I sure hope so, as I don’t have the guts to go through my name yet again with you.

Creature: Thanks SHrIjeeT.. Now if you can just provide me with your PNR number.

Me: What .. Well..Err… I did that already.. All right forget about it. I guess I was not supposed to give you my PNR number then. And spare me the horror this time. My PNR number is, B for Balls, F for fish…

Creature: (Interrupting in between) Sorry Sir, Did you mean B for Bull and F for Frog..?

Me: Yes…Yes, Whatever animals, mammals and marsupials you like please.

Creature: Sir can I put you on hold while I pretend to look up your details and you listen to some Death Metal? (Without waiting for a response puts me on hold) Thank You Sir.

Creature: (After 15 minutes) Sorry Sir, I am afraid I can’t help you with this and you would need to contact our representatives directly at the Airport.

Me: Err.. Ok.. Thanks for your help and the Biology Lesson.

Creature: It’s always a pleasure Mr S for Snake, H for Horse…

(I bang the phone down at this point)

--- Getting Impatient ---

At this point of time, I decided to use the Social Media as a last resort and connect to the Official Twitter account of Airlines.

As expected No replies

--- 3 Hours Later I am at the Airport---

I go up to the Airlines Window and tell them of my predicament and again repeat my name in Biological terms (which I am fluent now).

After digging through their records..

Lady in Lots of Makeup: Sir, I am sorry for the inconvenience this delay has caused you. I can re-book your tickets so that you can reach your destination City B while travelling through City C.

Me: (Getting a wild bewildered look and going mad now.. Literally Screaming) WHAT!!! … You want to re-book my flights through City C? 

I had originally booked that flight myself and your Airlines had informed me that City C flight was cancelled and had forced me to book my tickets through City D and now you want me to again travel through City C on the same flight which was SUPPOSEDLY cancelled ?

Are you Guys Nuts .. What the hell.. (Lost for words now)

Makeup Lady: Woww Sir, What a miracle sir that your cancelled flight is now not cancelled. Its like those PunarJanam (rebirth) movies sir , Like Karan Arjun, Karz, Kuch Kuch hota hai. Fantabulous Sir.

Me: (Too shocked to correct her that Kuch Kuch hota hai had nothing do with Punarjanam) . Can I please have my tickets now ?

Makeup Lady: Yes. Please continue.

--- 3 Hours Later I land at City C ---

I approach the gates to get on my flight from City C to City B and met Mr Smiley.

Me: (Silently gave my boarding pass to Mr Smiley).

Mr Smiley: (Looking at the boarding pass) Sir you are very early. This flight has been delayed by 3 Hours.

Me: (At this point, I have a lapse of memory but I think first I started crying and then laughing manically like those Danavas/Asuras from the Indian Mythological TV Series)

Mr Smiley: Sir…. Sir.. Can you hear me Sir.. ? Please get a grip on yourself. Sir why don’t you go down to our VIP lounge sir reserved for our Executive Guests and get something to eat. We won’t be charging you for this sir even though you are not eligible for entering this lounge.

Me: (Walks like a Zombie down to the lounge)

After another wait of 3 hours where I tweet and curse to my heart’s content to Airlines, I feel privileged and truly blessed by the God’s to finally catch the flight to City B and land safely.

I almost literally bent down and kissed the tarmac on reaching City B like Agarkar did after he scored his 100th Century at Lords. 

(Cricket Factoids might be screwed up)

After Landing at City B, I finally saw a reply from Airlines on Twitter 

No Comments



Anonymous said...

LMAO at the Airline's reply.
Amazingly written post.
Loved this! :D

Please read & promote-

The Tablet Revolutionary

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