Saturday, March 09, 2019

Air India passengers to get a ‘Jai’ ride

The plight of the national carrier is summed up in a cartoon showing the Maharaja, on crutches with leg encased in plaster, telling a solicitous enquirer, “It’s nothing serious — just an airline fracture.” The airline has been instructed to append an incantatory ‘Jai Hind!’ to all in-flight announcements, and to do so with adequately emotive fervour. Considering the assorted bugaboos and gremlins, which turn our air travel via national carrier into air travail, it might be more appropriate to add the patriotic postscript to all ‘fright’ announcements instead of doing so to merely routine flight announcements.
From technical snags — not infrequently caused by stowaway rodents — necessitating the aborting of flights, to backed-up loos, to passengers being assailed by bedbugs, the airline seems set on a trajectory perhaps best described as up, up and awry. Such being the case, in order to bring further ‘Jai’ into the lives of passengers, more morale-boosting mantras might be devised to soothe any disquiet caused by non-weather-related turbulence. The playing of devotional songs on the aircraft’s announcement system might help, a pi-in-the-sky litany that could be echoed by passengers who, having landed, offer thanksgiving for having safely returned to terra firma, the more firmness, the less terror.
09/03/19 Economic Times