Monday, June 15, 2015

Lufthansa Premium Economy- More n more for little more

We Indians are good at extracting maximum bang for our bucks. On every day, at every transaction we try to get something extra, get something more. In this post, I am compiling my list of observations on this theme of Paisa Vasool.

Paisa Vasool in Travel and Transportation
  • Trouble half our friends before booking vacationWe don't believe anything at its face value. We cross check with people who've traveled to the destination, we research for cheapest fares and offers, we bargain with travel agency to include more n more in our package or upgrade us. We want the max possible value for every rupee put on the counter.
  • Tilt the scooter and start… Not enough petrol and scooter not starting? No problem. Tilt it to the ground so that last few drops of the fuel moves into engine from tank and scooter may start.
  • Not removing plastic seat cover: New cars come with a plastic cover over the seats, which we retain for months till they wear out. Though this is inconvenient and irritating, we put up with it thinking it will keep the seats fresh for longer and money to be spent on seat covers  can be differed for some more time.
  • Drop a bag/handkerchief through the window to reserve a seat: Both standing and sitting passengers pay same fare, so why risk missing a seat when you can drop a bag or hand kerchief on the bus seat through the window to reserve your seat?
  • Jugaads- Buying a proper 4 wheeler that can carry 5-6 people and some luggage will cost anywhere between 5-10 lakhs + registration, tax, insurance and so on. So why not a cheaper alternative? Jugaads like ones shown below are very common. A vehicle like this can be assembled for about 1 lakh, with an old tractor engine or diesel generator and with scrapped spare parts of other vehicles. No need to register with RTO, no need to pay taxes. Never mind the safety and comfort and convenience are fully compromised. Read more
Jugaad found in Delhi-Agra road!
  • Operate vehicles well beyond their life. These three wheelers (called Tempo Hanseat) are discontinued by their manufacturer decades ago, but these are still in use in many parts of North India, with ingenious repairs and restoration. Read more
  • Get things from US! We want to get stuff from US, doesn't matter if warranty is not valid in India, doesn't matter if you need an additional adapter to connect them, doesn't matter there'll be months of delay before it reaches you... We want our friends and relatives to get us stuff from US so that we can save some money on customs and taxes.
  • Pack our bags to the brim! Never mind the weight restrictions set by the airlines, we pack our bags to the limit and beyond, even if it means arguing with counter staff over excess weight charge.
  • Make the most of Daily pass When city buses offer daily passes with unlimited rides, we ensure we travel much more with that pass so as to travel more than the ticket prices of individual journeys (Ex: if the daily pass costs Rs 70 in Bengaluru and individual tickets cost Rs 15, we ensure that we travel more than 5-6 times to gain more than what's spent on daily pass)
Hindustan Motors Dost saw lots of success for its principle- More & more for little more- Dost used to offer more luggage space, more load carrying capability, more powerful engine compared to its primary rival- Tata Ace, for a price tag which was only a little more expensive than Ace.

Food & Beverages
  • After eating Pani puri, ask for extra pani, then ask for sukha puri, effectively getting an extra piece of Pani Puri.
  • We want free dhania with vegetables
  • We prefer to hand pick the vegetables, because we know vendor would try to push couple of rotten items along with
  • We are used to expecting a little extra even after vendor has put one measure-full.
  • We keep milk packets safely because 50 of those might get us Rs 5
Other lifestyle practices
  • We squeeze the toothpaste to get last possible bit out of it. More brushings per tube.
  • We buy lots of useless/unproven accessories because they claim to save fuel/gas etc.
  • On a hot sunny day, we feel we get extra value for money by spending few more minutes inside the air conditioned ATM
  • While buying flowers which are measured by the arm length of seller (MoLa in kannada), we keep an eye for a seller with longest arm!
  • Occupy part of the road with extended gates: Not enough parking space? Set up a flexible gate which extends half a meter (or more) into the road and gives you that extra space    
  • A plastic bag is our birthright! What's all the hype around environment issues? We want our stuff to be put in a plastic bag and handed over to us.. We paid so much, why can't they give a bag?  Isn't that extra value for money? We can use that plastic bag to put some trash and throw into garbage bin later... (Pls don't do this)   
  • We don’t want to throw away cloths that easily. New cloths once become old and unfit for office/outings, they are used as in-house wears. Once they deteriorate further they are used as cleaning cloths for the floor or car. Only after it gives up even in that department, they are thrown away. 
  • Buy more and save more: Buying in larger quantities ensures lower price per unit or per gram etc. So we buy more to save more. It is unfortunate that we also loose more when such items go waste or stolen or get contaminated.             
  • Buy one and get many: Schemes like buy one mixer grinder and get 25 items free lure us like crazy. We blindly go for such schemes despite knowing that seller would have bundled cost of all items into cost of mixer grinder. Same is the story with buy one get one.

These and many more of such practices everyday, we strive to get the most for our money

Understanding Indian passenger's needs and desire to get more quality and quantity experience for their money, German carrier Lufthansa has introduced a Premium Economy category, which gives about 16 extra benefits over an economy class seat. Premium economy is based on the same principle of offering more n more for little more. Below are the extra benefits of Premium Economy seats from Lufthansa
  1. 50% more space
  2. Twice the check-in baggage allowance (2 x 23 kg)
  3. Welcome drink
  4. Drink holder
  5. New design seats
  6. Lounge Access (for a fee)
  7. Bigger 11”/12” entertainment screen
  8. Remote control
  9. Travel accessories like small towel, ear plugs, sleep mask etc
  10. Better food
  11. Power socket
  12. Foldable tray table (hidden inside the armrest)
  13. Separate armrest- no need to share it with fellow passengers
  14. Water bottles
  15. Foot rest
  16. Extra storage space
Premium economy seats are priced nearly twice the economy ticket but far cheaper than business class tickets. Business class like benefits for (little more than) economy class fare. Hua na full paisa vasool?

At present Premium economy is available only from Bengaluru and Delhi, other cities will be offered this category soon. 

Update: I traveled in Air France premium economy recently- read full experience here


Tushar said...

The second photo from top of Tempo Hanseat rewind memory when I visited Kota and clicked something similar photo with interesting words written: sorry री boss.

Shrinidhi Hande said...