Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Why you should try Kingfisher

[This post is by Kodi's Mom of Kodimeow Kronicles]

(The title refers to the airlines, not the beer!)

My recent India trip was hectic and we were shuttling between cities frequently. One such shuttle was made on Kingfisher Airlines (KA). I hesitated a lot before buying our tickets. After all, these guys had made their money selling...beer. So when they served 'drinks' on board, what exactly would be in them? Did the pilot also get free 'drinks'?! I wasn't too happy about the price either. Rs 3K for one way between Hyderabad and Bangalore. The same route for which we had paid Rs 1.5K on the way in, on a different airline.

Well, there was not much room for my naive worries to influence our decision; it was only 5 days to the trip and no other airline was available for the Sunday night we wanted to fly.

So laden with doubt...and 6 odd pieces of oversized bags and a squirmy toddler, my brother, mom and I headed for the airport.

As soon as we pulled into the departures curb, a uniformed staff from KA walked over with a baggage cart and helped us load the luggage (which, btw, included a plastic bag stuffed with baby stuff! And which my 20-something-I'm-a-cool-dude brother refused to be associated with!) The staff then wheeled our cart, lifted our heavy bags through the security scanner and led us to the check in counter. So far, full points for KA - for helping with the baggage. If I were traveling alone with the kid, this is exactly what I would have needed.

Check in was quick and courteous. Boarding was on time and somebody had mercy on the toddler family and we were given priority seating. Ok, nothing great there - all airlines I've been on give kids first preference in boarding.

We entered the aircraft...and that's when the wow factor kicked in! The plane was neat - the decor was white on wood laminate and bright red cushions, err, seats. There was ample leg room to walk out without tripping over your neighbor. Each seat had its own TV screen. There were at least half a dozen video channels and many audio ones, and here's the best part, one video channel was exclusively dedicated to kids TV!! No, not even to the 10 year old kids - but really young kids, like my toddler. Wow! That is so thoughtful! Why don't the long distance airlines do that???

The plane took off on time and soon after, everyone was given a welcome packet, followed by a light dinner. Full points for punctuality and service.


The restless toddler was put to ease with Thomas Train, then Barney on the kid channel. Even the passenger in front of us who was talking 'investment' and 'strategy' a few minutes ago was tuned in to Barney. My parental brain checked him off as a dad. To a toddler, no doubt. Who else can appreciate the purple dinosaur so much?!

The flight was quick, flying time was barely 35 minutes, and landing was right on time. Overall, the most pleasant airplane trip ever.

This is definitely the most kid-friendly airline to fly. Totally worth the extra expense.

I have flown a dozen different international airlines, but this was by far the most comfortable trip and for the very first time, I was actually sad that the flight ended so soon. I mean, I hadn't even pressed all the buttons for the audio channels yet!!!

note: Have to put this in for the skeptics - neither me nor my family is affiliated with Kingfisher in any way - other than as full-fare paying customers.

note note: Have to put this in for myself - Kingfisher, if you're reading this, you know where to send the royalty check. Make sure it is addressed to Kodi space Meow. Thank you.


Vinita said...

you might want to send this link to their website they will be thrilled.. or we can do it on your behalf.

SJ said...

I completely agree with you. I travelled on Kingfisher on my last trip to India. They were awesome! In fact my daughter had fallen asleep on the flight, so they even had someone carry her stroller for me (while she was sleeping on my lap), got my luggage off the conveyor, etc.
I was also lucky that I got a very good deal (don't remember details, my parents had booked it for me), and were cheaper than other airlines.

Tharini said...

Cool! U shud have flown from KanyaKumari to Ladakh with them. ;)

Nice to get a lead on this.

Asha said...

That is wonderful to hear.I read in of the blogs about another Airlines(cheaper of course,can't remember the name)in which he had a horrible experience including passengers smelling like cow shed!:D
I haven't been to India in a long time but good to know which Airlines to travel when in there.Thanks:)

Sandeepa said...

Thanks @ for this. If I travel within India shall surely give this a try.

Kingfisher -- are you listening, please pay Kodi's Mom her cut

Saheli said...

WOW! Thanks Kodi's mom for the tips.
Do they have Intl. flights too?
I know I could have used those kids-friendly channels when I travelled with a toddler and a infant few years back.
Well, I did fly with the 'Jet Airways' in India and they were also very clean, friendly and prompt. They too had a gift packet for the kids.[Well, let me just mention that I'm not affiliated with Jet Airways ;)]
Well, I 'll definitely give KA a try in my next trip. Thanks!

Kodi's Mom said...

Vinita - thanks, I do want to write to them to ask when they'll fly overseas.

SJ - that was really kind of KA, and this thoughtfulness is what sets them apart.

Tharini - hmm, I haven't been to either place, so that's a brilliant idea!

Asha - time to visit desiland, gal! Most of the passengers were business travelers, so looked like ka was popular with all.

Sandeepa - yea! still waiting for the check ;-)

Saheli - you're very right - I too was wondering why they don't fly trans-atlantic. My brother said he'd read somewhere that they might be considering expanding their fleet. so if they do that you know who'll be first in line ;)

Praba said...

hey k's mom -

happy you had a great experience. Been a while since I heard some good airline experience kinda story - here local travel has gotten so hopeless- the wait, the delays, no food etc. etc..heard KA is the first in India to buy the gigantic airbus380! Good for them and for us! :-)

Poppins said...

Hey that's a good headsup. I have not travelled by airplane with poppin in India, should I decide to, I know what to refer to.. Excellent advice !

Kodi's Mom said...

Praba: domestic US travel is hopeless, I often tell DH that thiruvalluvar buses have better service.

Poppins: when you do travel, hope you and the li'l enjoy this airline!

mommyof2 said...

hey its nice to hear something good about any Indian airline;-) I had similar experice with jet airways when Air India people didn't do any announcement and left me and A there. I had to take JA Domestic plane to Mumbai and the experience was awesome too:-)

Rachel said...

Couldn't help commenting at this stage!

I travelled alone on KF from b'lore to goa when my kid was just 1.Right from the entrance, ther was a person to trolley in my luggage, do all the needful...ans waited alongside until i was boarded...on flight..thankfully the seat next to me was empty..but the airhostesses were kind enough to hadle my 1 yr old for a period of time...all in all..it was the most comfortable trip that i have had while travelling alone...