The only honest and straightforward thing in a Kingfisher flight is the welcome address by Mr. Vijay Mallaya. In the address, Mr. Mallaya, candidly, tells us that we have choice of other airlines and he is happy the passenger chose Kingfisher Airlines.
However, my recent experience of flying to London and back to Delhi with my family proved to be forgettable.
Before I left Delhi, I wanted to be sure of the baggage allowance and the airline staff informed me that check in luggage is 28 kg from Delhi but from London we could carry 46 kgs per person. I also informed the airline about the child meal preference.
The ordeal really commenced after landing at Heathrow. Due to a recent injury, I had requested the Kingfisher staff that I would require assistance. The airline staff assured me but somehow after landing at Heathrow, I was surprised when in the list of 11 passengers for the travel assistance, my name was not mentioned.
After reaching home in London, I wrote to Kingfisher about this and expressed my anguish. I also wrote that the in-flight entertainment was not working for the entire row where I was and the passengers had to switch seats, thanks to more than a few vacant ones. I also suggested that it will be a good idea to provide crew staff with few pens and some stuff for kids to keep them occupied.
I got a response email quite promptly from Kingfisher that the travel assistance shall be taken care of on my return trip. I appreciated the response and also informed again that I have a child traveling with me for the food preference in the return flight as well.
The travel assistance was taken care of no doubt.
Couple of days before doing the packing for return to Delhi, I spoke to the airline call center staff to reconfirm the logistics. Since the airline provided child meal in Del-London flight, I had no reason to doubt that it will not be there.
However, the journey from London was problematic form the moment I reached the check-in counter.
The lady at the check in refused to allow us to board without paying excess baggage for 10 kgs as the allowance was only 28 kgs and not 46 per person. The lone Kingfisher staffer there, Ms. Rachna helped a great deal once I told her that I packed my luggage only after confirming with the call center. I had to take out some stuff from the bags to make them acceptable. Then came another shocker, one of the cabin luggage which I got from India was not allowed as it did not fit the dimension stipulated!! I failed to understand HOW a hand-baggage is invalid in remaining half of journey. That bag was also sent in check in luggage, thanks to Rachna and her indulgence in helping us.
Last shocker came during the flight when I came to know that there is no information for any child meal. Only I know how the journey went with a child with no food for him. Pictures as rosy as the one on this link are also untrue. Truth is that there is not even a sketch pen and paper to keep a child occupied activity-wise on a long flight.
I want to know that despite by paying steep prices for a supposedly comfortable long journey, how come the staff takes the passengers for granted? It is unacceptable and unpardonable.
This blog post is only to inform the readers about my experience. It took me over 3 weeks to finish this tiny post since a lawyer probably can find time easily for a client than for his own matter.
How I will deal with the airline, if the Consumer Court feels I have some case, is another chapter which should also commence shortly.
God help us all.