Air hitting reality
It was with much anticipation that we looked forward to a rather thrilling vacation in Rajasthan over the long Independence Day weekend. Little did we realize that this break would commence with such over excitement that would result in excess cardiovascular activity giving even a heart patient stiff competition. Our hearts seemed to be ticking at a faster pace than the seconds hand in our watches as we looked at the sluggish traffic in dismay. After what seemed like eternity, we scrambled off our car seats and rushed to the check in counter.
Our faces flushed deep red depicting the similar shade of the clouds during the time of the sinking sun. Even more apt as our situation we faced led to a sinking feeling equaling us to hit rock bottom on hearing the unavailability of seats. This was despite having confirmed tickets. What seemed worse was the fact of our predecessors in line grabbing seats with ease and an unfair treatment meted out to us. Directed towards the duty managers we strutted across like school children being asked to see the principal.
A stupefied silence followed when the concerned authorities expressed a solemn “I’ll try’ my best “. Waiting with bated breaths we watched her walk out of her room and trying to work out something for us. Numerous pleadings interspersed with indignation and panic with the airlines staff only seemed to win us sympathetic looks with the repeated words of flight being ‘overbooked’. Statements like “we should have come on time” were met with vehement retorts stating we were 45 minutes before the actual take off. And it was unfair of them to give up seats to the waiting list passengers for no fault of ours. More passengers with the same treatment and weeping expressions added fuel to the fire as minutes ticked past furiously.
Our trip to the dunes almost went up in fumes when an unexpected turn of events occurred. It almost seemed like a divine intervention when the crew rushed to tell us that two seats were managed to be found ‘available’. A sigh of relief followed as we rushed through the normal proceedings and thankful to our ‘travelling light’ policy which didn’t add the ‘burden’ of a check in process.
Running helter-skelter much to the amazement of the airport staff propelled them to ask us to return to normalcy. Indeed it would been surprising to see two individuals running as though they were being chased by bearded dacoits with knives that could give the butcher an immense inferiority complex. And finally we found ourselves seated in the aircraft unsurprisingly tired and weary when it was just the beginning.
The scenario seemed no less than a Bollywood flick with high intensity drama; the only difference that this one being a real scene instead of a reel one.
Unfortunately this seems to be the new problem that has cropped up in the airline industry. Many seemed to be facing a similar crisis with this latest fad of flights being overbooked. A recent article in the newspaper carried the agonies and disappointment of passengers who possess confirmed tickets and yet are forced to remain grounded as they watch their respective flights take off in distress. This causes a huge disappointment for those looking forward to a great holiday or sometimes the emergency in the situation in which one has to travel. It has proved to be a rude shock to passengers and requires precautionary measures to be taken to avoid anxiety during travel, especially during peak season.
One has to ensure to report as early as possible and avail their boarding pass, in which case the chances of being bumped off are nil. Even if it means spending a few extra minutes lingering in the lounge. This would surpass the time being spent in rushing about from pillar to post cutting a sorry figure before the stern faced officials. The other option would include in doing a tele or an E check which would equally be beneficial.
However while such cases seem possible in domestic travel, it’s the international travel that causes a prime concern in combating these demons and hurdles. It is time that while the airlines authorities take some measures, we need to be a step ahead and combat this hard hitting reality or rather an air hitting reality in this case. After all it’s only the case of where sky is the limit at least in this case.
Written for www.msn.co.in