Thursday, January 31, 2013
THE ARMED FORCES CONCESSION IN CERTAIN PVT AIRLINES IS SHAMEFUL & A FARCE
Today, I had been to Pune airport to get reservation for a flight I wanted to take and ventured out to check out the 'ARMED FORCES CONCESSION' that every Airline BOAST THEY DO.
I had actually gone to clarify certain issues and also thought I would book it there, as I was NOT able to check out the requisite details on the net.
Firstly, I WAS INFORMED, THAT CONCESSION TICKETS CAN ONLY (ONLY) BE BOOKED ON NET!!
Since I was not able to ascertain the concession I get, I asked them what was the concession I can expect. They informed me that it was 50% of the BASE FARE. I stated that I wanted to know in terms of money; what I can expect.
I noticed that they were VERY RELUCTANT TO LET ME KNOW THE SAME, AND STATED IT CAN BE SEEN ONLY IN THE NET. When I insisted that I need to speak to some higher officials, I was informed by INDIGO, that the BASE FARE OF THE TKT I WANTED WAS Rs 200/- (YOU DON'T BELIEVE IT, DO YOU. BUT YES IT WAS Rs 200 AND SO I, A PROUD VETERAN, GET A CONCESSION OF Rs 100 (YES, ONE HUNDRED Rupees) I THINK IT IS SHAMEFUL, FOR; PEOPLE TIP THEIR BEARERS MORE THAN THAT.
The same was the reply from SPICE JET, WHO ALSO OFFERED ROUGHLY THE SAME CONCESSION.
GO INDIA HOWEVER STATED IT WAS Rs 500/- FLAT ON EVERY TICKET.
If this Rs 100/- is the concession today, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT THIS BELITTLING OF THE FORCES BE STOPPED AND WE ASK THE AIR COYS NOT (NOT) TO ADVERTISE THE SAME BOLDLY AND PROUDLY. THEY SHOULD IN-TURN BE ASHAMED OF OFFERING THIS TO THE FORCES. IF THEY THINK THEY ARE DOING THIS AS A SOCIAL CAUSE, I CAN ONLY PITY THEIR JUDGEMENT.
This service concession was earlier granted by Indian Airlines (IA) primarily because the Air Traffic Control (ATC) at airfields in forward and remote areas were manned by the Air Force personnel. Thus this concession was a mode of not only acknowledging and appreciating the services rendered by the Forces, but also saved on the manpower and infrastructure that would have to be spent by IA.
I wonder why we, (the Armed Forces), cannot insist on a review of this and justice is done, as we still man all the ATCs of remote areas incl some in vital airbases including PUNE !!
ALTERNATIVELY, LET THE SERVICES ASK THE COYS TO DO AWAY WITH THIS FARCE OF CONCESSION TO THE ARMED FORCES. It is really demeaning to one who has served proudly to look for such pittance thrown by such coys.
I, FOR ONE, PROMISE NOT TO AVAIL THIS CONCESSION TILL THIS IS ADDRESSED. I KNOW IT WOULD MAKE NO DIFFERENCE TO THEM, BUT I FEEL PROUD OF THIS. I AM NOT WILLING TO BE HURT BY THEIR TREATMENT.
I strongly feel this be given wide publicity, so that everyone (both in uniform and those out of it) be informed of this.
Col K Srinivas (Retired)