Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

(my destination) 


मेरा काफिला तेरे मंज़र पर आकर रुक गया

(my caravan has come to a stop at its destination)

जैसे रेगिस्तान में रेग का हर कतरा हो थम गया ।

(like every grain of sand in the desert has stilled) 

तेरा मुसाफिर हूँ जो अब दहलीज़ पर हूँ आया

(in my search of you I have reached your doorstep) 

कोई गिलो शिकवा नहीं जो अब तुझको है पाया ।

(there is no sorrow for I have found you) 

अपनी रूह तेरे हवाले करता हूँ आज

(I offer you my soul) 

अब साथ हो तेरा, यही हो ज़िन्दगी का आगाज़।।

(to be with you will be the essence of my life) 


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There are many road warriors out there who may beat this story but this week I saw myself becoming one. Hopped on a plane Sunday night, another one Monday night, and another one on Tuesday night and yet another one Wednesday night! It almost felt like navigating Google maps to find a town except that I actually traveled to such places.

So what is it like? Definitely not fun when you find yourself spending more time at the airport than in a bed. But it has it’s own charm. When I am at the airport I make it a point to the local gift shop because that’s one place where you get to learn something about the town/city. Try driving through the downtown, particularly if it is a small town or village. You will find the experience soothing if you are used to living in a big city. Recently I have tried doing one more thing – eating at local restaurants rather than popular chains. You will find amazing food at the local places because most of the time owners use traditional recipes and put their lifetime’s worth of hard work in serving you.

Even with a busy schedule you can create some fun for yourself. It only helps you by relieving some of that work pressure and by relaxing your airplane back!

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When I first started my blog, one of the articles I wrote was about United airlines and my disappointing experience with them. Almost two years later I had a chance to fly in another United flight on an international trip. And guess what, United hasn’t changed!

This trip was particularly interesting because I flew with 6 different airlines over a period of 5 weeks – Thai, Malaysian, Quantas, ANZ, Continental and United. And United did everything to be at the bottom of the list. While United charges equivalent prices as their competitors, here is how they serviced their customers:

  • indifferent flight attendants
  • messed up people’s special meals
  • low quality food
  • old aircraft
  • blanket of the size of a towel
  • freezing temperature
  • uncomfortable seats compared to other airlines

Thai probably scored the highest in all categories and Continental was the second best. Surprised that even though Continental and United merged earlier this year, yet there is such a big difference between the two? Well, key reason is that they are still operating as two separate carriers.

Just like thousands of other Continental customers, I am afraid that United will drag them down and Continental will lose their edge in customer service. The issues with United are not new. They started losing in the early 2000s and have never recovered. With the increasing fuel cost and turmoil in the airline industry, United has only focused on one thing – profitability at all cost. They may disagree with this but this is their customer’s view point.

With Jeffery Smisek (from Continental) as the new CEO of the combined company, there were hopes that he would turn around things for United just like he did for Continental. However, it seems like he got lost somewhere in the effort behind the merger and United has become even a bigger sick airline.

Quality comes for a cost. So does customer appreciation. If United continues to ignore both, they will probably see another phase of bankruptcy. And the saga will continue!

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