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Blog Entry# 2318238
Posted: Jun 13 2017 (11:16)

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Last Response: Jun 13 2017 (11:16)
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Jun 13 2017 (09:22)   Now, 20 hostesses will keep travellers on Gatimaan Express comfy - News

Gopal*^   3512 news posts
Entry# 2318238   News Entry# 305161         Tags   Past Edits
Now, 20 hostesses will keep travellers on Gatimaan Express comfy By Shashank Rao | Mumbai | Posted 12-Jun-2017
Exclusive service on Delhi-Agra Gatimaan Express. In a first, 20 hostesses and stewards hired to cater to passengers' needs -- greet passengers with roses, inquire about meal choices, etc
At the end of each 100-minute journey, the hostesses and stewards are appraised on their performance and the trip menu is locked. In her crisp, blue uniform, Divya could easily be mistaken for a flight attendant. She walks down the aisle, greets all passengers, hands each one a
rose and face wipes, and asks them their meal preference. Divya is one of 20 staffers -- half of them women -- aboard the Delhi-Agra Gatimaan Express hired exclusively to work as train hostesses and stewards. The train, the fastest in India running at 165 kmph that was launched in April, is the only railway service to have hostesses and stewards.
From serving food to providing newspapers and magazines, these staffers assist passengers in all possible ways. They are well versed with both English and Hindi, are accompanied by four housekeeping staffers and monitored by two managers. "It is a completely new experience," says Divya, a Delhi resident who graduated from the Indian Institute of Hospitality Management. "Serving passengers this way inside a train was never heard of before. The experience has been good so far," Divya. The hostesses' monthly pay ranges from Rs 16,000-18,000. The contract for hiring hostesses and stewards has been given to snacks and sweets manufacturer Haldiram Foods. "The staff usually serves breakfast when the train leaves Nizamuddin station in Delhi for Agra. It comprises both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food," says Sudhir Sharma, manager (Haldiram), Gatimaan Express. At the end of each 100-minute journey, the hostesses and stewards are appraised on their work, given feedback and suggestions for improvement, and the menu for the return trip in the evening is decided. The staff is then put up at a hotel for the day. The train hostess service is a permanent feature on Gatimaan Express, says an official from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. "Extending this service to other trains is a policy issue." Despite the number of amenities offered -- TV sets in the executive chair and WiFi -- and reasonable fares, Gatimaan Express hasn't found many takers yet. During weekdays, 70 per cent of the seats are vacant. Weekends are fairly better, with only 20 per cent vacancy. The train has two classes -- eight chair cars with 78 seats in each and two executive coaches with 56 seats in each. The tariff for a chair car seat is R755 and R1,500 for an executive seat. Passengers mainly comprise foreign tourists. Long-pending plan
The proposal for train hostesses on the lines of airhostesses was mooted during the tenure of former Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee. But owing to repeated changes in the ministry, the plan was put on the backburner.

Jun 13 2017 (11:16)
a2z~   2150 blog posts
Re# 2318238-1            Tags   Past Edits
* Gatimaan may not be a very successful train, but shall be historically important for being the first non business chaircar train with hostess and premium fare. Earlier super luxury tourist trains like Palace on wheels had such facility for paxs.
* Many paxs may be willing to pay extra for enjoying the new experience and feel like a "baarati"/ a VIP when served meals by hostesses. * Also a large nunber of Paxs habitual of air travel & getting food served by hostess may switch over to such SHS trains.
Gatiman(Tejas) type trains should be commercial operated on many routes on trial, and passenger response to such trains shall give vital inputs about feasibility of operating HSTs on the routes in future.

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