Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Go Spice!

I like Spicejet. True, this is based on a single Mumbai-Goa-Mumbai flight experience but here's why:

a) The flight departed on time - both ways. And reached on the dot, too. This is an achievement because the other 'budget' airline is - in my rather extensive experience - always late.

Yes, much as I commend Capt. Gopinath for being the fisrt to give every Indian the chance to fly, my last 3 flights on his airline have left me less than satisfied. Each time there was a huge delay - ranging from one to six hours. And, in Indian Airlines style, no plausible reason given - or regular annoucements. ( If in Delhi, your best bet is to call Air Deccan in Mumbai and check whether the flight has taken off coz the same aircraft flies back :)

b) Spicejet is a cheap airline but the way it's packaged - it doesn't feel like a cheapie one. So for example, they give you refreshments worth about 10 bucks on board instead of asking you to buy the same (a small packet of chips, water and toffees).

The air hostesses are a little more glamorous and smile a little more - like they do on Jet Airways. And, they wear slightly tight white blouses. If I - as a woman - noticed this, I am sure the male population definitely has!

Even the Spicejet logo is far more bright and cheerful. I also liked the fact that they let you select a seat of your choice at the time of booking online.

Small Things matter
Now you might say phooey - punctuality is one thing, who cares about the other factors. Well, you may think you do not. But at some level, you do get influenced. And so, while price will remain THE most important criteria given that both Spice and Deccan are offering you relatively cheap tickets, you may check availability on Spice first.

Air Deccan is going for an IPO - so hopefully they should be able to improve its service. For one, they need to lease better aircraft ... the ATRs they fly are really scary! And make too much noise!! I know none have fallen out of the sky yet but surely Mumbai-Ahmedabad, for example, has enough demand to merit a regular sized jet.

Bottomline: Budget airlines are changing the way India travels. I know my Goa trip happened only because there was a good deal available. "Impulse" buying has moved beyond picking up a cute t-shirt :)

Well as they say, the more the merrier - "Let There Be Flight". And please, God, let there also be bigger and better AIRPORTS!

14 comments:

  1. Yes, low cost airlines are so very welcome. However, i believe there is still a lot of potential to cut prices further. I think with so many new airlines now in India, one of them is bound to end up with too many empty seats and would be forced to slash prices to fill up seats. The effect of that on the entire industry would be worth watching...

    By the way, I have started a poll on my blog ChutneySpears about the worst commercial currently on TV.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think like mobile which was once only used by thr rich, even airlines are going to be affordable by all.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The age of the Indian consumer is finally dawning, retail malls(already covered to some detail on my blog), low-cost airlines, budget hotels (read the latest Businessworld). The next big thing would be low-cost housing. That will require great management mettle but it will happen sooner or later

    ReplyDelete
  4. Have travelled Air Deccan a couple of times pre dominantly between the southern metros and they've been quite ok. But you do hear of and read of the horror stories every now and then. Long term success and viability of these low cost carriers in the face of increasing competition is to be seen.

    Next up should be the development of infrastructure in Indian airports and increase in the number of Indian airports. Out in the States there are a huge number of smaller aiports/ airfields that effectively help curtail congestion in the main airports.

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  5. Budget need not necessarily mean "surprises" of the nasty kind. If Spice can capture this one point, it will score over Deccan (and perhaps Jet too!).

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  6. Hi..

    Great that you had good experience with SpiceJet. I was really eager to know the experience of someone who has used this flight. However, can they comeup with cheap international flight. :-) Just Imagine, if given a choice you might have chosen Singapore than Goa ofcourse with few more bucks which is completely reasonable...:-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Now that many of us can afford to fly, and probably will fly, it may be a good time to think about some of the environmental impacts of flying short distances. Very short (less than three hours) and very long (more than 10 hrs.) flights are the least efficient. Among other pollutants, we should try to think if there is something we can do to reduce the impact of our Carbon Dioxide emissions from flying. Check out My Climate, and do what you can! My Climate funds various clean energy projects in the developing world (including India) to offset some of the CO2 emissions from flying.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Deval3:00 PM

    Hi Rashmi,

    I recently flew Air Deccan from Ahmedabad - Mumbai and back. My experience was really good. For one thing, when I wanted to reschdule my return ticket by a day, they did it on phone with just Rs.200/-extra. They called me on cell and sent sms to annouce a 40 minute delay.

    My colleagues travelling by full fare Jet ticket would have to pay Rs.2500/- for rescheduling if they wanted to take a flight departing an hour early. So they chose to take their originally booked flight - which was rescheduled by two hours, got further delayed and were not informed about the same. So much for a full fare, premium airlines.

    Deval, MICA

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Bangalore - Ahmedabada - Just about 2700 to 3700 on Spicejet. It cannot get better than this. An early booking for Bangalore - Delhi, they are giving it out for 3300. Travelling, and more so by air, cannot get any better.

    Low cost airlines 'amar rahe' !

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Buddy,

    I feel Airdeccan is the cheapest of all of them.
    Delhi Bangalore airdeccan give @ 2000-2500 but others are above 3500/-.
    Simillar for other sector.
    Also there are opportunity to get Ticket @ 1/- or 500/- only in Air Deccan.

    Second Spice jet charge 200/- as fuel charges.
    You can visit my blog.
    http://tarunaahi.blogspot.com

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