Saturday, February 18, 2012

Memories Coloured Red, Blue and White

 The Majestic Boeing 747 (Image Credit: briYYZ @ Flickr)

(Note: This post was originally a note on my Facebook profile)

I came across British Airways' latest commercial for the 2012 London Olympics on You Tube today and it brought back a flood of countless memories of days when I worked never ending night shifts with British Airways (BA) at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Having been an international traveller from an early age I've always loved airports long before I began working at one. I love airports not only for the buzz and excitement of them, but also for how they never sleep, how alive they are at all times and of their promise of freedom and travel and journeys to far away places- places that you've only probably heard of, or seen as a tiny little dot on a map. But most of all I love how an airport unleashes you're imagination in a million ways, giving you the ability to dream and imagine and conjure up images of lands and people far away who may not look like us, but yet are so much like us. 

As my first job it gave me great joy helping clueless passengers wandering around the airport, giving them directions with a smile on my face- no matter how sleep deprived I was, scanning bags, handing out boarding passes, getting my hands and clothes dirty overlooking bags being loaded into baggage containers-making sure each bag that went on that flight was accounted for, almost being frozen on the tarmac on cold winter nights making sure the baggage hold closed on time, handling flight delays and fog diversions, along with cranky and irritated passengers who had already lost their bags or were about to miss a connecting flight out of London, haggling with difficult and lecherous Immigration and Customs officials to get a piece of paper signed or stamped, and finally the joy of having "All on board" so we could finally close that aircraft door, get an on time departure and go get ourselves that much needed cup of coffee.

But despite all the hard work and broken backs the fact that I helped that flight land safely in London and the joy of knowing that I helped (even though in a tiny way) to get some one home, or send someone off happily on a long awaited vacation, or to that all important meeting or to their best friends wedding was unmatched and gave me a high nothing else could have. A heartfelt smile or a generous thank you and handshake (or even a hug in some cases) from a passenger was all it took to make all those long, tiring nights worth it- just knowing that you made someone's journey a little less stressful if nothing else by going out of you way for five minutes, or by just listening to what they had to say, was enough to make me feel proud of what I did for a living and being the face of an airline that people loved and trusted (not all the time, but then you can't keep everyone happy can you!)

 For all the folks from BA who I've tagged (or forgotten to tag), all I want to say is thank you for your wonderful company on flights BA 142 and BA 256 from Delhi to London :) 

I've also tried to add the link of the You Tube video I mentioned in the beginning of this post. Take a look-it's cute! 

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