The World as I see it

My Life. My Views

A note from a grieved passenger of Air India — June 1, 2008

A note from a grieved passenger of Air India

Air India will remain Air India…

These morons should close down operations atleast that way India won’t be a topic of ridicule to outsiders!

I took a flight to NY from Banglore via Delhi. The journey was nothing short of “spectacular”… It started with the trip to the New Banglore Airport….we took an auto but 10 kms to the airport we were asked to take a bus as autos aren’t allowed after a point…then at the airport, visitors aren’t allowed inside (maybe they will bomb the airport)… the checking counter was same for international and domestic passengers and it took only 7-8 mins to process each passenger which ensured that there was a huge queue…

The flight was on time or so we thought… once in the plane the pilot somehow refused to start the plane… 20mins later he spoke up – “Due to some operational problems, we can’t take off now, we apologise for the delay and inconvenience caused, we will be reporting this problem to the highest authorities so that it doesn’t get repeated…” Whatever!!!! The plane finally took off after a delay of an hour and 10 mins… then the plane circled at the delhi airport for another 45 mins for an overall delay of around 2 hrs.

And then the real fun started ….First the horrible Delhi airport experience where it takes an hour and half for immigration check itself… and if that isn’t enough you are greeted to what promises to be the most unique and one of its kind services in the world. You have to screen your hand baggage not only after the immigration but also just before entering the plane… the gatekeeper who probably for the first time in his life moved anywhere above the ground floor, wanted to celebrate this huge occassion and what better way than try and show your non-existent power on individuals who would most probably give in cause he isn’t even worth that much pain… so he very authoritatively asks for my passport as if, if he doesn’t approve of it then I can’t pass, then he asks for my purpose of visit… when noticing that the visa was issued in HK he asks me why was it issued in HK and do I have an HK id or something to which I ask how does it matter if I have an id or not… If I don’t have one what will happen, I am anyways not suppposed to have one, I am an indian citizen going to the US and that is all that should matter to you…. to which his reply is “Do you have one or not… don’t get into arguments, if you want to then stand aside” Hah! Talk about a street dog showing off his barking skills!

Anyways I let go and proceed towards my seat in the plane. No it aint over yet…. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, you hear someone talking in a diplomatic voice– maam can you please sit here, the window seat is for the gentleman here… apparently they issued two tickets on the same seat… and guess what the flight isn’t even half full.
So the lady who happens to be a grieved foreigner says this ticket says this seat is mine and this is where i will sit… End of discussion!

After all this I just hope I get the one and only thing I was looking for when I chose Air India over the other carriers and that was the option of having three seats to myself wherein I can sleep as if in a bed… but going by what I have endured so far I won’t bet on that as well!