Air Deccan: "Simplifly"

 | September 27,2013 01:39 pm IST

Thanks to the fierce competition in the airlines industry, even though being a student, I managed to afford an Air Travel out of my Stipend that I got during the Summer Internship Program and yet save enough afterwards to buy a few gifts for my dear ones.


As a child, I was undoubtedly most enthused by none other than the aeroplanes.

The zooming sounds over the air would leave me gazing at one of the most exciting and useful inventions of the world, a million thanks to Wright Brothers!! Anything about aeroplanes and you could see my eyes glittering. I would invariably ask my friends and relatives who had traveled in air about the experience they had within the plane. The take-offs, the landings, seat belts, the air-hostesses, fast speed, less time, and meals and chocolates in the plane .All this gave me a reason to dream as a child about my first Air Travel Experience.


After getting my first stipend during my Summer Internship program, with Air industry so much in news, I had no other dream but to endeavor an Air ride. I fortunately had some important work, but not enough time to travel through Train!!! That became my biggest excuse to undergo Air travel.


I booked an air-ticket from Chennai to Delhi some 15 days before the scheduled date with the Deccan Airlines - the airline offering the "Lowest fare" as claimed by them. My dream was about to take reality. The next 15 days were not just 15 days but 15*24*3600 seconds.


I used to spend hours and hours surfing the Deccan site and other airlines site to overcome the apprehensions of a first flight. The zooming sounds of aeroplanes above me would excite me to the core and yet again I would move to my desktop in search of some new hidden information about Indian airlines and the Airports. To make sure that I do not get into any kind of trouble, I took the ticket that I printed online to my friends to validate. Their personal experience gave me lot of insights and prepared me for the D-day.


Finally, the night before I was busy - "arranging the different documents of proof and tickets" unlike others who would generally be busy in packing their clothes. My flight was scheduled at 06:05 hrs. And I was to report at the counter an hour before. Whew!!! I started at around 3:30 am from my room to avoid any traffic jams, so what if it was too early for a traffic jam, I did not want to take any chance - afterall,it was my first flight !!


I reached the airport at 4:30 am and entered the domestic end. Completely new to the place, I somehow managed to get the security check of my suitcase and then proceeded to the counter. With great anxiety, I offered my ticket and documents. I made sure that I get a window seat. Waiting for the airplane at the waiting hall gave me enormous time to observe people, the staff at the Airport and different other facilities provided for the customers. Finally came the announcement to board the plane, the moment I was anxiously waiting for.


Once I entered the plane, I was actually expecting few chocolates or some refreshing drink. But to my surprise, it did not happen, except for a nice smiling welcome from the Air Hostess. The security instructions were well taken of by the crew. I fastened my seat belt and here I go!!!


The take off went well, and I could see how the earth looked like from the highest place I had ever been in my whole life. Feeling thirsty, I asked for a water bottle from the Airhostess. I got one with a nice smiling reply "free of cost", "Ten Rupees, Sir". I wondered, if she was telling me the cost of favor she did for me at free of cost, or asking money from me. "Do I need to pay for this?" I asked. She nodded in favor and I paid for the same. But, eventually, I also tried to find if I was the only scapegoat. Thankfully, I wasn't. The whole picture of getting chocolates / refreshing drinks / meals started getting clearer. An aircraft offering lowest possible fares, definitely can't offer everything for free. Infact, the meals available on the plane were priced quite reasonably. For each and every thing inside Deccan plane, you have to shell out your money - except for using washrooms! On the other hand, I feel, putting in extra 1000 or 2000 bucks for the same journey, and getting few freebie meals / chocolates is definitely not worth.


The plane reached Hyderabad in an hour. We were asked to remain seated in the plane. New passengers joined in and then again the plane was on its way to the second take off. I was a much-experienced traveler by now!! Infact, I helped the person sitting next to me in fastening his seat belt - as he was also a first time traveler like me - but nonetheless, I had more number of travel minutes in Air than he had!!

I finally reached Delhi at around 12:00 hrs, after a delay of about an hour from its scheduled time. It took another 45 minutes to come out of the Airport. It was indeed a good ride with plenty of surprises!! When in retrospect, I find that it actually took me 9-10 hours for the whole journey, out of which 4 hours were to be spent in the plane. But considering the time that a Train takes for the same journey, it was indeed very much satisfactory. Thinking of the services provided to its customer, I see eye-to-eye with their policy.


Its tag line shows - Simplifly - simplified fly OR simply fly, whatever way we take its meaning, it actually caters to the main issue for its passengers - money and time. How does it manage to do so? Of course, they have many sponsors to support them. I could see, they had a magazine which had every page sponsored by the companies. Even the body of the plane was open for advertisements. The flight crew strength was very low, though they never compromised on the security aspects. Apart from that, it had very less leg space for the customers - just enough to sit comfortably. With the Air fares touching close to AC fares of train, more and more number of people are preferring Air travel than a time-taking railway service.


For people like me, they take an airline to reach their destination in shortest possible time with lowest fares possible. Who cares what food I am getting inside the plane? How many chocolates I get? All I want is to reach my destination in short time, and/or any extra service - for which I am exactly paying for what I get.


The whole episode gave me yet another dream to fly again. The charm to fly in air is still engrossed within and would probably never be shaken.