03 March 2013

チープ・フライト Cheap Flight

Title: チープ・フライト Chīpu Furaito (Cheap Flight)
English Title: Cheap Flight
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2013
Episode: 01
  • 竹内結子 Takeuchi Yūko
  • 加藤あい Kato Ai
  • 桐谷美玲 Kiritani Mirei
  • トリンドル玲奈 Treindl Reina
  • 向井理 Mukai Osamu
  • 船越英一郎 Funakoshi Eīchirō
  • 朝倉えりか Asakura Erika
  • 宮崎美子 Miyazaki Yoshiko
  • 野村麻純 Nomura Masumi
  • 吉瀬美智子 Kichise Michiko

Aizawa Miharu has worked as a cabin attendant at a major airline for around ten years. She is instructed by the Airlines of Japan (ALJ) human resources department to work in a newly established sister company under a so-called special transfer assignment, which is essentially a demotion for Miharu.

Cherries Airlines is a low-cost carrier headed by the enthusiastic president Hoshi Kotaro, and the capable second-in-command Kamogawa Takashi who is essentially the general manager of all departments.

Miharu is unhappy that the start-up airline company is completely different from ALJ and its standard operating procedures. Cherries focuses on cutting administrative and operational costs, offers the very basic or 'no frills' service to its passengers, and charges even its employees for some training expenses, such as rental fee for training clothes.

She's skeptical when she finds out that Cherries hired inexperienced candidates to become flight attendants, but she's completely flabbergasted when she is told that cleaning the airplanes is part of the duties of the Cherries cabin crew.

Cheap Flight highlights the differences between the service provided by regular airline companies, and the low cost airline companies. It would be interesting if the drama also showed the special aspects of luxury airline companies, just to properly cover all the different service levels within the airline industry.

I think low cost or budget carriers are very useful for the society, since it provides a way for more people to travel by lowering airfares. I actually travel regularly with budget airlines as well as major airlines, mainly because I'm fine with doing away with the extra perks such as food served on airplanes.

I just don't like that cancellation of flights is more common with low cost carriers, at least in my experience. I booked particular days and times for my flights for a reason, and it's frustrating to suddenly be told that the flight is cancelled and I would have to make different arrangements.

Cheap Flight discusses the issues encountered by start up companies, particularly when it comes to training employees who are used to doing things in a different way, and dealing with customers who have certain expectations.

Kamogawa Takashi: We are attempting to do something new. For the sake of that, please dispense with your past experiences and existing prejudices. If you can't seriously wrap your head around that, then...

I understand Aizawa Miharu's reluctance to accept changes; after all what is familiar is comfortable, and what is unknown is distressing. However, it is important to always keep an open mind, especially if and when the situation or the circumstances are different.

Terasaki Ayumi: I see, everyone around you are the ones in the wrong... Miharu, aren't you the one in the wrong?
Terasaki Ayumi: You're circumstance have changed, so you need to do a reset of yourself.

チープ・フライト Cheap Flight