Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Compliflying Life

I recently read a blog from one of my friends on their experience with Air Deccan. It brought back those wonderful memories of the day I travelled in Air Deccan.

I (un)fortunately once had the honour of using Air Deccan from Bangalore to Chennai. The flight was scheduled to take off at 1815 hours from bangalore and reach chennai by 1920 hours. I had planned to go to a book shop that evening to get some books.

Time: 1715 hours IST
we (the passengers) were asked to check-in the baggages. I was happy at the thought of flying first time by a propeller plane. With no check-in baggage, we (my relative and me) directly went to the boarding counter and got our boarding cards. Then had our personal check-up, got my hand-carry stamped and went into the last lounge. Now, it so happened that there were about 4 more flights at that time to Chennai. 2 air sahara and 2 jet airways.

Time:1800 hours IST.
We got an announcement over the public speaker that our flight is delayed by one hour because of technical difficulties. Not a surprise. It was acceptable. After all, we are Indians and they are providing the cheapest service (nope.. this is just an after-effect acceptance of travelling in air deccan).

A little probing revealed that the flight was not in a situation to take-off and so, they had asked a flight from Goa to come to bangalore as an alternative. We went out as there was no point in sitting there.

Time: 1930 hours IST, aka 1800 Abu Dhabi
The goa flight had come. So, we rushed in to check-in (again) and do all the security checks (again). Then, we got the next dosage of air-deccan special. The goa flight has come and has started developing technical difficulties. So, the flight was delayed by another 2 hours. Now, at this juncture, one air sahara(or jet, i dont remember) had left for chennai.

Some shrewd people cancelled their air-deccan ticket and booked in either air sahara or jet due to take off at 2200 hours approx. But, I decided to stick with the "poor man's" Emirates. So, we came out again to wait for the actual(???) arrival of the flight.

Time:2030 hours IST, aka 1800 baghdad
Some gentleman started arguing with the staff there and ended up getting us all a buffet dinner at the airport itself, courtesy Hotel Asoka.

Time: 2200 hours IST, aka 1830 cairo
Some more people booked in the 2200 jet airways and air sahara flights and left.
We are waiting.

Time:2300 hours IST, aka 1830 GMT
We are waiting. A flight between hyderabad and bangalore had just come in. If God wills, this flight will/may not generate technical problem and allow us to reach madras within a day. So, for the third time we checked-in and passed security. By this time, the security personnel and us started developing a rapport and were discussing about life (wow.. isnt that something for someone who had been (pissed-off )squared ).

Time: 2330 hours IST, aka 1800 Mid-Atlantic (man, we are nowhere now)
All other flights to chennai for the day have left. We were contemplating a cab drive from Bangalore to chennai. It cost around the same amount as air-deccan.

Time 2345 hours IST, aka 1800 Still Mid-Atlantic (man, we are still nowhere now)
Suddenly we were asked to move to the flight. It came as a rude shock to us. But, still not believing, we moved to the flight. A Total strength of 10 took the flight. At approximately 2350 hours, the propeller pushed us into the air.

Time 0100 hours IST, aka 1800 Greenland
We landed in Chennai. We were happy that the flight actually flied without any problem. On reaching chennai, we came to know that there were people actually waiting to travel to bangalore by our actual 1815 hours return flight. We were not the worst affected, after all. Wishing them atleast a "journey" home, we reached home.

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