The new British Airways video ad ‘Fuelled by Love’ is sweet, heart-warming and it did bring tears in my eyes. This is not the first time when International airlines are trying to woo Indian customers. Last year, Etihad Airways had launched Flying Reimagined campaign. India is world’s fastest-growing outbound travel market with 16 million people who traveled outside the country in 2014. No wonder, these companies are trying to get our attention but here is what bothers me the most.
The British Airways and Etihad Airways video ads showcase their First/Business Class services. They truly get you to believe that caring is the first priority of the flight attendants (and it could very well be true). The British Airways is using the emotional appeal in their advertisement. They know exactly how to leave an impact on the Indian audience. But, looking at the advertisement a bit more closely, one will realize the ambiguities. In the advertisement, the elderly woman was taken care of by the air hostess and they really made it look like the company was fuelled by love, care and affection. However, are all the facilities for the people traveling by the business class? My question is why don’t they showcase their Economy class services?
No airline in particular but Economy class services are pathetic. I recently flew with Emirates and had a really poor experience. Despite asking for coffee twice, we never got our coffee. The personal TVs were not working. While we don’t expect attendants to fix our TVs, least they could do is be courteous and respond when someone presses the ‘attendant call‘ button. I traveled few years back when I saw an elderly woman struggling to keep her baggage in overhead bin. One of the crew was just standing and looking at her. No efforts were made to help the woman.
The truth is most of us are not first class or business class travelers. We are India’s middle-income group who need a getaway from the struggles of the daily life. We can only afford one or two trips in a year and we definitely earn it because we work hard for it the entire year.We are the ones who have money to splurge but we would rather splurge money on hotels, sightseeing and food. If you ever calculate the travel break-up, the flight is the most expensive part of the travel because of security fees, airport fees, handling fees, petrol fees and the list just goes on. These airways should cater to our needs as well. So I don’t really care if the business class gets out-of-the-world class service. If you show how awesome your Economy class is, then I would definitely purchase your ticket (even if you charge me a tad extra).
Note: The view stated above is writer’s personal opinion after traveling with all major International airlines in last 10 years.