Thursday, July 27, 2006

Deccan is now mainstream

Air Deccan is now mainstream. The low cost airline is second in terms of market share, second to Jet Airways and has pipped Indian (Airlines) to the second post. (As you would see from the link there is some confusion over the exact percentage - but when it comes to controversies over the third decimal of the percentage - you know who is winning).

I had my first Air Deccan experience recently. Their service is quick and pretty good though they have to scale up in terms of punctuality. Most people I know await the Deccan SMS, which very promptly announces any kind of delays in service. The SMS is a very good thing, but ironically because of Deccans constant rescheduling by an hour or so, it is "dreaded".

They have recently stopped issuing seat numbers on boarding passes. Knowing India, this is a pathetic move. Now like in bus stations, you will find people leave vegetables, kerchiefs and briefcases to "claim" seats. At best, they should automate the numbers and leave passengers with no choice while boarding. Perhaps this speeds up the issue of boarding passes and it does, but leaving it to free seating makes it a "grab a seat however" game.

The other interesting thing I noticed was while I waited for my flight. Prior to my flight, it was Jet and KF and once their flights left, the airport had only an Air Deccan flight to go. The difference profile of passengers is discernible; Air Deccan is slowly making flying more and more accessible and opening the market up. Much like the cellphone service providers. Now, if only we could do that in education too...

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