King of Good Times? No Way!

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.

11 Comments

Filed under Consumer Complaint, Negligence

11 responses to “King of Good Times? No Way!

  1. Chandra Malhotra

    It was good reading your blog Mr. Mahant. The so-called ‘King of Good Times’ is getting bad to worse! I was never really impressed with their service & now I think they shouldn’t even be in the Flying business! Vijay Mallya should stop wasting his time & money (as well as ours) on a business that is not his cup of tea (read – Beer). If he seriously means what he says — that he always likes to “Take things personally” he should shut down his airline! They have no money to pay for spare parts of aircraft, no money to pay for fuel, but lots of money to spend on Calendar Girls & Formula1. Are we even safe flying with them anymore?? I’m getting second thoughts on a ticket that I booked with them recently. Don’t think I wanna fly with them anymore & risk myself & my family. I’d prefer taking a refund for my tickets, but their call centre does not even answer the phone! Wonder if they are cost-cutting on staff now! Am trying hard to get a refund for my tickets & hope they’re not planning to eat my money & not give me my refund!

  2. Thanks for the informative post. After reading this post, I am reconsidering flying Kingfisher. I have never had a problem with their domestic flights but thanks to your post, I will never trust them with their international flight.

    Truly appreciate the efforts you made to type out the entire experience. The idea of consumerism has to grow to stop this casual and polite roberry thats almost become a trend for these service providers by claiming something entirely different from what they provide. It is through such blog posts etc that we share experiences and we can have the real truth come out. This will help furthering competition since companies will know that they cant take consumers for granted. Something similar to collective bargaining.

  3. Anant Bhushan

    Kingfisher is probably even worse on domestic routes too. My experience here: https://plus.google.com/113012366164585982316/posts/UBi7Eoz2UN4

  4. Abed Md Kamaluddin

    You have hit the nail on the head… Its pathetic to say the least… for me they cancelled HYB-CCU flight at the last moment and notified by an SMS.. And then they hasseled for providing alternate suitable flights… Even though a frequent traveller, that was my first and last Kingfisher flight…

  5. But such goof-ups are not unique to Kingfisher alone. I had updated my meal preference on Jet Airways Profile – Every time I used to get Special Meal served First, but the Wrong One:( – So Much so, I just removed all Meal Preferences from the profile. Now just take what they serve for everyone…

    • It is UNACCEPTABLE. It may be a ‘trade practice’ to screw passenger’s meal preference but I cannot accept that after paying HUGE amount for international travel the airline has NO regard for the passengers. Thank God the flight was only half full. Many people were saved from the experience.

  6. Krishnaa

    No doubt the flight was half empty and no doubt they had only one staff (Ms. Rachna at the counter), my friend always says we should only eat in a hotel where the public is overflowing (jam packed), now I realize this applies to Airlines also, meaning to say they are not the preferred airlines because their service stinks)

  7. Navin Kumar Singh

    The Customers are being taken for Granted. In every industry the service is going down and the customer suffers even after full lavish pay.

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