Sir, May I Clean Your Glasses? 

"Airline service" - I've called it the ultimate oxymoron for years and years and then more years. Well, that was before I met Kingfisher Air on a roundtrip to Mumbai last week. First there were the "butlers," I guess you'd call them, that carried our bags on and off the plane for those of us lucky enough to be in business class.

Courtesy piled upon courtesy, all at a decent price—the food was grand. (Though, truth be known, I think almost all Indian food, as prepared in India, is pretty grand.)

But it was that last touch. As we neared the beginning of our descent, the flight attendant in biz class walked down the aisle asking us if we'd like her to clean our glasses.
Holy shit! (Sorry for the expletive.)

Thomas J. Peters aka Tom Peters, is an American writer on business management practices, best-known for, In Search of Excellence. His above comment can be found his column Dispatches FROM THE new world OF work.

  What a Magnificent Airline! 

Hey everybody from Kingfisher!

I would like to thank you so very much. What a magnificent airline! I can't believe that you provide food on a 45 minute flight... this is unheard of in the States!

I will always be a huge fan of your airline, you are the best!

Many thanks again, Dan

  Walk the Talk  

In every era, there are people who talk, who walk, and who walk the talk. You are Type III. My details in my homepage. I am a simple ordinary passenger of yours, on Kingfisher, a man from the street, who along with his wife, occasionally feel the greatness of your creation. I am a member of KINGCLUB and so is my wife, Mrs. Nandini Sanyal. This email is just to convey my heartfelt congratulations. No reply or reward necessary or being asked for. GOD bless you and your family and your creations.

With warm personal regards -- Sugata Sanyal

  I'd like to be adopted please. 

Mum, its nothing personal, but I now have a hankering to be adopted by Dr. Vijay Mallya chairman of Kingfisher Airlines.

I had a choice of airline from London to Bangalore - BA or Kingfisher - flight times were better on BA, but the thought of a few more inches of legroom with Kingfisher were just calling me loudly. Its a near enough 10 hour flight with one direction overnight! So Kingfisher it was.

Visa collected, flight booked.

Then I spotted "Upgrade Travel Option" through "Option Town"who's tagline is along the lines of "get an upgrade to business or first for 75% less". Hmm.. interesting, so I sign up. Desparately dubious about it...have to call OptionTown in India to throw my credit card over the fence - pay my sign up fee for each way on the flight that I want to be considered for upgrade. (about £6 in total), plus the £217 each way that I was quoted for the upgrade.

My card was charged, on the proviso that if I didn't get the upgrade I get my money credited back. They promise to let me know if I'm upgraded 4 hours before the flight. So that's an upgrade to first class for £217 for a 10 hour flight, that gives me a fully flat bed. The cost when I looked on the website for first both ways was TWO GRAND sterling. (which is definitely out of my price bracket!!). My economy class was actually cheaper than BA at £390, so its not like I paid over the odds to start with.

There was definitely part of me that was extremely dubious, that I'd never see my money again and it was all some elaborate scam, but you know I thought it must be real because its on the Kingfisher website (that'll be me trusting everything I read on the internet...) I searched and searched and could only find one reference to the service, on an obscure travel blog - and all they said was "new service launched".

So, I was a very happy bunny when I get the notification 36 hours before I fly that I've been upgraded - excited all the way to the executive lounge. Hurray. No longer am I one of the great unwashed at Heathrow terminal 4, no more fighting for a seat, an overpriced drink, and then joining a queue to sit in (admittedly 34 inches) of seat pitch (comfort) cattle class for 10 hours.

There are no two ways about it. It was an amazing experience. From the greeting as you get on the plane (my original seat was a "turn left" but it was an aisle seat, so I opted for 3k and the window), the acres and acres of space, three windows in my "suite", thats right I had three windows! And no neighbour - ok so there was a seat there, but it was empty. Wow all this space and I get to stretch out as well.

An amazing toiletry pack, with a wooden handbag sized hairbrush, smellies from Salvatore Ferragamo, jim jams (oh I'm sorry, a sleep suit), slippers. Papers, magazines, hot towels, man alive where am I going to put all this stuff? Ha, that's why I got the spare seat then...

Then Vijay, or do you want me to start calling you Pops already?, appears on the screen - the 17inch (I think it was 17inch, it needed to be that big, being at the end of my acres long suite...) screen and tells me that he's personally selected all the crew on board, and he's told them to treat me as if I were a guest in his home. Dr Mallya, after the Kingfisher First experience, I'm not sure just visiting is going to be enough for me. As my subject says, I think I'd like to be adopted.

I've been wracking my brains as to what wowed me the most - well it started with the onboard camera, that appears to be attached to the underside of the plane, so I could watch the runway from the bottom of the plane as we taxied, then watch London as we took off, and then the lights of whatever part of southern England we flew over, then Europe. Clearly I'm easily pleased.

But seriously, what wowed me the most? - there's no one thing, but there were plenty of them - it started with the offer of champagne - Dom Perignon no less, and yes I would like to drink my champagne in the bar - and yes I sat on the funky cream leather sofa watching Europe scoot past as I lived the high life and ordered my dinner.

After retiring to my suite, dinner (and obviously more fizz) was served. Oh boy. The marvellous tuna to start, and then a fabulous vegetable thali - served on a beaten silver platter. (ok it might not have been real, but I'm probably not the right person to judge, but wow, amazing food and superb presentation). I'm not sure I will ever be able to get back to a Ryanair sandwich again. (and it would probably cost me as much as this upgrade anyways!)

My fully flat bed was obviously prepared for me - and then the stars came out. Literally, the ceiling goes a midnight blue colour and stars appear, so I'm not only in heaven, I can see it as well.

Waking to breakfast and coffee served from silver jugs (I'm going to have to change the coffee machine at home now..) there was just enough time to move my chair into every position possible, (I'm sorry folks, its the little things), test out the massage options on it (yes seriously good), work my way through a little "Kingfisher Radio" and then we were in Bangalore. And of course I love being first off the plane, and seeing my bag the second one out.

Kingfisher - you did me proud, it was an amazing experience, I fear you've spoiled me for life. OptionTown, I'm sorry I ever doubted you - for me it was great, your support staff were fabulous, explained everything in great detail, your emails were timely, informative (and of course the one notifying me about the upgrade was sooooo exciting!)

And of course, the last word must go to Dr Mallya. Sir, you have done a grand job. (personally, you knocked spots off Virgin Upper Class) And should you ever feel the need to adopt me, then my mother would understand, so long as, of course that she gets upgraded.

Ms. Sarah Carter

  Hearty Congratulations  

Dear Dr Mallya,

I would like to share the happiness with you all at Kingfisher for your winning the FREDDIE AWARDS in two categories. We are mighty happy and we want to share a little bit of your glory as members of the King Club.

Warm regards

Prof. Sugata Sanyal

Mrs. Nandini Sanyal

  I am a very fussy customer, very hard to please but this airlines truly pampers me 

I am a regular business traveler to London and I fly only Kingfisher, the Silver Thali service is terrific and the food is to die for.

Last time during my flight to London I was suffering from extreme cold, so every half hour the air hostess would ask me if I needed anything, gently tell me "sir please take warm water and honey", imagine every half hour she made it a point to do a check on me !

The lounge is just wow – once I spent my entire trip in the lounge, the starry sky  and the ambient lighting is just out of this world.

I am a very fussy customer, very hard to please but this airlines truly pampers me.



  Five Star Service 

Dear Dr Mallya,

I was fortunate enough to have recently experienced the five star service offered by Kingfisher First on a return flight to Mumbai from London. In this day and age where good service has lost its importance and customer's are just a number, this was a true rare occasion where both myself and my mother were made to feel as if we were 'guests' and not customers on your plane.

I had specifically asked my brother to book XXXX for our flight as I have enjoyed flights with them in the past, and I have to say I was quite unhappy when I first came to realise we were flying Kingfisher as I had not flown with your company before.

Well Dr Mallya I cannot stress how wrong I was. From the check-in at the airport to our landing at Mumbai, I cannot fault your airline for one single thing. You have thought of everything. From the food, seat comfort, friendly air hostesses, the list is endless. Your claim is that you offer a five star flight, well if it was upto me i would give you a six star rating!!

I look forward to flying with you again soon. I also hope that one day you launch your own chain of hotels as well. If you can make a person feel like your guest on a flight then I can only imagine how comfortable a Kingfisher hotel would be!!! .



  A True Indian  


By taking the right step to get back one of the "Treasures of India" you have proved that you are not only "Pride of India" but a *TRUE INDIAN*.My salute to you once again.


G. Ajith

  The Mahatma's Belongings  

Dear Sir,

I am proud of your initiative to purchase back belongings of MAHATMA back to India. I Wish your business more success in future and I will prefer only kingfisher Airlines for future travel or to purchase Kingfisher made products. Thanks and congratulations.