They say that management is everything.

I had avoided flying Air Deccan in its more parsimonious days when it had developed a healthy reputation for scrimping by going so far as to cut off one engine during a flight (I kid you not. A friend’s friend definitely had had the experience)

However, now with Mallya in charge, and having experienced the glories of flying in Kingfisher I figured things must have improved. They certainly had. The stewardesses were all in tight red skirts. The in-flight reading material was a Cine Blitz. Infact, it was a bikini special. I was waiting for one of the little Tam kids to loudly ask her mom ‘Amma, why is this aunty wearing only her underwear?’

We were seated well in advance of departure time and kept looking around to wonder which moron (there is always one) was holding up the flight.

It turned out to be the pilot.

In his place rushed in two engineers looking fairly flustered. All of us in the aisle seats in the front few rows nearly broke our necks trying to scan and see what the problem was. Noticing the increasing curiosity and hoping to distract, the crew began to recite the safety instructions. That clearly agitated everyone because the possibility of having to actually use the instructions seemed fairly high at this point. Torn between listening to the air hostess and watching what was happening, eventually most of chose to gape at the wondrous lights flashing in the cockpit like they were the distant light at the end of the tunnel.

Time passed. Or rather stood still.

After a while the first officer introduced himself and announced ‘Sorry for the delay. It has been caused by traffic at the Mumbai terminal. We are in line for take off’

At this point I could almost hear the little Tam kid ask ‘Amma why is this uncle saying we are going to take off when the door is still open? Will the maintenance engineers jump off the flight with parachutes then?’

Finally, the maintenance guys looked happier and left the pilot to his own devices. The take off was fairly smooth and we were cruising along nicely. I spent a considerable amount of time wondering if I should take the veg or non-veg food. There was the chicken of course in favour of the latter. But there was qabooli channa biriyani in the former. When the food came, we were handed out simple dabbas. The menu card turned out to have been mistakenly slipped in from a Kingfisher flight. Nevertheless, I was tucking in nicely till the flight officer chose to announce that we were flying at a lower altitude than planned. Luckily the difference was a mere 2000 feet not what my imagination had leapt into. Yet, a lot of the passengers chose to stand up and take a Darshan of Tirupathi when the first officer announced we would be able to see it soon to our left. No harm taking some celestial insurance in these flighty (ha ha. What a pun) times

I breathed easy when we finally reached. Or atleast till the time a barrage of non-deoderized armpits reached out to take baggage from the overhead luggage bins. But that is another story...


byker7 said...

Wait. They actually have maintenance guys coming aboard the planes now? Things certainly have changed.

In the good old days of Air Dhakkan, they would just shout out asking for large able bodied passengers to stand up, and then pass out the wrenches.

Screwdrivers, you had to buy. So also lifelines, if you had to climb out onto the wing, on that long dog-leg over the western ghats from bangalore to vasco.

Anita said...

byker7 - lol

Sonal said...

i've also had the experience of looking out of the window, watching the fast approaching landing area & then found the plane back up in the air with no explanation at all! and this is just one of the many simplifly experiences!