I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Rough Summer Is On the Way for Air Travel

"Planes are expected to be packed fuller... Fares are rising. Service frills are disappearing... Logjams at airport security checkpoints loom... The usual violent summer storms are expected to send the air traffic control system into chaos at times, with flight delays and cancellations cascading across the country."
Seems like India? No, actually United States, according to NYT in Rough Summer Is On the Way for Air Travel.

India is not much better, of course. Earlier at least you could count on a morning flight taking off and landing on time. Not anymore. Today I took the first flight back to Bombay from Delhi. It was a 6:30 IC flight, expected to land at 8:30. Instead, it took off at 7:00 and landed at 9:00. Well, at least, it didn't hover around over Bombay for too long.

This is what happened yesterday. I was taking a 8 am flight which got postponed to 8:50. Indian Airlines has become very customer-friendly and thus at 6:00 informed me through sms that the flight is postponed. I promptly set my alarm for 7:00 and went to sleep. At 6:30, I got a call. It was Indian Airlines again. I thanked them and went to sleep (tried to). Then, at 6:45, I got another call. It was too much customer friendliness for me.

Anyway, sleep was broken and I got ready, switched on TV, dwaddled around for sometime and then went to the airport. I reached at 8:20. The flight was scheduled to be on time, that is 8:50. Good news happened. We got your tickets, sailed through security check (actually the girl meandered through the security as there were only two women to check about half the crowd - "Why do women fly so much?") and went to the boarding area.

Then we waited. Many announcements told us that due to late arrival of incoming aircraft, we have to standby for boarding. Finally, we enter the bus at 9:50, one hour after scheduled take-off. Then, we travel far. In the bus. We go past two aircraft graveyards (never knew they existed), many planes (none of them ours) and all the cargo in Bombay. Then we travel some more. Crowd in the bus start calling up relatives in Delhi saying that they would arrive the next day as the bus isn't very speedy. After half a day though the bus stopped. At the international terminal.

I get off and ask the man tearing off the boarding passes, "Why did this happen?"
"Abhi se aise hi hoga." (From now, this will only happen).

To finish establishing facts, the plane took off at 11:10 and landed at 1:30.

6 Comments:

Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Thanks for the upper. Now I can worry about the two flights I have to take tomorrow.

J.A.P.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 10:40:00 AM

 
Blogger Patrix said...

Hell yeah, US is already beginning its summer delays...was delayed both ways when I flew down to Boston last week. The return flight was especially ardous...spent a total of 9 hours inside the airplane for a flight that takes normally 4 hours.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 11:45:00 AM

 
Blogger maverick said...

wah wah...ki moja...if u were travelling frm a mum-ahd or a blr-chennai you would be better off with a shatabdi then! laloo is cracking it! its all because of him! ;)

Sunday, May 21, 2006 5:56:00 PM

 
Blogger dhoomketu said...

J.A.P., all the best. Hope you are taking Kingfisher

Patrix, yes, can empathise. There's nothing more boring in the world than to wait at the airport at the end of one's journey.

Maverick, good suggestion. Yes, credit's probably due.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 8:21:00 PM

 
Blogger karthik/SK/wimpy/SKimpy said...

had flown back to Bangalore for the weekend. Indian Airlines. Delayed by 2 hrs on the way to b'lore and by 2.5 hrs on the way back. thankfully i flew back yesterday night else i'd've been late for work today.

Monday, May 22, 2006 2:13:00 AM

 
Blogger dhoomketu said...

the man with four names, abhi se aisa hi hoga!

Monday, May 22, 2006 1:23:00 PM

 

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