A few weeks back, I gathered enough courage to perform a self check-in over the web before boarding a flight. It turned out to be an easy and hassle free experience. I was also rewarded with extra miles on my King Club card for performing this action. To my surprise, I ended up in the business class. I double checked my seat number on my ticket stub. It was luck. I was travelling on a Kingfisher Red flight. On that particular day, they used a Kingfisher class airplane on this route instead of a Kingfisher Red class one. In case you are wondering the difference between these two, the former features a business class section whereas the latter do not. While checking in over the web, I had chosen the seats closest to the cockpit. So, I ended up in the business class with extra room to toss and turn. After this incident, I always check in over the web. But, I have never had the good fortune for enjoying the business class luxury later!
Checking in over the web has it’s share of advantages and disadvantages. On my recent visit to Pune, I had checked in over the web, arranged a cab at 3:30 am in the morning and went to sleep early. My flight was at 6 am next day and the carrier was Kingfisher Red. At midnight, I received a SMS informing me about the delay in departure. Now, the flight will take off at 8:30 am. I promptly called up the cab service and rescheduled the time of pickup. When I drifted into sleep after this, the phone rang again! This time, a customer service representative had called to inform me about the delay. I thanked the lady and went to sleep again. At 3 am, I woke up again after hearing the phone ring. When I picked up the phone, an automated voice informed about the delay and the new departure time! Kingfisher notified me thrice about the delay and I can hardly complain. In order to wake up early on an important day, I put three alarms in a span of 30 minutes. Kingfisher also has a similar approach though with longer intervals! A frequent traveler would have switched off his mobile after receiving the SMS as he is aware of the repeated notification method of the airlines in case of a delay.
The next day, I overheard an irate traveler enquiring about the reason for the delay. “Pune runway is closed, sir”, replied one of the girls at the counter. The traveler questioned again, “Why? Are they filling in the potholes?”. He wore a deadpan expression while asking the last question. The girls at the counter smiled and looked down.
Picture Courtesy: http://www.osl.no