25 Aug 2015

Thank You Indigo Airlines

It’s appalling how businesses treat their customers these days. Ponzi sites, hate-selling, shoddy after-sales service - we see and read about them every day. Social media is rife with so many complaints that it appears businesses look at customers simply as tools to make money.

Often however, employees or brands take amazing care of their customers and try to bring smiles on their faces. But we rarely hear about those instances. Negativity has been so deeply ingrained in us by the media that everything positive is seen as ‘expected’ and trifling matters often get perceived as negative and are blown out of proportion. The positive experiences are forgotten. Well, not always. Rachna wrote about an awesome initiative, and I am writing about another. This post is to thank Indigo Airlines for the exceptional care that they took of my 92-year-old grandmother.

Granny was staying with us since the past 6 months, and wanted to go back home to Varanasi. She had never travelled by plane, and it was one of her wishes. So mom and I booked tickets on Indigo Airlines. Granny and I would fly on 19th August on flight 6E 578. I didn't book a wheelchair or airplane seats online; I always do that at the airport. But the sound pasting I got from mom left me somewhat unnerved. Until we entered the airport, I thought that it would have been better if I had sorted everything while booking tickets itself. 

How wrong I was! As soon as we entered the airport, someone from the Indigo team - Gaurav - rushed to me and asked if granny required a wheelchair. “Okay, this should sort things somewhat”, I thought as I said she did. Little did I know that he and his team were just about to make this a stroll in the park for us. I asked him to help her onto the wheelchair while I waited in line to check in. No need, he said, and took me to an empty counter. I asked the lady who was checking our luggage in for seats in the 12th row so that granny would get more leg room. But wheelchair-bound people aren’t allotted those seats since that’s where the emergency exit is. Instead, the lady suggested that she would allot us seats in the second row, and if the flight was empty, granny and I could sit in the first row, which offers ample leg space too. I am sad that I forgot her name. In fact, I interacted with so many people that I’m feeling pretty sucky about not having noted their names so that I could include them in this post.

Right before getting onto the plane

Gaurav wheeled granny right to gate number 9 and informed the ground staff about her. They kept a watch on her while I brought tea. A crew member took her to the bathroom right before our flight arrived. Another ensured that she got on to the bus headed for our flight before everyone else. He wheeled her up the ramp right till the entrance of the plane. And even before I could take a good look at the faces of the pretty air hostesses, they had offered the first row seats to granny and me. Even melted butter cannot slide as smoothly as things were here.

Selfie clicked on granny's request

The flight was comfortable. It’s unbelievable how fearless my granny is. Not once did she flinch when the plane took off. And she was totally at home when we were airborne. Looking outside the window, studying the air hostesses… time flew by for her.

Granny is quite a fit woman for her age and often complains that we don’t let her walk enough. So when we were alighting, I thought we could walk to the taxi stand. But the air hostess said that she had radioed for a wheelchair, and it arrived before she completed her sentence. Again, granny was wheeled right out till the taxi stand, and the Indigo staff member stood with us in the sweltering 2:00 pm heat of Varanasi until a taxi came along. I loaded our luggage in it and helped granny sit. The man quietly folded the chair, shook my outstretched hand and walked back to the airport to do his duty.

Not once did even one person grimace, let alone complain. Not once did anyone ask for money (although I tipped everyone who helped). What appeared extraordinary to me because of the ease with which it was done, was regular for them. How many businesses take such good care of their customers?

I don't need to harp on concepts of customer service here, do I? Neither do I need to analyze what they did right and what they could have done etc. I just want to leave you with the feelings of warmth and genuineness that the crew of the airline displayed.


Dear Indigo Airlines, you have made a loyalist out of me. I don’t fly often, but whenever I do, I’ll fly with you. You guys may be setting high standards for yourself in customer satisfaction, but what you do is far more than that. It is service to mankind. Each member who was part of the team of flight 6E 578 on which PNR O7VYZ7 flew made the first flight of a 92-year-old woman a delight. You treated her like a queen. Here is a heartfelt thank you from my entire family.

30 comments :

  1. This was such a heartwarming read, Vishal. Indeed, we rarely share positive news or experiences, even reviews for that matter. I am glad Indigo took such good care of your grandma and that you wrote about it. They are a good airline. I have traveled several times with them and never had any reason to complain. Another great feature of the airline is that they always land you on time. And I am quite impressed with the number of women pilots on their fleet. :)

    Your experience reminded me of a certain flight a long time ago on Jet Airways. I was traveling with a toddler son back then alone. He was having one of those cranky days and was clinging to me. And we had to walk from the airport building to the plane. It was exceedingly hot. As I stepped out, I immediately found a Jet Airways personnel spring to my side with a large umbrella. To my surprise, he escorted me to the plane with the umbrella while I carried my son in my arms. I was so touched. I remember coming home and writing an email to Jet about it. Warm ways in which they touch our lives.

    Also, thanks for sharing my post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with everything which you have mentioned about Indigo, Rachna. They're on schedule (hope we don't jinx it) and reliable. No reason to complain.

      And it is touching indeed to hear about the Jet staff being human before being an employee of the company. They're unsung heroes on the ground who deserve to be recognized more.

      Delete
  2. Such a heart-warming read Vishal, I was deeply touched as I read through the experience. I am so happy for your granny to have had a beautiful experience and thank you so much for sharing it so lovingly. Indigo serving you and your granny with joy and your expressing of heartfelt gratitude in this manner... has created such a beautiful blessing of love, it is beyond any expression of my words. The moments are gone but this wave of genuine warmth, the joy, the goodness will stay on, forever. Loved the idea of a selfie by granny... so cute! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah... she's a natural at getting photos clicked from the looks of it.

      Completely agree when you say that the moment may have passed by the goodness will stay forever. Thank you for your hearty appreciation of the people who deserve it Arti :)

      Delete
  3. True appreciation is very valuable. .Thank you Vishal for your view on *Indigo*caretakers. ...It opens many windows of the heart. ..kudos! INDIGO

    ReplyDelete
  4. Vishal, this is such a wonderful and positive read. Honestly, I never thought IndiGo (or for that matter, any other airlines) would go to such an extent. There so much competition in that sector and eventually everything boils down to timeliness. Kudos to IndoGo and kudos to you to bring this out in the open..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true Binu. It gives me hope to think that humanity still exists in abundance in this world :)

      Delete
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