Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Think GCC... But At 45,000 Feet...

Okay, so we’ve just quite simply had an amazing set of surprises as far as carriers go for this trip. As already mentioned in a previous post, Air India was great. I would have wondered how it would have been possible to top that short of Singapore Air or maybe Silk Air (one of Singapore Air’s co-chairs), but when we boarded the Kingfisher Airlines Airbus A320, there was something vaguely familiar about it. Everyone from the attendants to the ground staff smiled happily at us as we hauled our bedraggled forms across the tarmac (were they really that glad to see us?). Each lady was dressed in an East/West fusion attire that was simultaneously professional but pushed the edge considerably over the traditional Indian saris or “punjabs”, sporting instead deep red slacks suits or skirt suits of the same design and material. The men were dressed crisply in white button downs and seemed to know exactly what they were doing. Then they pleasantly helped us to find our seats and get our gear stowed in the appropriate places. There was a little present waiting for us when we sat down, and we were immediately showered with “sweet lime” (an Indian traditional… and tasty… beverage) and more smiles from the crew. The video safety presentation was state-of-the-art, with nifty computer graphics and even individual displays for each seat/passenger (keep in mind… this is a 55 minute flight… 55 MINUTES… you see where I’m going with this?). The meal was…well… great! No, seriously. It was really good. As in “I might actually eat this if I weren’t just on an airplane” kind of tasty. The flight crew arrived with a feather-soft landing and a kind word of gratitude about our choice to fly with Kingfisher. We disembarked amidst more smiles and greetings, and were sent merrily on our ways to our next point of [ad]venture. From start to finish, the entire experience spoke of an excellence and intentionality and attentiveness to detail that seemed more than just a little familiar.

And yet, it continued to bug me… where had we seen this before? Oh yeah… duh… we go to a church just like that! A place where excellence matters, people matter, and all that goes into both of those things are matter as well. Now we just need to see if Kingfisher will let us pipe weekend services into the nifty display monitors during flight. Hey, it’s already pre-set to 55 minutes!

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