Saturday, November 13, 2010

Airway from hell returns.

This is the second part of two posts. The first part is HERE.

I had thought initially that my first experience with an Air India flight would be my last, as I was going back to Mumbai by one of those private airliners that ask for exorbitant prices for a sandwich that even I would take just five minutes to prepare (It just boils my blood when they say "Veg Sandwich for Rupees one hundred ONLY") .

I had strategically booked flights to return back on Monday. It had two distinct advantages :

1) It was way cheaper than the same flights on Sunday. Everyone wanted to board a flight on Sunday!

2) I could stay home for another day! YIPPEE!

When I did book the tickets that day, it was still my honeymoon period at the place where I am working. There was only time to do extracurricular activities, like playing Uno, Rock Paper Scissors, Far Cry 2, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011, and so on. "Work" was so tiring that I had to sleep for an hour after office, just to regain some energy!

After booking the return tickets, I was the happiest man alive! I just couldn't wait to go home! Now all that was left was to get that approval from the HR. Should be easy, right?

How wrong I was!

I was rejected my Monday leave, on account of my work starting on that day. How convenient! It was the only reason for which I could not give a counter argument to! After long deliberation, it was decided that I do take a flight back on Sunday.

And lo and behold! There was only one relatively cheap flight back to Mumbai on Sunday. Guess which one it was?? YES!! You got it right! Our own, dearest Air India! Unfortunately, at the time of booking, I had not gone through THIS. So the same old "YIPPEE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT!" was the feeling that I had.

November 7th

Even before I could finish saying the word Eyjafjallajökull, my vacation had come to an end. Sadly, it was time to go back to Mumbai. This time, however, there was no Gate entering fiasco that I had encountered the last time I was on board (rather, BEFORE I was on board) an Air India flight. They kept announcing a "Pre- boarding" announcement till it was an hour after the scheduled time for take-off!

On boarding the flight, I was to find out that I was given the most uncomfortable seats of the flight. A word of advice for those people reading this. Never ever allow the ticket attendant to allot you row 6 in an Air India flight. You will end up getting cramps if you sit there! Unless you decide to sit cross legged in that seat.

By now, I had gotten used to the standard in-flight procedures followed at Air India. I managed to catch a few minutes of sleep during the flight too! There was the usual "technical issue" with the air conditioning system. But that did not stop me from forcing myself to sleep during the flight!

Unfortunately, I had to check-in some luggage, with all my extra clothing and food that I just had to take to Mumbai. (While I had gone home with just 2 small bags, I came back to Mumbai with 3!) And with that, came the next set of problems.

The flight reached Mumbai at around 11 in the night. I was totally expecting to reach home by 12, so that I could get a good nights' sleep before going to office the next day. Bur then, Air India had to have its say in postponing my sleep! Enter stage.. ummm... anywhere, another "technical snag", and "shortage of manpower". The check-in baggage doesn't start coming for another hour. And even after that, my luggage was one of the last to come (Always is the case, isn't it?)

I finally reached home at 1 in the morning. Looking back at both the flights, I guess I must have encountered some problem or the other at all stages of the flight, starting from the check-in, to finally getting the luggage!

I have learnt my lesson, and I hope whoever is reading this will do too. 

Moral of the posts : DO NOT EVER BOOK AN AIR INDIA DOMESTIC FLIGHT! (For International flights, I wouldn't know. But I would not want to take any chances either!)

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