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06 January 2009 @ 01:00 am
India - airlines  
Thirdly: airports and airlines. I've now travelled on four different airlines in this journey so far. From Boston to Delhi, we took British Airways. It was nice, as expected, although the knee room left something to be desired.

Next up was Delhi to Udaipur on Jet Airways. We had a five-hour delay in the Delhi airport due to fog, And the Delhi airport is somewhat of a disaster. It's small, and crowded. Fortunately, we spent the time in what they called a "Restaurant" but was actually more like an airline lounge for a cost of Rs 250 per person for unlimited snacks, drinks, and comfortable uncrowded seating. Totally worth it.

One interesting difference in security procedures is that you are not allowed to leave the airport. There's actually two layers of not-allowed-to-leaveness. First, only ticketed passengers can enter the check-in area. And you can't leave. Second, only checked in passengers can enter the gate area. And you can't leave.

The next flight was on Indian Airlines, which seems to be the intra-India portion of Air India. We got stuck in the airport in Udaipur for six hours, again due to fog in Delhi. The Udaipur airport was rather interesting. It's a giant building (3 tall stories), absolutely brand new. The first story is departures and arrivals. The second story seems to be unused departure lounges (departures were all leaving from the first story). The third story is a viewing lounge: you can pay Rs 25 to watch the runway from the viewing lounge. Why? I don't know.

Indian Airlines took good care of us during the delay: they gave everyone on the flight complimentary breakfast, and then took everyone out to eat complementary lunch at a restaurant nearby to the airport, since the airport has too little traffic to actually have a real restaurant itself. But wow, is their equipment ghetto. The bus they used to take us to the restaurant had a faded barely visible warning on the back of the seats: "WARNING: CHECK FOR BOMB UNDER SEAT. IF FOUND CONTACT AUTHORITIES IMMEDIATELY." It makes me rather curious what this bus's previous life had been. The airplane was little better. It was a prop plane with an interior cabin that looked like it hadn't been touched since the 80s.

We're now on to South India, having just arrived at the Delhi airport again to depart for Cochin. And again we're delayed due to fog. This trip is on JetLite, which I assume is the low-cost carrier devision of Jet Airlines.
 
 
 
Amitha S. J. Knightamithaknight on April 15th, 2009 11:30 pm (UTC)
oh no!
did you ever make it back from india?