Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All hail AIR INDIA and the Delhi crowds

(For the first time ever, this one is based on true events)

Terminal T3, IGI Airport, Delhi : A video is being viralled on you tube highlighting the incompetence of Air India authorities in handling flights on terminal T3. Please take a look

I was among the fortunate ones who were on board and would like to thank AI for giving me an opportunity to witness the humorous cocktail of Delhi temper and government’s inefficient service. The only reason, I boarded Air India in the first place was because all other private airlines were either booked or charging exorbitant rates and the timing (2300hrs) provided me some extra hours to spend in Delhi. Although I was completely aware about AI’s pathetic services, I decided to take the risk. I thought to myself – “how bad it could be?” I soon discovered the answer.

As soon as I entered the departure lounge of the Terminal T3 (completely in awe of the amazing infrastructure), I heard some slangs and abuses being thrown at Air India officials by some irate passengers on an international flight. I thought they must be elitist Delhites used to classy service showing there “desiness” on an international flight. I read Swami Aiyer once write that even Delhites will behave in Delhi Metro because people are sane enough to behave well if given good infrastructure. I just LOVE it when such learned, intellectual people (particularly economists!!) are proved wrong. Initially, my flight was late only by an hour and fifteen minutes and for someone used to travel by Indian Railways, this was only a small irritation. I sat behind a hot shot consultant (he was flaunting it on his lap top bag) and started talking loudly on the phone (to no one) clearly specifying my interest in consulting and almost read my entire CV (I am sure he heard it, but the asshole did not ask for my CV :P)

Soon the fiasco started, Bangalore flight was cancelled after a delay of 15 hrs (trust me no exaggeration). The crowd turned mad and started shouting at the departure terminal. After 1 hr of shouting and abusing, AI relented and announced that they would “arrange” a flight for Bangalore at 1:45am. And this opened a pandora’s box. Rumor mongers spread the news that AI has limited flights and whoever shouts the maximum will have the earliest flight. This resulted in widespread chaos and confusion.

There was a hot chick, amazingly articulate and extremely angry. She threatened an on duty police officer who spoke out of turn and the whole crowd supported her in this. The police officer decided to keep quiet thereafter. I really don’t understand – “Why do women get away with murder?” Besides that there were the usual comedians who tried to come up with funny oneliners (I did not find them funny, but considering their size I decided to join in the laugh). I tried my own piece but I quickly realized that angry people don’t understand sarcasm. Nothing more embarrassing than cracking a joke which nobody understands!! But the funniest moment came when a passenger took control of the public address system and announced in immaculate angrezi – “All passengers on Delhi Airport, don’t take AI flight pliss” The amused expressions on the Luftansa crew that passed by was a sight to behold. Then there was the angry young man who even threatened to beat the General Manager if the flight did not leave by 3AM. Amazingly, another passenger challenged him to beat the GM saying that the young man was only giving empty threats and had no balls to act on his threats (Bravo Sir, take a bow. Challenge some guy to beat the third guy. Now this is what I call a win-win).

Since, I was amongst the silent spectators on the outskirts of the crowd I overheard GMR officials congratulating themselves. They were pleased that finally someone was taking AI officials to task. Even the Delhi Police decided to be a silent spectator. One of them was happy that a GM level person was being crucified – “Sala roz hero banta tha aur hum galiya khaate the. Ab aaya hai aukat pe”

Meanwhile, the GM kept a super straight face. His stoic behavior convinced me that he was used to all this screwing every day and was not affected by it all. Finally we boarded the flight at 3AM. Some people refused to go in before getting the assurance that their luggage was on board. Paranoid, I thought at that time. I later came to know that losing one's luggage is a very common occurrence in Air India. After much convincing from the AI officials, passengers finally decided to relent and boarded the flight. We finally flew at 4AM with the pledge – “Never ever fly Air India again


  1. Kindly pray for me about 6 days time, I will be travelling Air-India for 16 hour flights twice within one week :(:(:(

  2. but I loved the blog anyways....keep writing :)