Letter to the Airlines

Dear Indian Airline Industry Head Honcho Dude,

I recently took a round-trip domestic flight; I believe it’s the second one I have taken this year as well as the second one I have taken since 1995. I have made a few observations, and would like to share them with you.

  1. When I immediately leave a plane (as opposed to “deplaning’ – I hate that word, if it’s even called a word) after it lands at my destination, I assume my boarding pass for the flight would no longer be needed. However this does not seem to be the case. After stepping off the plane but before planting my feet on the runway, I was asked to present my boarding pass, and I could not step aboard the shuttle bus before doing so. So there I was, standing in the monsoon rain, unable to step back onto the plane to stay dry, as I fished through my bag for my boarding pass. Is this really a necessary step?
  2. In the States peanuts and soda is a free service on flights. While I do not mind paying a bit for refreshments, it seems rs. 60 for a small cup of bad coffee (when I pay half as much for slightly better coffee in the airport) and rs.200 for an airplane sandwich of white bread and cheese is a bit over the top.
  3. I have to show my boarding pass as I enter the gate, again as I leave the gate, and then as I enter the plane, and sometimes one or two more times. This seems a bit excessive.
  4. When coming off the shuttle bus, the natural tendency is to go to the entrance of the plane closest to where the bus stopped; indeed, it seems quite illogical to stop the bus in front of the entrance of the plane where security allows only 10% of the passengers to board. The passengers don’t know why security is turning people away so we stay in line until security sends us to the other (back) entrance of the plane. Wouldn’t it make more sense to either a) shout out instructions to passengers or b) stop the bus at the other entrance of the plane? It would seem a bit more understandable if you wanted first-class passengers to feel superior by not having to walk the length of the plane, but in a flight of all coach passengers, not even this scenario is the cause for such a practice.
  5. I can understand requiring hand carry-on bags to have some sort of pass to go on board. But when the pass gives no information, including passenger name or flight number, and often times the stamp is placed on a scrap piece of paper, then there doesn’t seem to be any reason for this pass.
  6. While I do appreciate a movement toward a more westernized culture in certain areas, I am a bit disappointed to see your female flight attendants wearing uniforms of skirts, blouses and panty hose instead of saris. I’m glad planes now have assigned seating so that there is no longer a mad rush to get on board a plane for a good seat; however, you should embrace your Indian heritage as well. Saris on flight attendants look nice. And then, just then, perhaps the Indian flight attendant wouldn’t have cut her hair in that Anglo-American style. It looked awful.
  7. I can understand if the lavatory of an international flight to India from the U.S. looks the same at the end of the flight as one does on a second-class train ride within India; however, if it also looks the same after a two-hour plane ride, that’s a bit too much. Poor women! If you could something about that, that would be great.

Perhaps you should reconsider the logic behind some of these practices. Oh wait, I’m living in India. Right, okay, never mind.

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