I've been absent from blogging for some time. Picking up today from we left almost a month back.
Kingfisher came in when there was a lot of talk of low cost airlines. With "all economy" planes and fares lower than that of Jet, KF was clubbed into the Low cost category to begin with. But the clear promise was that of "an experience that even other airlines are going to talk about".
And the experience was good: Planes were new, seats slightly wider, leg room slightly more. And all these counted as everything was benchmarked to pain-points of the leader: Jet. One also had in flight entertainment: 5 video channels and 10 audio ones. What also counted was the bright festive red colour compared to the conservative blue of jet. It did feel like being part of a more cheerful experience as the staff was very cheerful and friendly. Even the in-flight magazine was about fashion, parties and of course bollywood.
What I personally liked the best and made me take KF flights was its flexibility in check-in. Jet would not allow one in 30 mins before the flight even if one had a Gold Card. KF on the other hand took everyone even 15 mins before the flight!
After the first few flights, I remember thinking of Jet as a service provider with German efficiency. This was a lesson in many ways:
1. A great airline all of a sudden had a strong competitor which made it look in a bad light. "German efficiency" is not a great name recall!
2. The industry changed from airline industry to a service industry
3. The brand extension of king fisher was admirable