Sunday, May 31, 2020

Airtel Support - The most efficient support system in the world

Airtel is the one which has the most efficient support system in the entire world. [If you have not got it, it was a sarcastic comment.]

There was no way I can raise a complaint with Airtel DTH. Calling customer care says, install Airtel Thanks App. In Airtel Thanks app, there is no way to raise a complaint. They don't respond to mails.

The highlight is the IVR feedback system. In any IVR feedback, I typically hear two types of feedback.

First type is, press 1, if your problem is resolved, and press 2, if your problem is not resolved.

Other type is, press between 1 to 5, based on your level of satisfaction with this issue, where 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.

Even if the numbers vary, these are the two different options that I see in most of the IVR feedback options.

Airtel is having third type of feedback system.
Press 1, if your problem is resolved.
If you are unable to do A, B, C, Please do X, Y, Z. Press 2.

Hats off to Airtel for having such a brilliant feedback mechanism.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Rules in Different States During Lockdown

The present rules of different states is like, each state is like a different country and issuing visas differently to other states.

Anyone can visit Telangana without any issue. But, if they have any symptoms, then they would be taken to institutional quarantine. Otherwise, they can go home.

In AP, one needs to register in Spandana App. Only after it is approved, they can book the tickets. If the person is coming from Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan or M.P, then they have to mandatorily go for institutional quarantine for 7 days. If the person is coming from other areas, they can go home for home quarantine for 14 days, if they do not have any symptoms.

For Karnataka, the process is much more complicated and one has to read all the rules before visiting.

If a person who is coming from Chennai or Mumbai wants to visit A.P., then they should go to state like Telangana and from there, if they go to A.P., then they don't need to be in institutional quarantine. Otherwise, they would be in institutional quarantine for few days.

I see few forwards with one or two line rules for each state. The rules are much more complicated than that. If you are travelling to any state, please read all the rules of that state before the travel. Many times, the rules vary almost every week.

You can read the rules of different states from

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Travel from Chennai to Hyderabad on the first flight after lock down

I travelled from Chennai to Hyderabad by the first available public transport after the lock down which does not require any government approval. The following is my journey details, which I am mentioning here, so that, those who are planning to travel (in the coming days) can be prepared.

Flight booking

I booked Indigo flight for the afternoon of 25th May. Late night of 24th May, I received message saying, the flight has been cancelled. I tried to rebook the flight, but, it was giving different errors each time. I tried to cancel the flight and get refund of the money. After undoing the checkin, that worked.  Later I realized that, I should not have done that, if the plan is to rebook the ticket in a week. Because, when we cancel the flight and ask for the credit, Indigo takes a week to credit the amount in your shell. So, within a week, if you have to book, you cannot use that. Also, the credit amount should be used within a year (and probably by the same passenger). So, not a good option, if one does not plan to travel that often. Fortunately, in my case, Indigo customer care helped me to change the flight to 25th May at 8:50 PM.

To Chennai Airport

In Chennai, no public transport was available, no cab/ola/uber available. Autos were very rare. You may need to be lucky to spot one. I started at home at 5 PM, and walked a lot of distance and found one unofficial transport vehicle who dropped me near by airport for Rs.800 for 5 kms. Even then, I had to walk a lot of distance to go the terminal with heavy luggage. During normal times, Ola cab used to come to my house and drop near the terminal for a charge of Rs.150.

In Chennai Airport

In Chennai Airport, they did thermal screening. Everyone had to do web checkin before.
Indigo expected everyone to take printouts of the boarding pass and luggage tags. But, they were not required. They gave me a  new boarding pass (since they were unable to scan my paper boarding pass) and they put their own baggage tags. In the ticket instructions, they said, they don't take extra luggage charges at the airport. My luggage crossed 6 kgs than their limit and they charged Rs.2400 for that, and they took credit card payment.

Flight got delayed and it started at 10.30 PM instead of 8.50 PM.

In Hyderabad Airport. 

Flight landed before 11.30 PM. First time, I saw people in India getting down in the order. Of course, as soon as the flight halted, everyone stood up to take their luggage and started waiting to go first. The flight attendant announced three times to get down in the order of the seat numbers, and people started getting down in the order of their seat numbers.

While coming out of the airport, they did thermal screening. If the temperature is fine, they let go without saying anything. By 12 AM, I was near the cab point and tried to book Ola/Uber and I could not get anything. After some time, I tried to check other cabs. Few cabs operated like share autos, taking three different passengers, and charging each one Rs.700-1000. I could not get anything as the cabs were very less. After some time, there were no cabs at all.

I went back and sat in Airport chairs till 4 AM, when I was asked to vacate the chairs. They said, nobody is supposed sit in the chairs as people would be coming from the arrival flights, and they expect everyone to go without waiting there.

I took free shuttle to the Airport bus station. There, I started waiting along with many other people including those who came in the same shuttle. When I casually asked for a cab, they said, one was available and I took it immediately. They charged Rs.700, which was usual charge. I wondered whether I was lucky to be the first one to ask casually or I was the only person there who was waiting for a cab.

By 5 AM, I reached my final destination. Total time taken was 12 hours (from 5 PM to 5 AM).

From the political angle, it was like, transport was started by Union (Central) Government and not started by state government. You go and figure out what to do.