Recently for official work I had been to Uttar Pradesh a northern state in India.

Considering the time factor I had decided which airline to go with rather taking decision on a particular brand. So as per my schedule I took Indigo airlines for Delhi and while returning back from Lucknow I took Go Air.

As per Indigo’s new commercial they have explicitly emphasized ‘On Time’, but trust me in the airline industry it is very difficult to be ‘On Time’. In the airline industry to stand on this proposition is very difficult and once you communicate it then a brand has to fulfill it otherwise customers will start criticizing about the brand.

‘On Time’ is a very strong proposition to stand and if they fulfill the proposition for certain period of time then it will be set in the consumers mind for years to come. Due to some genuine reasons the flight’s getting delayed then I am sure customers will understand the situation and forget it.

To start with I will share my experience with the Indigo airline, while going my flight was on exact time even it landed Delhi airport on the mentioned time.

But over here I am not trying to promote Indigo but I am here to share my experience with Go Air, an airline brand, both are low budget airlines but are poles apart from each other.

While I was returning back from Lucknow to Mumbai via Delhi, there was no direct flight available so had to come to Delhi first and then to Mumbai. My flight from Lucknow was at 7:45 p.m. so I had to reach airport by 7 p.m. anyhow coz as per new rule we have to check-in before 45 minutes.

Now at 5 p.m. I am getting a sms saying “sorry sir your flight has been delayed and now it’s scheduled at 8 p.m.

I was nearby to the airport so thought that I should go to Go Air airport desk and ask them the reason behind the delay but as expected they didn’t know the exact reason for the delay.

So I went to airport at 7 p.m. knowing that flight will take off at 8 p.m. to my surprise flight got delayed again and now it was at 8:45 p.m.

By this time passengers were really pissed but didn’t react to the entire situation. After sometime flight got delayed again now it was at 9:30 p.m.

Passengers were angry like hell and caught the in-charge manager of Go Air and fired the hell out of him.

With crowd I was also tired, angry and frustrated so showed my anger on the guy but deep down I knew that it’s not his fault.

What can he do in this? He is not responsible for the havoc, he is just following orders but he is the person who is answerable to the passengers, he could have managed the situation in a different way by arranging refreshments or dinner for the people or by just convincingly saying sorry to the people and making them understand that it’s not his fault. Over here passengers forced the manager to arrange for food for them and made it sure that flight was not going to get delay any further.

But to tell you the fact, flight took off at 10:30 p.m. till that time Go Air guys didn’t do anything to make the passengers happy.

Were there any opportunities to make the passengers happy? 100s of them but the manager’s responsibility was over after giving passengers to eat and passengers also were relaxed because they got something additional out from these guys and accepted the fact that they have made a wrong choice.

So should I go ahead with the story or this is more than enough, this is nothing if you read about my flight from Delhi to Mumbai you will go crazy, it was a connecting flight so it was Go Air again. After reaching Delhi we had to catch another flight so airhostess mentioned to one passenger that ‘passengers travelling to Mumbai have to go out of the airport and go to ‘x’ terminal’. Rather communicating this message to one passenger they could have given it to all just informing it through speakers. So now I am out from the Bus and walking towards the airport (no clue where to go) just following the tribe.

Finally reached the terminal and asked at the desk, What’s the scene about Delhi flight to Mumbai? Can you guess what reply I received? No prize for guessing it right.

Flight’s delay for 45 minutes.

Imagine, by now I had crossed all my patience and wanted to fire the hell out of the company. Not because flight is getting delayed but nobody is bother about the scenario. Not even single soul from Go Air is concerned about the passengers.

Is this a way you treat your customers or passengers? Then I seriously think you don’t know how to operate a brand.

This is not over yet, I landed at Delhi airport around 12:15 p.m. and flight got delayed by 45 minutes and took off at around 1:30 a.m.

After boarding the flight I sat on my seat finally hoping I will reach Mumbai & have a good night sleep but to my surprise the nightmare was about to start.

There was this beautiful girl who entered the flight and came towards my seat I was like okkkk & ‘she looked into my eyes & asked me’ SEAT 13E? I said yes.She replied then this is my seat’.I told her no this is mine’.

Guess what? We both had same seat number on our boarding passes. I thought what a beautiful coincidence it was (let’s not get into that…!

This didn’t happen with me only but with all the passengers who got their boarding passes from Lucknow.

Luckily airline was not full there were empty seats to accommodate all of us but that didn’t solve the issue. People were not ready to listen; there were few of them who abused the air-hostesses. Few of us just went to the seat which were empty and sat knowing the fact that it was a business class but still the air-hostess had the audacity to tell us that the seats are for business class you guys cant sit there (Please note: seats were not occupied by anyone).

Ofcourse I didn’t get up from the seat and after all this shit happening, in no time I passed out.

So you might be thinking what time did I landed Mumbai? It was around 3:45 a.m. reached home around 4:30 a.m.

Now I wrote this open letter to Go Air authorities not only to showcase that you guys suck or have badly screwed up with me and with all the passengers who were travelling on that flight. I also wanted to tell you that how can you have tackled this situation and still would have lived in our minds rather dying a cruel death.

Other companies can also read and get an idea what a customer wants when situation like this happens. Ofcourse these things might not happen on day to day basis with your brand, provided you are not Go Air but whenever it happens try this out, it’s just logic and thinking from the consumers perspective.

If the following things would have been done for the passengers then they might have thought to forgive you and would have given you a second chance. But now it’s next to impossible, the only reason they will fly Go Air is if they face time constrain and have to reach somewhere on ‘x’ particular time and there are no other airlines available on that particular time.

I think they should have done these things:

  1. First SMS passengers informing about the delay. (which they did)
  2. Second SMS saying sorry for the inconvenience occurred.
  3. Unambiguously informing passengers about the delay.
  4. Giving the passenger an approximate time of the next flight and if they are not sure about the timings then please don’t give it. They should mention it clearly that they don’t know the exact timing and as soon as they get any idea we will inform the customers.
  5. If the flight is getting delayed again then informing the passengers that they are really sorry for the inconvenience occurred, passengers can get fresh with the Go Air refreshing kit and will be serve some refreshments.
  6. After arranging for refreshments Go Air executives should gather all the passengers in one area and inform them about the reason for the delay and also inform them about the next steps they are planning to take.
  7. At Delhi airport one executive of Go Air should have accompanied with the passengers showing the way for the Terminal ‘x’.
  8. In the flight Delhi to Mumbai, it was major goof up, airhostess can’t do anything about the chaos and in this situation they should be more polite and more understanding towards the passengers.
  9. After landing to Mumbai airport they could have arrange for some refreshments again and a senior person from the staff could have come and apologized to all the passengers.
  10. In the end after a day or so, one sms should be sent to all the passengers accepting their mistake and showing their empathy towards all the passengers, this would have done magic.

If Go Air had followed these points I think passengers might have considered this situation as a genuine problem and for sure given them one more chance to prove them.

I would like to tell the senior authorities (specifically of Go Air) if you want your customers to be satisfied and if you want your passengers to be loyal to your brand and if you want they talk good about the brand to their friends, relatives etc etc. then you try and follow these simple logical points and see the after effect.

My last point to Go Air is there is no hope for your brand to live again in the minds of the passenger who were travelling on that day with me, only reason they will travel with you again is if passengers have to reach somewhere on specific time and there are no options available then only they will consider Go Air otherwise you guys are nowhere in the travelling consideration set of the consumers mind.

Sometimes my creative instincts just pops out so this one’s for you Go Air, I would love to give you a tag line “Go Air, Go Away”.