My Bad Customer Experience in Air India and Personal Recommendations for Improvements

Published: 2021-09-13 10:15:08
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Category: Airline

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I will be writing about my experience with Air India which is the flagship carrier airline in India. It is a government owned enterprise which operates in both domestic and international destinations. It is the largest international carrier in India and the third largest domestically after Indigo and Jet Airways So, I had just finished my exams and was traveling to Muscat (Oman) to visit my parents for a weeklong vacation. My flight was scheduled for 7AM so I reached the airport by 4AM. I was waiting to check in my luggage, but Air India hadn’t even opened their check in counter. I was tired and half asleep but there was nobody from Air India in sight from whom I could enquire about the status of the flight. I thought that I had missed my flight because there were no records on display which could give me any information about this flight. I then got to know that there were some other passengers who were also waiting and even they had no idea about what was happening. I even went and asked the Airport Authority who themselves did not know what was happening with the flight.
After that I meet a lady who had an Air India ID and asked her about the flight. She seemed surprised and asked me “Has the flight not yet left “. I was surprised by her callous attitude. She finally directed us to an Air India Office where we got to know that there was a delay in the flight. Many passengers got into an argument with Air India staff for the lack of information, but the staff did not seem bothered by the complaints. Finally, the flight was rescheduled for 9.30 Am and they then started checking in the luggage at 7.30 Am. There was no announcement regarding the check in. All the passengers got to know about the changes through a display board which showed the change in timings. I was talking to another passenger who just arrived at the airport 10 minutes back and he seemed very calm. He told me that he is gotten used to these delays with Air India and it was routine for them to change the timings of the Flight.
Later the explanation given by the airlines was that there was a lot of fog and therefore the flight was being delayed. I could see no fog around and all the other flights seemed to be leaving on time. I had no energy left in me to argue with the officials and was happy that my fight would be finally leaving.
Finally, I boarded the flight at 9.30 Am and to my surprise the captain announced that the flight would be delayed again as there was a technical slag. We all were stuck in the fight for almost an hour and a half. All the passengers were getting tired by this ordeal and we requested them to give us some food and water. They refused to provide us food or water . I was so frustrated at this moment. There seemed to be no regret on the part of the airlines for the inconvenience that was caused to the flyers. I was at least expecting an apology from the airlines but the response I got was that these delays can happen and that there was nothing they could do. Finally, the flight left at 11 am and I promised myself that I would never fly on Air India again.
Recommendations for Air India

Get to the root of why staff are often so aggressive and seem to despise customers. When asked a question the staff answer like a robot and give the usual answers. This is probably due to the fact that the feel a bit unappreciated;
Do everything they can before delaying flights. Sometimes it feels like flights are delayed for no reason at all. Customers get very impatient when flights are delayed, and it will affect their overall experience. Delaying flights must be their last option.
Improve communications with the customers early on. Don’t wait till the last moment to let the passengers know that there is a problem with their flight or ticket;
Have training programmes for staff regarding building customer relationship;
Improve their customer feedback process and act on the complaints.

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