Friday, October 07, 2005

Scratch and wonder

When you travel Indian Airlines there are no surprises.

The flight takes off an hour late - and of course there are no proper announcements.

The air hostesses are middle-aged, frumpy and despite years of experience don't know how to apply their lipstick.

While other airlines take exactly 30 seconds to show you the safety procedure, that too as the plane is taxiing on the runaway, IA takes the long route. The air hostesses limply fling their arms back and forth showing you the emergency exits (like kids standing in the very back of P.T. class, pretending to do the exercises).

Should there actually be an emergency I bet the IA crew would be the first ones down the chute...

Anyways, the point is there was a little surprise on my flight - out of the little plastic packet which holds the napkins and cutlery came this little 'scratch card'. The purpose of this card was unclear - you don't stand to win anything. And this is what it said:

"Janki and Meera are Raju's wives. Shobha is Meera's stepdaughter. How is Janki related to Shobha?"

Scratch and you find the answer: "Mother".

I am foxed. What kind of thinking could be going into producing this 'food for thought' in addition to the food on the tray ( the only area where IA is actually superior to private airlines).

a) Bigamy is illegal in India. Raju, being a Hindu, cannot have two wives!

b) Couldn't we just have questions like "What is the capital of Uttaranchal"?

c) Shouldn't someone be pulled up for wasting money on useless initiatives like this (scratch cards are not cheap to print - JAM wanted to do one, so I know!)

OK - so we all have choices and don't really have to fly Indian Airlines. Unless like my dad, the government pays for your tickets. In that case, happy scratch card collecting!


  1. It was in the papers today that IA will soon announce a hike. Probably, one day passengers scratch the card to find out that rates are being hiked! :P

  2. Hi Rashmi,

    Hope you have read the latest twist in IIPM controversy. We would like to hear from you soon. I think you should also plan such legal suits.

  3. I am surpised the quiz wasn't in English and Hindi

    Something like


  4. I enjoy reading your blog. Came thru it thru Muscati's blog ( )

    The question is mind boggling ! Agree the question could be tourism related.

    But I don't agree that IA service is horrible. I have flown IA recently many times on the Muscat Bangalore sector and the air-hostess middle-aged as they might be are friendly and considerate - for instance they offered to keep my toddler engaged while they I had my dinner which they served after they had first served my son.

  5. I would not say anything about air-hostesses titivating themselves but the questions on the scratch card could have definitely taken a better direction Also I think the cost of a scratch card is probably a paltry expense on the part of IA compared to other services they provide, hence not much room for a legit discussion.

  6. im almost ROTFL, in contempt of IA, this shows what a joke our govt and its facilities have become, sadly we dont have power in the metros, many of the people cant get houses, better still quite a high proportion dont have drinking water which we take for granted, and our govt spends money on scratch cards. wow

    and we talk abt development, cheers, india, cheers

  7. wht bout the aajtak amity-jammag clip? waiting for ur reaction.

  8. Why is somebody trying to defame JAM MAG? Why would Amity pay you when you have come down hard on them as well?

  9. this is hilarious! wonder what they were tryng to do - possibly distract people from the quality of the food?!

  10. IA and AI both have always been bad...I have always had a nasty experience in terms of service with them. Your experience shows that they, in the name of 'innovation' try to do something so disgusting...they would be better off if they admit their lack of creativity and ask the public about ideas to get more passengers.

  11. I live close to Los Angeles, CA and the general opinion about IA flights in the US is, the in-flight service is really good, but the ground service is really bad. Say you miss your flight or say they cannot fit your baggage onboard, they are pretty horrible with making alternate arrangements. This is one area that concerns me. As for ths cracth cards, I think this is one step towards entertaining their customers, at which they failed miserably. Well, they have atleast started it, let us not be too discouraging. Afterall our private sector had been under protection, before the free economy reforms, bringing in competitors and quality services. Let's hope that they get better. Personally, I am not boarding an IA flight until the ground service gets better, that is what matters more to me

  12. Err..have you considered the fact that one wife died, and there was a re-marriage?

    The first sentence is a dead giveaway. If anything, IA should be called stupid for making up such a ridiculously easy question.

  13. Notice the word step-daughter? Raju's first wife is probably dead.

  14. Duh!

    nice catch by Wrecking cru and brunmaska!

    Sometimes biased opinion has an adverse effect on thinking straight!

    Also I think puzzles are better than GK questions. Its a flight. If I wanted to educate myself I would have taken a geography book. Puzzles are amusing. GK cards are crap.

    Just because its a government owned airline doesnt mean they have to preachy and boring. ;)

  15. Perhaps if the card said 'Rahim's wives' instead of 'Raju's wives', it wouldn't have been so objectionable, eh?

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