Funny incident at Bangalore airport today.
I pride myself to be a frequent flier. When I enter the airport, I enter it with a sense of ownership. I give a condescending smile on the 'Newbie' passengers who struggle with the routine airport tasks. I give a wink and a nod to the bevy of attendants who swarm the airport. I hand over my boarding pass and my ID card to the bored security guard with an even more bored expression. I ignore the clutch of pretty air hostesses flitting from one gate to another in search of aircrafts. I don't even bother to answer the security guard when he asks if I have kept my mobile phone and wallet in the bag as I keep my bag on the security tray (As if I will forget something that basic). If the security conveyor isn't moving, I give it a push and give a knowing look at the other passengers.
Been there done that, if you see what I mean.
That is why the incident at the airport today is even more memorable
Most of my travels are short distance, mostly between Mumbai and Bangalore. I do not have any check in baggage and carry only two cabin bags including my laptop bag. As soon as I enter the airport, I go straight to the security area, since I already did the web checkin and carry my printed boarding pass. On the way to the security area, I take two baggage tags from attendants of any airline, whoever happens to be near. I give opportunity to serve me the baggage tags to the first attendant whom I see.
No favoritism. I am fair and balanced.
Today it was the turn of Emirates executive to have the pleasure of giving me the tag.
'Please give me two tags', I demanded casually. I am not even looking at him. That casual.
Instead of giving me the tags he turned the script around.
'Which airline?' he asked
'Does it matter? Since you asked, it is Indigo', I replied with a bit of irritation
'Sorry sir, these tags are for Emirates airline passengers', he informed me.
What a nerve? Not giving ME the tags?
I flipped out.
'Look, I am a frequent flier with Emirates (no idea why I mentioned that). Anyways, I am asking for only two tags. It is not as if I am asking for gold ornament or something', I told him sternly
Scared, he gave me the two tags.
On the way to the security I am irritated. I continue building it up in my mind. These airline guys are not getting trained properly, I decided. They do not know customer service, I thought bitterly. I should go on Facebook and Twitter and raise a stink about the bad service, I planned. Let me show these big airlines the power of Social Media !
I was irritated.
I reached the security gate and pushed my bags through the security conveyor. After completing my security check, I am waiting for my baggage to be scanned and stamped.
Just before stamping, the security guard asked, 'Whose bag is this?'
I said it was mine.
'Sir, where are you travelling to?', he queried
'Mumbai', I replied truthfully since that is where I was heading to.
'Why have you tagged the bags with the tags of 'International Flight' for a domestic flight? It causes a lot of confusion. In future tie only domestic flight tags for a domestic flight'
He removed my 'Emirates' tags, replaced them with tags of domestic airline and stamped the tag.
Now I knew why the Emirates attendant hesitated to give me the tags. Tagging bag for a domestic flight with tags of International airlines will cause confusion at the security gate, as mentioned by the guard.
I was humbled. This was new.
One lives and learns, doesn't one?