Tuesday 25 December 2012

On Christmas say Happy Birthday with a song

On the occasion of Christmas may I wish all fellow bloggers and the readers of my blog a Merry Christmas. Watch & listen to a small Christmas Carol song that I recorded singing Happy Birthday on Christmas at the Grouse Mountains in the British Columbia.

Christmas Carol - Grouse Mountain, British Columbia, Canada 

Monday 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve Wishes

On the eve of Christmas I wish all the bloggers and readers a Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Jet Airways or Air India?

As soon as one will look at the topic one would say Jet Airways any day! But let me recount my experiences with both. I often travel full fare airlines only when I travel for work. I have traveled with Jet Airways, Jet Lite, Air India and Air India Express as well.

Which Airlines would you choose?

And contrary to what everyone thinks I have had decent experiences with Air India and Air India Express as well. If I can I would avoid them for longer flights. Now you may ask me why would I do that if I have had reasonable experiences with Air India in the past?

The answer is that one can never be sure with Air India. It is the burden of their reputation, too many horror stories floating around, for me to be able to risk taking a long flight with them. Then there are so many news paper reports with a regular frequency about the state of affairs at their offices. It simply does not inspire confidence. But from personal experience I have to say I had reasonable time with them whenever I took flights with Air India or Air India Express except the to and fro flights to London that I took few years back both of which got delayed by several hours.

On the other hand with Jet Airways there is no such burden of reputation. They have been in news largely for the right reasons and my personal experiences too have been quite comfortable.

When I force myself to think hard I realize that food has been similar on both. In fact by now I have come to the conclusion that all airline food tastes the same! The on time arrival has been largely similar, and the crew has been well trained and professional on both!

Yet when I write about Jet I say my experiences were ‘quite comfortable’ and when I say Air India I say it was ‘reasonable.’ The burden of reputation in the end I guess? And anyway I have to remember that my choice of airline is largely determined by where the air tickets are coming from!

Thursday 6 December 2012

The Question of Access on Domestic Airlines in India

In my experiences airports are one of the best places for a person with disability and who needs wheelchair access or other assistance. I also admit access to me is what I can see, people in wheel chairs, people needing assistance etc. But I have not really given a thought what happens if a person is blind? Is there enough assistance for them on the airports? I also do not check my flight status these days I have become completely reliant on the airline SMS about delays. But I guess flight status would become very important for people who need assistance to get out of the airport safely.

Ramp is a necessity for persons with disabilities

The full fare airlines that fly from T3 in New Delhi have air bridges to the aircraft so wheel chair access is there. But at the domestic terminal 1D many planes have stairs for boarding and I wonder how do people on wheelchair manage?

In that sense I am a big fan of Indigo (I wonder why their website is called Goindigo though, causes some confusion for the first time user) as they use ramps for boarding on all their aircrafts. I know people who need wheelchair assistance and of course they choose to fly with Indigo. I wonder if other airlines like Goair, Spicejet etc would also follow with ramps?

In fact the question of access in general is such a low priority in India that it took a Stephen Hawking to get a ramp even at the Taj Mahal. When I compare this to my visits abroad I see so many people moving around in wheel chairs independently but then given the scope of issues we face as a nation, it is difficult to see things changing in a short while. And as I said before I admire Indigo therefore that they brought about ramps for all their planes.