Thursday, December 19, 2013

The great indian traveler pledge

As you might have experienced, Indian travelers are given secondary treatment all over. Consider some examples below:
  • International Airlines never deploy best of their planes to India, because Indians mess around with the seats and systems. Only after changing planes at a hub, Indian passenger feels the difference on board, compared to his/her previous flight and this one.
  • Airline counter staff are told not to bother even if an Indian passenger checks in with few kilos more than the prescribed limit. Trying to make him pay more would create a scene at the counter, holding the queue.
  •  Cabin crew are given additional trainings to deal with Indians who demand full bottles of alcohol in the flight
  • During check out, If an Indian says he hasn’t taken anything from the mini bar, reception staff prefer to get it verified by their staff, before settling the hotel bill.
  • Apartment rental companies never give best of their apartments to Indian nationals, because the state they’re left behind causes more money in maintenance than the rent earned.
  • Tour operators tell Indians to report back 15-20 minutes earlier than the actual time, as they experience that Indians don't honor time and return late delaying rest of the tourists.
  • A few countries (Malaysia and Srilanka for example) have stopped visa on arrival facility for Indians
All these are not without reason. Most of us try to make the most of our trips, trying to recover every penny’s worth. In the process we end up violating basic courtesies and leave a negative impression with people who deal with us. Almost everyone I had spoken to- Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand, Resort managers and other officials have confirmed this. While Mr Buddhani was more considerate and attributed this behavior to lack of knowledge (not knowing what is right and wrong), others were not so liberal. This reflects bad on nation as whole and every Indian, irrespective of his/her good behavior and intention. The only way we can command better treatment is by improving our behavior while traveling and let the hotel and airline companies feel that Indians can be trusted at par with other nationals. For this to happen, we need to start correcting ourselves and I feel we, the self-proclaimed travel bloggers and online influencers,  need to take the first initiative. Hence I am listing a set of Do’s and Don’ts and pledge to comply with them each time I travel. I request you to pledge with me (just drop a comment) and share it with friends.

I pledge...
  1.  That I will use ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’ s more generously
  2.  That I respect queue system and will wait for my turn.
  3.  To note down the baggage weight limits on my flight and honor them, else pay for extra weight as per airline stipulations
  4. That when a seat is assigned to me in an airplane or a bus or other mode of transport, I will leave it in the same state as it was earlier, without damaging it or dirtying it. I understand that I don’t own that seat and I am entitled to use it only as long as my journey lasts
  5. That when I vacate a room, I won’t take with me any items from the property and leave it in a decent shape. (Not that I would take a mop and clean every square inch, but if property owner sees the room after I leave, he should not regret giving the room to me.(Eventually to other Indians in general)
  6. That I do not abuse complementary services offered during my travel- such as on board beverages.
  7. That I will NOT use aggression as a mean to get things done. Instead of shouting at the staff, I try to be smiling and be polite and supporting if and when something goes wrong.
  8. That I will respect local people, culture, system and law
  9.  That I honor the time and ensure not to hold everyone else waiting because of me.
  10. That I will spend a moment understanding why things are done a certain way in the host country and not ridicule everything just because it is different from what we do or how we do the same.

Feel free to add points if I have missed critical ones. Please do pledge (you can comment here stating the same) and do share. Feel free to take the contents and re-post in your blog, a link will be appreciated. Every impression counts and slowly this should change everyone’s attitude towards Indians.

That said, it doesn't mean Indians are to be taken for granted. Good to see strong reaction by Indian Govt in the US diplomat case.


R Niranjan Das said...

This is a must read post, Shrinidhi. Thanks for putting across your thoughts. I absolutely second all those points.

Athenas Take said...

I pledge along with you to keep up these rules and uphold my self respect as well as the respect of my country.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Niranjan and AT

Indrani said...

Excellent post Srinidhi.
How well you have brought out the facts.
I wonder why we are like this? Indisciplined and dishonest to core!!!!