Hawa Desi

42 Comments

Welcome to Hawa Desi, the airlines which promises you “Hawa Hawa Khusboo Luta Dey” everywhere in the plane, totally Desi style.

We would like to extend a special warm welcome to any Hawa Desi executive, politician or administrative bigwig or  his wife, daughter, son, son’s wife, daughter’s husband, their sons and daughters, their cousins and their transitive closure thereof,  who might be traveling with us today “free of cost” —–remember yeh aap ka baap ka plane hai.  If anyone of you havent been upgraded to business or first class yet, please get in touch with a member of the crew who will be happy to help you and polish your shoes so you so please.

For the rest of you paying customers, we have only one thing to say ” Work harder. Earn more. And get on another airliner next time you travel. Till you cant do that, you beggars might as well shut the eff up and stop whining.”

Finally also a welcome to our special guests in our “barely legal” special section—- the jump seat of the pilot and temporary crew seats  [Link]; your kind consideration towards our purses is greatly appreciated.

Our pilot Captain Pay-Me More  asks you to review the safety features of our ancient airliner in the front pocket of the seat in front of you. It contains prayers of various religions. In addition, he reminds you that in the event of an emergency, follow the stream of water that is leaking from the lavatories to find your nearest exits. He also asks you to mind the chewing gum on the left hand exit row —no that is not filth dear passengers but just the way the left wing is held in place.  You are also asked to note that the aircraft you are currently in does not burn jet fuel but the money of taxpayers , crores of it every year, as it serves its national purpose of pandering to those in power. If any of you have a problem with that, you can take it up with the boss.  I am sure you will get a sympathetic hearing.

Our cabin crew, trained in hospitality from prisons and sanatoriums nationwide all committed to our service ethic “God help them who help themselves”, will be happy to refuse you with a scowl on their face should you dare to ask for a blanket and will be even happier to twist your finger should you keep on pressing the “Help” button despite our best attempts to ignore you. If you have any connecting flight to catch, we recommend you buy a thick book at the next airport (preferably “War And Peace”) to act as both a pillow and time-pass as you stay stranded for days on end as we shall try our desperate least to re-route you. Finally if you were foolish enough to have checked in baggage with us all we can say is that this should serve as a lesson for next time to travel light—yes the luggage to “hawa ho gya”.

The in-flight entertainment on Hawa Desi is as usual unique and shall consist of Hawa”-s driven free-style punching, wrestling and biting between cabin crew and pilots once the plane is in the air bringing to the air the ambiance of a bar-room fight during Oktoberfest.

And now sit back (as much as those seats allow you to), get into a fetal position (that’s all the leg room you get) and enjoy the flight.

As best as you can.

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42 thoughts on “Hawa Desi

  1. nice post …..after the first para i thought it’s going to be a take on the current drama over Wake Up Sid.
    I haven’t traveled on a AIR myself…n hopefully will not..

  2. “Our pilot Captain Pay-Me More asks you to review the safety features of our ancient airliner in the front pocket of the seat in front of you. It contains prayers of various religions.”

    This line takes the cake!! 😀

    Lovely post Btw…

  3. Arnab,

    Why they will not allow Air India to privatize or liquidate it completely beats me. I have heard that the government insists that certain unprofitable routes be maintained for purposes of national integration, which is not delivered by private airlines. If that be the reason, then why not maintain a small domestic fleet, instead of this behemoth? The real reason is the politics and the bureaucracy that have become completely enmeshed with Air India. Good article; pretty timely as well.

    Vasabjit

  4. Excellent one GB!!
    It’s sad that my tax money is being used to propitiate the ego of these pampered government “servants”.

  5. “For the rest of you paying customers, we have only one thing to say ” Work harder. Earn more. And get on another airliner next time you travel. Till you cant do that, you beggars might as well shut the eff up and stop whining.”

    Gem. ‘Cas that is what i find the airliners are trying to tell me. In my face always.

  6. The saving grace about “Hawa Desi”, and mind it, the only one is that it still serves refreshment and water in flight. Most of the other low-cost breeds offer better services only for a piece of discomfort with a pie of your earnings that you would have never imagined spending on water! Ask the people from middle and lower middle class families.

  7. Honestly, this iPod thing is really becoming an irritating “part” of your blog posts. After reading such refreshing articles, it really puts one off reading those cliched “iPod?”, “do i get one now?”, “second iPod?” blabla. Can you please elaborate on this iPod business and put an end to it?

  8. What about .. the stinking toilets (it has the right smells of a sleeper class train, only missing thing is the wall grafittis). And the fact that we are probably 1 country that has a petroleum minister as well as an aviation minister!

  9. Boss, thanks for the link to the Pratibha Patil story from Mid-day — a mind blowing pic of the lady there, as everyone who visits the link will notice!!!

  10. GB,

    The only things that AI scores on are:
    i) better veg. food on international flights;
    ii) allowing excess baggage to Indians – which we ALWAYS have.

    Where AI lacks:
    i) Over paid Pilots – they complain that they get salaries similar to Pvt sector pilots, but never tell that on a number of hours basis, they are much more expensive;
    b) Free tickets to every one in the Airline – a point very highlighted by you;
    c) Look/ feel of the air-craft and seats etc – They are ancient;
    d) ZERO customer focus – I love the way Jet handles customers/ queries.

    & let me add my two pence here – unlike the rest of the world, where the Governments allowed national airlines to merge/ go bankrupt, the Indian leaders will NEVEr allow it in India since they are the biggest beneficiaries of this air line.

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  12. GB, simply superb. I don’t comment often but this post is really too good. Can you send a link to the AI PR dept? 😉

    @Darkstar: totally agree with you. After reading such a great post, it’s disappointing to see the initial comments not about the post but about some “iPod” (even assuming it is true).

  13. hey bong 🙂 when i first came to ur site i had seen a side widget which was showing ur best posts.Strangely it is missing now can ya please get it back?

  14. Be kind to the Maharajah. He is the only one who still flies to Calcutta and other backwaters, while the private airlines cherry-pick profitable routes like Bangalore and Amritsar.
    And the customer service is better than BA, United etc who treat Indian passengers like shit.

  15. AI does its bit to screw it up…but your article seems to read as if only in AI you find these issues. Cramped seats, over-prized refreshments are not AI’s bane alone. Also pilots who appear drunk and inebriated are a feature of most ‘private airlines’ (read that report somewhere..will post a link soon). I ahve seen pilots and cabin crews getting sloshed a few hours before their flight from out of Hyderabad at Novotel…Indigo airways specifically. Someone wrote ‘cherry picking of routes by the pvt sector’ has added to AI’s losses..that has to do with the incestous relatinship between pvt sector. The Calicut- Bahrain route used to fetch Rs.100 crores anualy to AI..but it was scrapped and given to the pvt sector.

    Your article was a laborious read…and pretty biased against AI (gods knows they deserve it, maybe)…but please don’t insinuate that privatizing will make it better. Someone mentioned service of Jet service..I hope it was meant as a joke. Twice I have been double booked – two people given the same seat number where Jet officials have refused to acknowledge their mistake.

    C’mon GB…where’s the perspective these days?

    Cheers,
    Rahul

  16. GB,

    Lets have a reality check here:

    Is AI’s fleet really older than that of UA or AA? According to wiki, AI’s fleet age is 9.7 years. Compare that to UA at 13.5 years, or AA at 15.6 years.

    As for other metrics, having frequently traveled internationally on AI,UA,Lufthansa and AF, I can say that AI is no worse than the others in terms of on-time arrival, and probably better than the others with the baggage.

    So if you take the three basic metrics – safety (using fleet age as a substitute), on-time arrival, and baggage claims, I think AI will score as high as other major international airlines. Singapore Airlines or Etihad may score higher, but by no means is AI as bad as you make it out to be.

    As far as food is concerned, I enjoy the cuisine on AI as I do no other. Indian food on Lufthansa does not even compare with the food on AI. Therefore, for a homesick desi, the Indian experience begins on the plane.

    I fully agree with you that their recent conduct is shameful,
    but let us have some balance in our comments.

  17. pighoooey: Absolutely. Just some balance and perspective. But these days, it has become fashionable to criticize AI and other PSUs by selective comparisons…especially in our media (Times Now and its ilk). GB is also I guess playing to the galleries…sad. There was a time when his writings were funny. But these days the pressures to meet the expectations of his ‘adoring fans’ is I guess telling on his forced humour.

    On Airlines: I have paid Rs.100 to Indigo Airways to accomodate the extra space for my legs at the exit seats. Ahh but who wants to talk about Pvt Airlines the salvation of our travel travails.

    Cheers,
    Rahul

  18. It comes easy for people to criticize and make a spoof of everything. AI is much better than other domestic aircrafts you find in countries like the US or UK.

    Even for that matter anyone who has flown Lufthansa will realize AI is much more luxurious.

    GB, your article is funny, that we all know, but I only wish you had a better perspective.

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