As I sit amidst my fellow countrymen at one of the busiest airports in India, I start this blog with a pleasant conclusion.’The common man has got his well deserved seat’. Yes, there was an era of the quintessential Maharaja of Air India when only he ruled the skies. It was about those who could afford the luxury of being flown in the majestic aircrafts in equally majestic blue skies. People travelled in haute couture, their Sunday best to look the class. Their air travels were legendary tales, almost recounted by swooning aunts and grannies. The rest of the friends and relatives joined the ranks of receiving teams and send-off troupes- waving their hands at the worthy relatives who could saunter in and out of airports.
But thanks to Captain Gopinath who borrowed R K Lakshman’s ‘common man‘ as the mascot and placed him in the seat of an aircraft. What madness gripped the imagination of the nation when seats in a passenger carrier opened to bids of INR 1(OMG!) and dreams of flying in the clouds started getting realised. You could even choose your seat by rushing in first! Come to think of it! All elitist attitudes got trashed and the rush of people to take to the skies was the biggest revolution according to me, after the ‘green‘ one.
Air Deccan ‘jump started’ air travel and with it, the tastes of the common man. When the rates were juxtaposed against other means, air travel came out winners. People from all walks of life thronged airports, scores of them expressing their gratitude to Air Deccan!on the first ever flight of their lives. At one point of time, Air Deccan tickets were cheaper than AC 2 tier railway tickets. Simply fly- read the tagline. What, how and why Air Deccan shut shop, needn’t be discussed as it is free source on the web. Air Deccan demystified air travel for the majority of our nation. And the tradition continues, as there is no stopping the common man now. Some may create VIP lounges and privilage clubs as hallmarks of elitism, but the fact of the matter remains- You simply fly in the same aircraft, with all your brethren and reach your destination.The present day carriers continue to offer affordable fares and no frills rides. Kudos to dreamers like the Captain and our emerging India at 72!