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Politicians/Babus/Employees Milk AI dry

 
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avbuff
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:25 am    Post subject: Politicians/Babus/Employees Milk AI dry Reply with quote

http://www.ndtv.com/news/india/austerity_drive_politicians_grab_air_india_freebies.php

On Tuesday, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel informed the Parliament that Air India continues to bleed.

This year alone, Air India is expected to lose Rs 5,000 crore - more than double from last year's losses that stood at Rs 2226.16 crore during year 2007-08.

NDTV has access to internal records that indicate the bureaucrats are taking Air India for a ride, literally. In times of austerity every day senior bureaucrats that run the airline dole out special favours for friends and political leaders - which is bleeding Air India dry.

Nobody buys an expensive Air India ticket any more, just knock on the right doors and you will get a free upgrade.

Air India is losing hundreds of crores a year on these free upgrades at a time when the airline is already making huge losses.

Take a look at the internal trail for just two months: October and September this year and from only one airport - Delhi. There have been almost 500 free upgrades, that's nearly 10 freebies a day mostly cleared personally by the Managing Director.

BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy buys one of the cheapest economy class seats to New York and flies first class, the fare difference is 2 and a 1/2 lakh rupees - money which should have gone to Air India.

Kapil Sibal along with his wife travelled twice to Frankfurt and to New York, paid for Business but travelled First Class. Air India would have lost Rs 5 lakh on these trips.

Suresh Kalmadi contributed a lakh to Air India's losses as he flew first class to London on October 23 but paid only Business Class fare.

His colleague in Parliament, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, too got himself an easy upgrade. On October 21 Singhvi travelled to New York in Business Class but only paid for Economy.

Shahshi Tharoor travelled to New York on October 23 and clearly he does not believe much in the austerity drive. He got himself an upgrade from Business Class to First Class.

A day later National Security Advisor M K Narayanan also travelled to New York. Again, he flew First Class but paid only Business Class fares.

On October 10 Mani Shankar Aiyar too travelled to New York in the Business Class but paid Economy fares.

Telecom Minister A Raja flew first class to Frankfurt on October 5, but was booked in the Business Class.

On October 23, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar flew Business Class by upgrading himself from Economy.

The list of people who have helped Air India make bigger losses is impressive. From officers in customs, to additional secretaries in ministries, to members of the minority rights commission, to Tarun Gogoi, the Chief Minister of Assam, to the Director of the Archeological Survey of India, the American India foundation, an array of MPs including Varun Gandhi (who many say doesn't really need a free upgrade) to MPs, Cabinet ministers in state governments and of course friends and family of those in high places.

It is estimated that Air India loses over a hundred crores a year on free upgrades and free baggage allowance. Meanwhile, the bleeding of India's national airline carries on day after day.


So much for Jadhav and his turnaround plans .. the airline is going to die soon.
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Jaysit
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im assuming that First Class is going empty on these routes.

Unless fare paying pax are getting kicked off, a J to F upgrade guarantee at least gets these SOBs to buy an AI J ticket instead of an EK J ticket.

The problem is when someone like Rudy buys a Y Class ticket and gets upgraded to J. Rudy and all these other people can easily afford a J Class ticket. Frankly, they can afford a First Class ticket, but thats another issue, one that can easily be dealt with if AI just does away with First Class.

Frankly, AI should do away with First Class.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Y to J is kind of criminal - and I'm sure it's not "subject to capacity/ load" type of upgrade... I'm glad to see at least a few of the politicos paying up for a revenue J - and then being bumped up to F. For some reason - that seems less "criminal", albeit by a small margin.
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haree
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am just wondering on a few logical fronts:

1. If BabuX has booked on a Y fare and is upgraded to F or J during a flight. How is the airline affected?

a. They still have the pax revenue (as long as J is unsold).
b. Since its a last minute (preferential) upgrade there necessarily needn't be any J/F meal uplift.
c. If the Babu is upgraded it means that there were ample empty seats in the higher classes. So who's to blame


I feel this article is just sensationalism and repeating an age old story well known to everyone for ages!
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karatecatman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Irony is that PMO is monitoring the situation directly.

Buzz is that Mr. Pranab Mukherjee who is also loooking after AI is waiting to strike again at an opportune moment on this issue.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

haree wrote:
I am just wondering on a few logical fronts:

1. If BabuX has booked on a Y fare and is upgraded to F or J during a flight. How is the airline affected?

a. They still have the pax revenue (as long as J is unsold).
b. Since its a last minute (preferential) upgrade there necessarily needn't be any J/F meal uplift.
c. If the Babu is upgraded it means that there were ample empty seats in the higher classes. So who's to blame


I feel this article is just sensationalism and repeating an age old story well known to everyone for ages!


* If the babu's sure of being upgraded, he's never going to pay for J/F - which is directly lost revenue to AI.
* If the upgrade is a last minute upgrade subject to empty seats and no meals uplift - I can see your point. However is it really like that?
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haree
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nimish wrote:
haree wrote:
I am just wondering on a few logical fronts:

1. If BabuX has booked on a Y fare and is upgraded to F or J during a flight. How is the airline affected?

a. They still have the pax revenue (as long as J is unsold).
b. Since its a last minute (preferential) upgrade there necessarily needn't be any J/F meal uplift.
c. If the Babu is upgraded it means that there were ample empty seats in the higher classes. So who's to blame


I feel this article is just sensationalism and repeating an age old story well known to everyone for ages!


* If the babu's sure of being upgraded, he's never going to pay for J/F - which is directly lost revenue to AI.
* If the upgrade is a last minute upgrade subject to empty seats and no meals uplift - I can see your point. However is it really like that?


Upgrades are usually done after the booking for the flight is closed to accomodate overbooked pax etc. IF they are upgrading these people before closing the flight.. i think AI deserves what its going thro right now.
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iah87
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knowing the Babus as we do, I doubt if they will wait till the airport checkin to find out if they can get an upgrade. My guess is that the upgrades are done atleast a few days before the flight date.

They typically book a Y or J ticket and then call the appropriate person in AI with the necessary recommendations for the upgrade as soon as they book the ticket.

As Nimish said, a J to F upgrade is not all that bad as the price is often no more than 50% but Y to J, the price is 300% more.

I wonder if they try this on Jet or Kingfisher as well. Some of the ministers are powerful enough to even get an upgrade in these airlines as well.
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Spiderguy252
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iah87 wrote:
I wonder if they try this on Jet or Kingfisher as well. Some of the ministers are powerful enough to even get an upgrade in these airlines as well.


Oh, a lot of them do. A few months ago, there was a controversy of an MLA seeking an upgrade for his daughter on a 9W BOM-SIN flight, and onwards to SYD by Qantas. Qantas reported this to the DGCA and the media got hold of it. This is just one incident, but it goes on to tell you that it does happen, even with Jet and Kingfisher!

I can't find the link to that story, and I've also forgotten the name of the MLA involved. But it's somewhere on this forum.
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Jaysit
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The babus and netas can afford to pay for J and F. One just has to look at their personal bank balances which miraculously often show accounts in the tens of crores even though their official salaries are a tiny fraction of that.

Instead, they pay for Y (that in itself is a bit of a misnomer, given that many of these babu/netas are MoCA staff who are busy dipping into the AI trough daily) knowing fully well that they will actually be flying J or F. Why bother paying for J or F when you're guaranteed to fly J or F on a cheap Y excursion ticket?
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karatecatman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiderguy252 wrote:
iah87 wrote:
I wonder if they try this on Jet or Kingfisher as well. Some of the ministers are powerful enough to even get an upgrade in these airlines as well.


I can't find the link to that story, and I've also forgotten the name of the MLA involved. But it's somewhere on this forum.


http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic6611.html&highlight=qantas
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jasepl
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iah87 wrote:
Knowing the Babus as we do, I doubt if they will wait till the airport checkin to find out if they can get an upgrade. My guess is that the upgrades are done atleast a few days before the flight date.

Of course they're not going to wait and accept a "standby".

In the past, there have been numerous instances of paying passengers losing their reservation (and AI losing rare premium revenue) because a neta or a friend/relative of some AI DYKWIA wanted the seat. I doubt things have changes much, whatever noises are made in public.

On the flip side, it's not like AI's filling its planes even in the back, let alone in First, so...
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d3vski
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M. Madhavan Nambiar just went through LHR on his way to DEL, escorted by the AI station Manager and an Indian diplomatic monkey.

Had a red F class boarding pass, i wonder how much he paid for his ticket?
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iah87
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the Secretary of Civil Aviation he holds the purse of AI. AI better treat with care or else he can slow or reduce the government subsidy.

Even in US, the Department of Transportation and FAA officials routinely are given VIP status (free upgrades and such..).
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VictorKilo
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EK and SQ will the national carriers of India for long haul...No upgrades for those MFing babus .... Smile
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Jaysit
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iah87 wrote:
As the Secretary of Civil Aviation he holds the purse of AI. AI better treat with care or else he can slow or reduce the government subsidy.

Even in US, the Department of Transportation and FAA officials routinely are given VIP status (free upgrades and such..).


They are NOT given "VIP status."

If they are upgraded, it's considered to be "income," and they have to pay taxes on it.

Many fly in the front of the cabin because they're independently wealthy. Otherwise, they fly coach like the rest of the hoi polloi. I've been on many flights out of DCA on which I've spotted Congressman, Senators, and even the FAA General Counsel.
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