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.