- Trust me, certain service-oriented industries cannot be anti-people or customer-unfriendly simply because the hospitality extended to the patrons i.e. people should be nothing less than top-notch. Any laxity on this front would be simply unacceptable as the competition existing around the same is extremely aggressive. Mind you, people avail services after paying hefty amounts and anything less than top-class hospitality will be summarily rejected. This has been proved time and again even as the sector thrives to improve consistently keeping in mind the patrons’ aspirations and expectations. Gone are the days when customers were at the mercy of industries despite shelling out hefty amounts while seeking services. The customer is king, you see.
PC: Alan Rankin
- The recent incidents reported from the aviation industry involving Air India go against the tenet of satisfactory services expected from a renowned entity like the Tatas. As reported extensively, an inebriated passenger aboard the now infamous Air India flight from New York to New Delhi urinated on a fellow passenger, a senior citizen, during the flight and most shockingly, was allowed to get away by the crew. What the inebriated passenger did falls squarely within the parameters of unruly behaviour flagged in the aviation regulator DGCA’s rules issued in September 2017. They exist as even one unruly passenger can jeopardise safety on board. The regulator has rightly issued show cause notices to the relevant staffers in the airline, seeking an explanation for their lapse.
- Yes, there are several disquieting aspects about the performance of the airline crew and Air India. Both the crew and ground staff are expected to be trained to manage unruly passengers. Therefore, given the individual’s in-flight conduct, he should have been dealt with on November 26 last year, the day of the flight, not in early January 2023. That he was allowed to walk away by the flight crew and ground staff of AI after reportedly reaching an understanding with the other passenger is irrelevant as far as the crew’s duties are concerned. Needless to mention, they should have acted as per DGCA rules. What is worse is that on a December 06 international flight, the AI crew also reportedly allowed an unruly passenger and the victim to strike bilateral agreements.
- Further, in the November incident, the airline’s statement says a police complaint was filed later. There are several questions about the speed with which AI moved. Did the airline follow protocol or did it require escalation of the complaint to the company’s highest levels before action was initiated? The AI’s procedural failures alongside in-flight failures are palpable here. In a kneejerk reaction, the airline in a statement said the passenger has been placed on a 30-day no-fly list and the matter has been referred to an internal committee for investigation. Recall, AI was in the news earlier for micromanaging its crew’s appearances/grooming. Most AI flyers would rather have a crew that can manage and report badly behaved passengers, never mind the hairstyles.