So I got on a Kingfisher Airlines plane for the first time in lets say 3-4 years yesterday evening, unless you count the 45 minute GOI-BOM flight I took on Kingfisher Red last year in August.
The reasons I’ve abstained from Flying Kingfisher have been many. Here are a few:
- They are flashy! I am not just referring to their choice of Red as their color, but all the flying models, personally chosen by the CEO bit and all their eagerness to please appeared over the top.
- I felt hurt when the owner went all out to get Air Deccan down to their knees and bought them out with their flanking strategy. And yes, I am an M&A guy myself, but I still saw brutal written all over this acquisition.
- They were trying to portray they were the best while they were not! Those 5-star airline promises, I never was able to believe them.
- Their customer service, I believe, is always and continues to be dumb!
So, over the years I stuck it out with Jet Airways. I still love them for their professionalism, their warmth and their classy approach towards flying. The route network also served my needs, yes. Indigo was the trusted backup.
So about a year back, when I signed up for the Kingfisher First Credit Card by American Express, I got a complimentary Gold status on them. I did not bother to touch it with a bargepole. I heard all sorts of stories from colleagues about how they were going under, and how they never managed to make it on time to anyplace. And then all the grounding of planes because they did not have money to buy oil! Heck, who wants to fly an airline who does not make sure you arrive on time for a meeting.
Very recently, Kingfisher announced that it was killing the Kingfisher Red low-cost offering, and going to be a full-service airline going forward. That got my antenna up, as I link this as one of their strategic moves to be ready for their oneworld alliance tie-up which should be up and running early 2012. This gave me hope that they were trying to get better.
After all, airlines is not a one-time transaction game. They depend on frequent and not so frequent fliers alike. But they do want your business the next time around. So, I was hoping that with the uptick in traffic they’d see once on OW, they won’t want to hang their head in shame with the foreign clientele who did not hear of them before and provide top-notch service.
Hence, I tried out their domestic product again after years, and I must state I got into DEL safe and sound last evening. I’ll follow this up with another post on my first impressions with Kingfisher shortly! Complete trip report after I get back into BOM later this week.
I’ll leave you with the Welcome to Kingfisher in-flight video (the international version) to whet your appetite even more on how they reallllllllllly raise your hopes!