Thursday, May 27, 2021

Airline goes out of way to help lone passenger board flight

Mumbai: The two-and-a-half-hour flight that connects Mumbai to Dubai was once popular as the busiest international route out of India. These days though it has acquired a new identity as the flight on which the probability of being the solo passenger aboard is the highest. Three days after an Emirates passenger had an entire Boeing 777 aircraft to himself, an Air India passenger flew solo on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on May 22. After landing in Dubai, the entire crew, including the pilots, walked him right up to the passenger coach bus to see him off.

Speaking to TOI from his Dubai office, Oswald Rodrigues, a senior partner at Skybridge Freight Solutions, said, “I felt like a maharaja on that Dreamliner flight,” referring to Air India’s ‘Fly like a Maharaja’ slogan.

But this ‘maharaja’ had a few battles to win before he could board his ‘personal’ 256-seater Dreamliner. A negative RT-PCR report along with a QR-code linked to the original report is mandatory for international travel and the code on his report didn’t work. It was 1.15 pm and the flight was scheduled for takeoff at 3.30 pm. As Rodrigues stood feeling helpless at the Air India check-in counter at Mumbai airport, AI supervisor Melvin Saldanha told him ‘We want to help you’. Saldanha deputed an AI ground staffer, Ketan Deolekar, to rush Rodrigues to a rapid PCR test counter. “It provides a report in 13 minutes or so. As soon as I received my negative PCR report, Deolekar began scanning my passport, visa, report and sent it to the AI desk,” he said. By 2.15 pm, all the documents were re-verified and Saldanha again deputed Deolekar to rush the passenger to the boarding gate. “The flight was surreal. The Dreamliner felt huge. Captain Rayomand Mucadum personalised all inflight announcements. ‘Mr Rodrigues, we have a crew of 8 to serve you today’, ‘Thank you for flying with Air India, Mr Rodrigues’,” he said.

27/05/21 Times of India

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment