My thorny relationship with Jet Airways took a different dimension today.
They truly showed me that they were the bestest airline and their policies weren't just unique, they had been through an interstellar black hole and had in fact predated the arrival of the dinosaurs!
As a comparison to just last week I received a traffic violation notice on my Mumbai Traffic Police app and I paid that fine using the the UPI app developed & promoted by the Central government i.e. the BHIM app.
However, where does Jet stand on making payments for change penalties? They want me to make a 25 km trip to pay the penalty in cash (go figure) so that the ticket can be reissued! So God forbid if I was in the ranks of the many such lucky customers, I should add the cost of time & money in going to the ATM, pulling out cash and going to the airport to pay for the change penalty – this is just too unbelievable for me to make it up!
The magic does not end there because if I book my flight through Musibat.com (sorry Musafir.com) the experience will be something beyond my wildest dreams. When I book my flight the PNR is issued immediately but to change or cancel my flight it will take just 24-48 hours. I would have waited but the flight that needed to be changed was leaving in 12 hours so I took good counsel and decided to take my original flight. By the way I would be traveling to the airport to make my change (anyway) thereby defeating the purpose of changing my flight as I am already at the airport!
So it is clear that Jet Airways experience does not want to buy into Digital India but maybe they don't believe in a Working-Class India or Sane India or Millennial India – maybe they don't believe they are in India (it happens to interstellar travelers)!Now that I am grudgingly take my 9 pm flight I get a marvellous dosa hand roll (the size of half my palm) served for dinner. When I protest at undernourishment I am given a copy of my new year resolution (to lose a few inches) along with a scribbled note from the captain ordering me that it was time I started my Cherai Beach diet. For the uninitiated this is what I call customer service – thank you just thank you Jet Seth Airways!
Of course the awesome customer surprises weren't done yet, the check-in staff at Indore airport assumed that it was time to test Life Buoy’s freshness promise so in their infinite wisdom, they proceeded to tag my luggage to Bangalore instead of Delhi. I was informed that just tagging my bags to Bangalore was a sign of kindness because as per their rules they could have tagged my bags for my next month visit to Dallas. My happiness for their kindness could not be conveyed in spoken words.
However, the reasons seemed hollow and pounding my fist on the counter I demanded that "India wanted to know" why my luggage was not being delivered to me in Delhi. Sensing the situation getting out of hand a senior official ushered me into a sound proof room.
In the dimly lit room he took me to a corner and revealed that an off-the-books program was launched by the Kejriwal government wherein 20% of all bags arriving at Delhi airport were to be misplaced but the blame was to be put on the Modi government.
The brilliant plan was to force arriving passengers to utilise their 15 mins of free Wi-Fi to buy new stuff through Snapdeal (HQ in Delhi) and then AAP can take credit of making them deliver on the promise of turning profitable.
It is also understood that there is an added incentive for AAP - they could finally offload vast inventory of chappals and shoes that senor Kejriwal has aggregated from across the length and breadth of India.
Being a pukka Marwari I refused to participate and I sat in a dharna, on the revolving conveyor belt, for 90 minutes in an indefinite fast unto death. Perplexed the airport authorities made my bag appear out of thin air and the Speaker of the Airport got me removed from the premises before I could raise slogans in victory.
I left with a newfound depth in my respect for Jet Seth Airways.