She balanced the job of cajoling brawling babies and mollycoddling her colleagues to go the extra mile with equal ease.In between, just-become-mothers also got some free advice to calm their babies.
For some reason, I never felt as good as this before - the reason for which I could not quite fathom,initially. The space looked as run-down as ever.The staff was as unsmiling and grouchy as ever - except Nathanille. She seemed to be all over. She figured out from the look in his eyes that he wanted a refill - but could not get himself to ask the lady. He got his beer without needing to ask. The have-seen-and-opened-a-milk-power-sachet-for-the first-time man spilt sticky milk powder all over the place and then did not know how to clear the mess.He got quick help without the this-silly-fellow-has-messed-up the place look.
I then realized that I was feeling good because seldom before had someone asked for my jacket to be put up on the hanger without my having to request for it, several times. Never before had someone asked me whether I wanted some more tea or coffee.Never before had someone asked me if my seat was comfortable. Never before...
When IC 961 from Bangalore to Sharjah, on the 5th June,2008, landed at the right time it lead me to believe that my previous poor impression of Air India was misplaced.With person like Nathanille in-charge of the cabin and pilots who made up,en route, for the delay in takeoff, surely Air India must be among the better airlines. I recalled a Singapore Airlines test pilot telling me, some months earlier, that Air India was second only to Singapore Airlines when it came to the ability of its pilots and the competence of its engineering department. I landed on a high.I decided make Air India my preferred airline.
On the way back to Bangalore on the 12th June,2008, IC 680 from Dubai to Mumbai was delayed by over 3 hours. The connecting flight from Mumbai to Bangalore (AI 620 on the 13th June at 0330 hours) was cancelled. The alternate connection, IC 105 - 3 hours later, was late by an hour.The in-flight service(or even the enthusiasm of its crew) was not even close to what I and others had experienced on IC 961 to Sharjah.
Sorry, Nathanille. In spite of your best efforts, Air India cannot be my preferred airline.