Airliners-India Forum Index Airliners-India
Flickr Group & Facebook
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Dec'12: BLR, Double DLR Disappointment

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Airliners-India Forum Index -> Trip Reports
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:41 pm    Post subject: Dec'12: BLR, Double DLR Disappointment Reply with quote

Dec'12: BLR, Double DLR Disappointment


http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13323.html

50.1 The Build-up to the Trip

December, 2012.
My last flight of the year.
The build-up to the trip had been quite eventful.
Almost every day, my friend, a prominent Delhi Spotter
(Mr. All-Stare MacLean, to those who have followed my trip
reports), gave me regular updates about the three Dream)liners,
and their whereabouts. My itinerary was to be the following:

Set out 24 Dec (Mon) for Bengaluru from New Delhi
AI 803: Air India (B788) [Seat: 36J; PNR: JV2GW]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - BIA, Bengaluru
New Delhi (DEL) - Bengaluru (BLR)
[06:35 pm - 09:05 am]

I had just come back from Chennai in the wee hours of the night,
and hit the bed around 3am.
This was my first Dream)liner experience, that too in Business Class:
Silver (Edge) Lining to Dream, Meaning Business, Dec'12
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13278.html
I had slept the afternoon through,
just as the Doctor did not advise, after a heavy meal.
I had pre-booked sear 36J to be on my favourite starboard side of
the plane. Till then, the schedule showed a Dream)liner operating
the route, and the flight being on time. I was a bit
apprehensive, since the fog was setting in. Mr. All-Stare MacLean
texted me saying that The Prince (who else) could expect a ride
with Princess ANI (VT-ANI, Air India's third Dream)liner).

At 11pm came the first jolt.
It was a phone call from the Air India call centre.
The flight would be heavily delayed, the gentleman told me.
The expected time of departure (ETD) was 09:15 am.
I rang up my favourite cab operator immediately, to postpone the
pick-up, which was scheduled for 04:30 am, in tune with a 06:35
am departure out of Delhi. Secretly, I relaxed a bit, since I was
not yet done with my packing, and I would not have to stay up
for about an hour to complete everything before setting out.

I hit the bed, only to be woken up at 04:30 am.
It was TW, The Wife.
``Did you hear that?''
``What?,'' I said sleepily.
``The door-bell.''
I jumped out of bed, and just as I advanced towards the bedroom
door, the alarm went off.
Lest this wake up Junior, I sped back to
turn it off, and ran towards the main door.
It is not just I who makes all the mistakes.
(TW often feels so, so let me just clarify.)
I had not been my brightest at 11pm the night before, and there
had been some confusion. No, I did not need the cab right then,
I needed it at 07:15 am.
I reached the airport, and went to the check-in counter, with a
lot of gusto.

``Sir, your seat number has been changed.''
I had feared the worst. It was not to be a Dream)liner, after all.
``Oh, fine then...can you check if you can give me seat 31K?''
I was still quite asleep, I would later contend.
The check-in agent fumbled with the keyboard.
``Which aircraft will it be, Sir?''
I was quite anxious, by now.
``Let me check,'' he said, adding to my misery.
``Oh, if it is a B777-200LR, I would like to take 31A or 31K, and
if it is a B777-300ER, I would like to opt for 42A or 42K.''
``Sir, there is no row K on this plane, it is an Airbus.''
My mouth fell, at the quick realisation that it would be a usual plane
on most Domestic Air India routes.
``Can I at least get a window seat?''
``Sorry Sir, all window seats have been taken.''
``Can I have an aisle seat?'' I asked fearing the worst.
``Sorry Sir, we have a full flight''
I guess the man took some pity on me.
And I got an exit row, and a middle seat. B.
It as my first time on an exit row with the incredible window room,
on an Air India A321. The realisation of the same would not dawn
on me however, until I actually stepped on board.

The flight had been delayed even further.
AI 864, the Delhi-Chandigarh flight, had boarded from a
nearby gate. The loads were superb, and I quite admired how Air
India could manage to fill up an A321 on such a short flight
segment.

The second Bengaluru flight had boarded by then, and also
pushed back.

And we were still waiting.
I texted my hosts at Bengaluru, that there was no way I would be
able to reach them, at the revised time, owing to the flight
delay. After what seemed like an eternity, an A321 finally pulled
up at our gate. My ride for the day was the `leaden'/laden
plane Pb, VT-PPB, an old friend.

The regular reader may recount that I had had a hard disk crash
some time in early 2013, which had wiped out a few complete trip
reports, and parts of a few more, along with an entire suite of
photographs. This trip report forms part of the middle set above,
along with a high membership value corresponding to the latter.
The only two photographs associated with this trip report were
scanned in from the only two pictures I had taken from my Analog
SLR. I was lucky to have made some notes on this trip, so all
was not lost. I would not remember the details of who the Captain
was on the trip, but I had remembered to put down details of the
food that was served. Food, anyone?

However, I also had to deal with the fact that I could not stow
anything underneath the seat. At least, I had my light little laptop in
my hands. A pleasant young lady came up to us, and gave us
instructions about the exit row.
I looked around. The plane had not been cleaned well
after it had come in late, and there were grime marks all around.
The fabric also looked quite tired.
And I was hungry.
Extremely hungry.

50.2 Food. But of Course

I had bargained for a nice breakfast, but I
was in for a slight setback to my culinary expectations.
However, the`snack turned out to be a mini-meal.
Non-vegetarian, of course.
It started with a bun, and a cold butter chiplet.
Yes, just the way I like it.
There was nothing special about the bun, but it was nice.
The fruit bowl was enticing.
There were two pieces each of watermelon, and honey dew melon
(musk melon), with a mint leaf placed on top. I like fruit a bit
cold, this made the cut for me, quite well.
The main course looked awesome.
To the left were three pieces of skewered cottage cheese cubes,
which had been marinated to perfection. The combination of spices
used for the marination was just incredible. The cottage cheese
(paneer) was soft and simply melted in the mouth. In the middle was
a veg patty, which tasted nice and fresh. To the right was a
chicken quiche, with some flavour-fully cooked small chicken pieces
baked to perfection with cheese. I was feeling quite contented,
since I had had breakfast before setting out from home, and this
was more than a snack in terms of quantity, and the quality
pleased me beyond words.
The dessert however, took my breath away.
It was a pie, again baked to perfection, over a thick
creamy custard base. What more could I have asked for?
A delightful coffee of course.
However, that was not to be.
The Plebeian instant coffee was at least strong and hot.
It would do fine.

The Captain came on the intercom some time after the trays were
cleared. It was quite interesting to hear him say that he
apologised not just for the delay, he also apologised for the
change of the aircraft, from the Dream)liner, to an A321!
He said that the change was necessitated by the fog, due to which
the aircraft had to divert, and an A321 put in its place.
I have never heard a Captain apologising for a change in equipment!
My mind was full of praise for the captain after we made a very
soft landing in warm Bengaluru, where the weather was a far cry
from the cold of Delhi.

50.3 Tamizh, terima?

My hosts at Bengaluru had asked me to take a pre-paid cab from
the airport, to my destination, which was adjacent to
Malleshwaram, one of my favourite haunts. Whenever I had stayed
in the area, one of my favourite pastimes had been to get up
early in the morning (for a change!), and amidst the ringing of
bells and chanting of holy lines and songs from the temple there,
to head off to the Darshini joint nearby, and get a heavenly
feeling from the food. The aroma of freshly-brewed Coorg/Kodagu
filter coffee in the atmosphere all around, mixing beautifully
with the aroma of Sambhar masala, crisp fried dosas, and the
unmistakable twang of freshly ground coconut paste to go into
the Tenghai chutney - makes a great start to the day. If the
middle is well satisfied, the same applies to the other parts of
the body and mind, as well. The pre-paid taxi turned out to be a
car from Akbar travels (or whatever the counter there is, with a
person trying to solicit possible customers, said it was). The
rate looked a bit high for me, from what I had been told by my
hosts to expect. My mind was still on what I usually devoured at
Malleshwaram.

I decided to try a radio cab.
I got into the first one, and told the driver to go to the
Malleshwaram area, in English. The driver asked, `Tamizh, terima?'
I was immediately reminded of the Sardarji-Tamilian joke, where
the Tamilian asks the Sardarji, ``Tamizh terima?''
(roughly, `Do you know Tamil?')
The Sardarji thought he was abusing him with a slant reference to
his mother (`terI mA' - your mother), and replied,
``PunjAbI terA bAp''
(literally, PunjAbI, your father)
As I chuckled going through this joke in my mind, the slightly
surprised gentleman asked again, ``Tamizh terima?''
``illA,'' I answered apologetically, ``I know English...''
``(h)IndI AtA kyA?''
I remembered my brother telling me that Bengaluru was one place
where most Tamilians speak fluent Hindi, that too quite willingly.

50.4 Being Taken for a Ride

He said that he knew the place quite well, but when he did not
take a left at the Hebbala crossing, I called up my hosts.
The driver went to the side of the road, as I could hear my host
giving him directions, and then transferring the call to his PA
(a Kannadiga - a person originating from the state of Karnataka),
who was able to communicate with him better in Tamizh.
We went a long way, before getting a place where we could take an about-turn.

When we got back to the Hebbala crossing, he took a wrong turn again.
I was getting restive, and my host, anxious.
After a long round of instructions again, I spied the familiar
sight of the Hebbala crossing, the Hebbala lake, and one part of
Bengaluru I would see after quite a while, the Mehkri Circle.
We took a right turn there, and my mind went to rest.
After all, what could go wrong from Mekhri Circle, to Malleshwaram?

Mr. Edsel Murphy had taken a special interest in me that day.
The driver took a right at a place where I least expected him
to, and for next half-an-hour, we wandered all around the place,
stopped in a small lane behind the Ramaiah Hospital, where the
driver went out asking for directions, and by the time he came
back, my stomach was craving for food. It had been quite a while.
By now, my hosts would have reported me missing, I thought.
My host rang me up for the nth time, and I could hear the
complete desperation in his voice as my phone, in roaming mode,
ticked much faster than the cab meter, as I simply wanted to
reach my destination. In my hurry to rush towards the venue of
the meeting, I had forgotten my jacket in that very car, and a
little run behind the said vehicle increased my hunger levels
even further. The reader may note the item which did not want to
stay with me, unconditionally. My new warm jacket.


There was no time to eat anything, as the meeting was well under
way, and I attended the rest of it. By the time I was done, it
was early evening, and I discovered that if I stopped by anywhere
for a bite, I could not be able to meet my brother's wife, who
was to set out for the K. R. Puram railway station for a long
journey to her parents' place. My brother was in constant SMS
touch with me, as he was contemplating coming to the
Yeshwanthapuram Railway station with his wife, to enable her to
board the train at its start point, and pick me up. It would be
an extremely long drive for them, with the vagaries of the
Bengaluru traffic factored in, it would be difficult to make it
in time, since he came back a bit late from office that day.
In the meanwhile, I had taken a `rick' (three wheeler scooter
rickshaw) to `Majestic', officially the Kempe Gowda Bus station,
built right next to the small but impressive Bengaluru City
Railway Station, on a dry lake bed. I rushed in time to catch a
335E, which would drop me close to my brother's place.
I quickly texted him this piece of information, before the signal
on my cellphone went out, completely.

``We are setting out,'' said my exasperated brother, when
the signal came back on, and the bus had gone past the
Marathhalli bridge, and taken a left turn at the Kundalahalli
gate, just next to the Vaswani Tranquil apartments.
I rushed out of the bus, and ran the distance to my brother's
place, to see them starting in their car. I quickly waved at them
to stop, got my bags in, and huffed and puffed in.
It was very pleasant outside, and I took off my warm jacket.

We barely made it to the K. R. Puram station, uniquely located
near a flyover. I had managed to rush and buy a platform ticket
for me and my brother, as his wife rushed along to the platform.
We were happy to have made it to the platform, with minutes to spare.
We heard the sound of an engine.
It turned out to be false alarm.
The train was 45 minutes late that day, and neither my brother,
nor his wife wanted to have a snack, or a drink.
By now, it was getting quite cold too, and I missed my warm jacket,
comfortably nestled among my belongings in the car.


50.5 Food, at last

Soon after bidding her good bye, we walked along the platform
towards his car. Would he have something to drink, I asked gamely.
``Haven't you eaten anything since morning,'' he asked me.
I told him the entire story.
He made some quick calculations, and decided that he would take
me to Mayura Sagar, where my favourite South Indian snacks were
served. Fine, there was no place to have a proper sit down meal,
but we could try the tall tables to stand and eat in case I could
not bear it any longer.
When we got there, almost the whole of that suburb of
Bengaluru seemed to have descended on Mayura Sagar.

Brother Dear gave the order for the goodies to be packed.
At least, we could have a coffee there.
It turned out to be the same bland brand of instant coffee
that I have to partake of on flights.

He had prepared some steamed sprouts at home, and also had got
along some lovely large Rava Idlis with Coriander chutney. The
former were wrapped in plantain leaves to perfection (there is a
small joint close to his house at Thubrahalli), and the Coriander
chutney was lovely. We had this with the lovely Dosa(s) from
Mayura Sagar and some sweet Sambhar (which I usually do not
patronise much, but I was extremely hungry). I was also dog
tired, and hit the bed almost immediately. Strictly speaking, I
fell and hit my head on the bed first, before falling asleep very
soon, to wake up very late next morning, with Brother Dear
waiting with two cups of steaming hot tea. He takes some tea with
his sugar - ah yes, literally. Most of his cup has sugar as we
joke, and he stirs in some tea to give it some liquidity. My tea
was not quite syrupy-sweet, but I downed it in no time at all.

The highlight of the day was the Hyderabadi Biriyani, which
Brother Dear took me to, at a joint near his office. The portions
were generous, and the taste, absolutely awesome. After a belly
full of the same, I reluctantly headed back with him, to pick up
my luggage, so that he would drop me at the old HAL airport stop,
for the BIAS-4 service to the airport at Devanahalli, Bengaluru.
It was my first trip aboard a green coloured Vayu Vajra service.
The power ports were working, and I charged my mobile phone.
I had opened my laptop to try to type a part of this trip report,
but felt nauseatic after a little while. I reached the airport
well in time for the flight, and headed towards the check-in
counters. By now, Mr. All-Stare MacLean's text had come in,
informing me that I would not get a Dream)liner, after all.
Again.

50.6 An unsettling...er, un-seating experience. Picking on the
check-in agent, and the CISF guard. No smoke without Fire.


I went to a check-in counter, where a smart-alec check-in agent
looked at me, as if I had just parked my goats outside the
airport terminal, and come in to take a lift on a bullock cart to
town.
Actually, my dishevelled appearance was not that different,
so the man could be excused for his reaction.
He was behaving in a slightly overbearing manner with passengers
who had checked in, in front of me.
He looked at me, and told me that there had been a change of equipment.
``Boeing to a Bullock cart?'' I wanted to say, but desisted from doing so.
He checked me in, muttering under his breath, and I will recount
the contents of that exchange, in the paragraph that follows.
He handed me over a boarding pass, as I appeared dejected at
missing out on a Dream)liner trip, yet again. However, I was
smiling, thanks to the little exchange I had with him.
Second, I also had had a window seat, which I should be thankful
for, given that the system actually seems to put an airport check-in
passenger at a slight disadvantage, in case he/she comes in a bit
late, after people well aware of the change in equipment, have
checked in to the new aircraft.

An Air India Dream)liner has a 3-3-3 seating in Economy, ABC-DEF-GHJ,
whereas the seating on an A321, as on any self-respecting plane
of the same type, was 3-3 in Economy, ABC-DEF.
The agent had informed me that even in case there was an
equipment change, the seat number would not change.

This was news to me, since I had opted for seat 12A on the Dream)liner.
I was about to tell him that I should thank my stars,
I had not pre-opted for seat 12J, else I would be perhaps be
nestling close to the wingtip fences on the A321.


I was not in a very naughty mood, given my disappointment of
knowing that there was no chance of a Dream)liner ride that day.
However, I was not done with the clueless,
but smart alec booking agent.

``12J would have been the smoking section, right?''
He looked puzzled, but suddenly, answered triumphantly,
``Sorry, this is a non-smoking flight.''
My light chuckle got him even more puzzled, as I shot him a
naughty look, and proceeded to the top floor, for the security check.

Here came in something I had not anticipated.
``Do you smoke?'' asked the CISF agent.
``No, one vice is enough,'' I said, to which he gave me a blank look.
``I partake of a little tipple at times,'' I said,
``but the little bottle in my bag has water in it - it is less
than 200ml,'' I added.
``what?'' he was getting a bit irritated now.
``It was water, when I had poured it into the bottle,'' I tested him.
``Not water, but fire,'' he said, ``matches.''
I wanted to say matches...they are made in heaven,
but it was my turn to be a bit blank now.
``I don't even smoke,'' I said.
I wanted to say, ``come on, smell my breath...'' but desisted,
lest the man figure out that I had not brushed my teeth since I
had had lunch, and that if he smelt the garlic in my breath,
lest it `take his breath away'.
Literally, as well as figuratively,
as my favourite cliche'd expression goes.
``You have matches inside your bag,'' he said.
``No, I don't,'' I was genuinely puzzled,
``please feel free to search my bag.''
He triumphantly came up with a small packet of...what turned out
to be some stylised ear-buds (which admittedly looked a bit like
match sticks!), which I had flicked off a hotel
room some time back, but had completely forgotten about.
``What have you been smoking,'' I wanted to ask him,
but desisted from doing so. He was just doing his duty, and doing
it quite well, which I appreciated, pointing out that his
questioning was quite justified. He gave me a smile, and wished
me a safe journey! I was happy, and walked to the air-side part.

50.7 Sweating over my Jacket

It was here that I suddenly realised that I had left my jacket at
my brother's place. The same jacket which I had nearly forgotten
in the `Tamizh terima' cab, the same jacket that I had forgotten
inside Brother Dear's car at the K. R. Puram Railway station, I
had forgotten to take from behind the door in the extra bedroom,
at his residence. I had taken it off when I had gone to the Hyderabadi Biriyani joint, and there was where it
stood, as the realisation dawned on me at dusk, at the Bengaluru
airport. I switched on my cell-phone, to hear Papa's agitated
voice at the other end. ``Go and buy a jacket immediately.''
How did he know about it? Brother Dear, of course.
No, I did not want to purchase an overpriced item at the airport
just for this journey, but Papa was afraid of me catching a cold,
since the temperatures at Delhi were in the single digits, and
while no warm clothing was needed for most of the day in
Bengaluru (and certainly not in the airport), I would need one in
Delhi. The Bengaluru airport has a Shoppers Stop stall, where I
selected a light woollen sweater, which I thought would meet The
Wife's approval, too. The price was Rs.999/-, which I felt to be
a bit too high for the simple item in question.

[Encapsulated Postscript: The sweater showed its true
colours after its first wash, so the first wear, which had
resulted in me tearing at my hair on the experience, was also the
last time I wore it out in public. Wear and Tear(s), as they say.]

50.8 Jo bole, so nihAl...Religious Material on Board!!

Before the boarding announcement had been made, I saw three Sikh
gentlemen come up at the boarding gate, and lovingly escort quite
a few copies of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy texts of the
Sikhs, towards the aircraft, and come back for more. The text is a living
embodiment of the Guru for the Sikhs. I remember a few years
back, an entire Airbus 330-200 was chartered from Air India, to
take a consignment of Guru Granth Sahibs from London, to Paunta
Sahib. Paunta Sahib is home to a holy shrine of the Sikhs. This
place is in Himachal Pradesh, very close to the border with
Uttarakhand/Uttaranchal, with the city of Dehradun being close-by. This
operation took some time, and we were hurried up in our boarding
procedure, perhaps to ensure an on-time departure, lest the fog
set in, in Delhi.

Captain B. K. Soni was in command, with a Sikh gentleman as the
first officer, who had come up to the Business class part, to
watch the proceedings with some interest.
Captain Soni made an extremely long and powerful low take-off, taking
most of the runway for the run, and going up gradually. The loads
were quite heavy, with only about five or six vacant seats in the
Economy section. Most of the Business class had the Guru Granth
Sahibs placed lovingly on the seats, with the gentlemen in charge
of the holy texts seated in Economy.

50.8 Food for Thought, as usual!

I was waiting for a nice dinner.
It started with a standard Indian green salad, with four slices
of cucumber with serrated sides, a slice of tomato, a serrated
circular carrot piece, and a wedge of lemon.
I was refreshed.
The next item was the butter with a bun, which was shaped much
like what physicists would refer to as a Klein bottle, or a 3-D
version of the Moebius strip.
The main course was a nice surprise.
The middle had an extremely mild Puliogare, as Kannadigas know it
better as, or Puliodarai, as Tamilians call it.
It was an extremely mild tamarind rice, with only a hint of the
tamarind, but very tasty, nevertheless.
To its left was a lovely dry preparation of something I have
always enjoyed in the City of Boiled Beans, or `benda-kAlu-uru',
the three words that gave the city its name.
It had small slices of French Beans (`barbatti' to the
Delhi'ite), cooked with grated coconut, and a hint of mustard
seeds or `rai', as the spice is known as. It was heavenly!
To the right was a slightly oily Cream chicken, where the soft
boneless chicken pieces had been cooked to perfection in the
cream-based gravy.
Somehow, my luck seems to be following me with the marvellous Air
India Firni. This is a dessert I like, and this airline does this
to the extent of a fine art.
Taj-SATS had done a nice job with the catering, here.
The centre of the dessert bowl had some finely grated pistachios,
with the green grains adding colour to a lovely dish.
If the dessert was out of the world, the coffee brought me down
to earth. This would possibly be one of the blandest coffees to
have entered my gastronomic coffers, in recent times.
Not just was it the infamous ordinary instant coffee, it was very
mild, and certainly not steaming hot. I consumed the warm
brownish milk to conclude my meal.

Captain Soni made a nice landing on runway 29.
The IGIA T3 Christmas decorations were all around!
Here is Santa Claus ushering in the festivities, surrounded by
some nice plants and flowers.



Mahindra was advertising their Rexton, at that time.



However, it would be an ordinary Maruti Omni taxi for me, as my
ride back home, as I reached back in the shivering cold.
---
Links to my 50 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
shivendrashukla
Member


Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 1347
Location: Mumbai, India

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Professor,
An extremely delightful TR. And your intricate description of Bangalore reminded me of my days in that beautiful city, especially your accidental landing at Ramaya Hospital, which was very close to where I lived.

The best Hydrabadi Biryani I had was in Nandini, also in Bangalore and I am waiting for another opportunity to go and visit Bangalore so that I can have a taste of it again.

Bangalore is located at a height and hence Hot and Humid ops apply there. Therefore the long and powerful takeoff procedure.

Overall amazing TR there professor. Looking for 2013 installments now Smile

Cheers
Shivendra
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shukla Sir, thanks a lot for the kind words!
shivendrashukla wrote:
...especially your accidental landing at Ramaiah Hospital, which was very close to where I lived.
I remember the `water-world' (Jalahalli) connection, Sir!
shivendrashukla wrote:
Bangalore is located at a height and hence Hot and Humid ops apply there. Therefore the long and powerful takeoff procedure.
...and the plateaux effect giving the city, its amazing climate!

shivendrashukla wrote:
Looking for 2013 installments now Smile

I will try to expedite this, Sir! I took time to pen down this particular TR, since a good part of it had gone away in the hard disk crash, so I had to try hard to remember some of the interesting exchanges I had had, both at DEL, as well as BLR - more so, the last part with the exception of the incident which always brings a chuckle - at least the seat 12J part with the wingtip fence, and the Smoking section, and the one sin part. I usually try to keep my naughiness under check, but that day...I let rip Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Karan69
Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 1330

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice Read as always sir

Really enjoyed your sarcasam with the "i am so great" check in agent and the "i am the law" cisf agent

hard luck on two DL misses but you did manage to "snag" one later on

BTW how many 321 flights have you logged

Keep them coming sir we love reading them

Karan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot Sir, I am glad you enjoyed the `encounters' as much as I enjoyed going through them, and later on, putting them down in words.
- Dream)liner flights: prior to the Jan'13 grounding, I had only managed one success in five attempts, the last unsuccessful attempt was on 26 Jan'13, where I had intended to take AI 701 CCU-DEL for two reasons:
1. I had The Wife and Junior with me to experience the type
2. I had expected to see CCU's brand-new T2 just after the inauguration!
This will appear in the next-to-next trip report, after an interesting visit to Mumbai, which will come up next. This AI 701 trip was not deviod of excitement owing to a mixed first Duronto experience to Calcutta, and a lovely A332 experience on WB, the `widebody' plane VT-IWB for the three of us.
- Domestic A321/A320/A319 trips: I have almost lost count. I think I have flown on most registrations of the new planes, with some such as P(&)W - the `engines' plane VT-PPW only coming quite recently. Most official trips are on these types, and I really look forward to any exotic ATR-42/CRJ-700 `masked bandit'/A332/B777/Dream)liner trip, which I can experience domestically, too.
I do not think I travel (or know as much!) as you do - I look forward to even the small snippets of information you supply us on this forum!
Cheers, Sumantra.


Last edited by sumantra on Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:36 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nimish
Member


Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 9755
Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sumantra - lovely TR - thanks for posting. Next time you're in Bangalore, do give me a call - I can take you for some delicious biryanis here Smile.

What's with the Sikh holy books occupying J seats on board? Were those seats paid for? How does that work - how do you buy seats without a passenger to occupy it?
_________________
We miss you Nalini!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nimish wrote:
Next time you're in Bangalore, do give me a call - I can take you for some delicious biryanis here Smile.
Thanks a lot, Nimish - I will look forward to it! It will also be my second meeting with an AI.net moderator, the first being Varun, a fortnight back! BTW, I also have an APJ school, New Delhi link - does that sound interesting? Send me a PM, for details!

Nimish wrote:
What's with the Sikh holy books occupying J seats on board? Were those seats paid for? How does that work - how do you buy seats without a passenger to occupy it?
These seats are paid for by the religious organisation, from what I know. From what I know, the Sikhs consider the Guru Granth Sahib as a living embodiment of the Guru himself, and this is quite understandable. For the Paonta Sahib venture, the organisation had not just booked seats - they had chartered a complete AI A332 to carry damaged copies of the holy text from all over the UK, back to Paonta Sahib. Fascinating, isn't it?
Cheers, Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Karan69
Member


Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 1330

PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Thanks a lot Sir, I am glad you enjoyed the `enoucnters' as much as I enjoyed going through them, and later on, putting them down in words.
- Dream)liner flights: prior to the Jan'13 grounding, I had only managed one success in five attempts, the last unsuccessful attempt was on 26 Jan'13, where I had intended to take AI 701 CCU-DEL for two reasons:
1. I had The Wife and Junior with me to experience the type
2. I had expected to see CCU's brand-new T2 just after the inauguration!
This will appear in the next-to-next trip report, after an interesting visit to Mumbai, which will come up next. This AI 701 trip was not deviod of excitement owing to a mixed first Duronto experience to Calcutta, and a lovely A332 experience on WB, the `widebody' plane VT-IWB for the three of us.
- Domestic A321/A320/A319 trips: I have almost lost count. I think I have flown on most registrations of the new planes, with some such as P(&)W - the `engines' plane VT-PPW only coming quite recently. Most official trips are on these types, and I really look forward to any exotic ATR-42/CRJ-700 `masked bandit'/A332/B777/Dream)liner trip, which I can experience domestically, too.
I do not think I travel (or know as much!) as you do - I look forward to even the small snippets of information you supply us on this forum!
Cheers, Sumantra.


Lol, sir i doubt i travel as much as you do, it just might be i try to maximise my aircraft variety so it may look like i travel a lot when in reality i dont ...hehe

But the AI 321 is one product which i really look forward to if given a chance

As for your last statement i am really humbled Very Happy

Karan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
ameya
Member


Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3584
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting TR Sir.

The Taxi Ride, literally, the CISF, and the aircraft disappointment....

You continue to have some interesting trips, destinations, experiences all across the country !
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jbalonso777
Member


Joined: 05 Jul 2012
Posts: 1419
Location: Never, never land

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all sir, congratulations for reaching 50 trip reports on this forum Smile

Stunning trip report as expected, other than the aircraft swaps, which weren't expected! Thanks a lot for sharing! Of course, I loved the numerous amount of jokes you made in this TR, and the description of the food.

Quote:
starboard side

I too, prefer starboard. Maybe its just the views of the International Terminal while landing in BOM's Rwy 27 which has made starboard a top priority for me, as you may have noticed in most of my TRs!

Quote:
call from the Air India call centre.

Contrast to Cathay informing me after check in that the flight was on time. Laughing

Quote:
Sir, there is no row K on this plane, it is an Airbus

Those aren't the best words to hear while flying Air India. A Boeing would always mean a widebody, an Airbus is almost certainly a narrow body.

Quote:
And I got an exit row, and a middle seat. B.

Still better than getting a last row miserable corner window seat, like I had got on my latest flight.

Quote:
put down details of the food that was served.

You'll never fail in that, will you?!

Quote:
snack turned out to be a mini-meal.

I have read in other trip reports too, where the writer is quite surprised to see a meal on a flight where snacks are to be served. Amazing stuff!

Food sounds heavenly...as it usually is!

Quote:
he also apologised for the change of the aircraft, from the Dream)liner, to an A321!

Whoa! But I'm sure there weren't too many people who were bothered about this! But this is sensational stuff!

Quote:
The aroma of freshly-brewed Coorg/Kodagu filter coffee in the atmosphere all around, mixing beautifully with the aroma of Sambhar masala, crisp fried dosas, and the unmistakable twang of freshly ground coconut paste to go into the Tenghai chutney - makes a great start to the day.

I totally agree with this! I do miss these familiar smells when I was in 6 year stint in BLR. I do not remember much, however, the patronized airline during those days was IC. Wink

Quote:
If the middle is well satisfied, the same applies to the other parts of the body and mind, as well

Ha ha ha! Classy Sumantra sir style statements!

Quote:
*that joke*

Dad, big bro and I had a laugh about this yesterday. And well, I still am!
Speaking of Dad, he said that he has a couple of experiences to add to this forum, so do expect him arriving soon. Very Happy

You sure did have a tough time running around everywhere in Bangalore, thanks to the radio taxi messing it up. Well, I surely felt that I was right with you all throughout this pandemonium!

Quote:
K. R. Puram station, uniquely located

I remember once Dad had come to pick Mum and I up from the K. R. Puram station. The Brindavan Express blasted past, thanks to the mighty power of an Erode WAP4. After a quick wave at the driver of the WDM2 locomotive hauling the Howrah-Yeshvantpur Express, I got off at K. R. Puram, and headed for Yeshvantpur in the car with Dad, where Mum eventually got off. Yup, we are insane Very Happy

Quote:
The train was 45 minutes late that day,

...and the anti-climax! Very Happy

Quote:
It turned out to be the same bland brand of instant coffee that I have to partake of on flights.

...and that evening, Sumantra sir left Mayura Sagar, quite unhappily.

Quote:
ABC-DEF-GHJ

Why is the I missed? Confused

And that was again some amazing action portrayed, the check in incident, security, and the jacket sweat! Brilliant! Very Happy

And well of course, nice to know you had a unique flight, thanks to those Sikh religious items onboard.

Once again, thank you for another humorous TR, and we look forward to more!

Regards
Jish
_________________
http://www.youtube.com/c/JishnuBasu777
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Theairplaneguy4ever
Member


Joined: 26 Sep 2012
Posts: 191
Location: Kochi, Kerala, India

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work, very nice TR as always!

Loved the humorous and witty descriptions throughout.

Quote:
``Sorry Sir, we have a full flight''


Dreaded words that no avthusiast wants to hear. Was this downgrade due to the loads?

Quote:
The only two photographs associated with this trip report were
scanned in from the only two pictures I had taken from my Analog
SLR.


I know I keep saying this, but isn't it time to upgrade to a digital? Wink

Quote:
The main course looked awesome.


Shouldn't they have served breakfast? Anyway, the food descriptions have got me hungry again, oh dear! Confused

Quote:
My light chuckle got him even more puzzled, as I shot him a
naughty look, and proceeded to the top floor, for the security check.


Haha, loved this!

Quote:
It was heavenly!


Good to know. I have yet to try the heavenly catering on board Air India, the AI-R meals have left me skeptical though.

Lovely TR again and thanks for posting!

Theairplaneguy4ever
_________________
India's first HD Video Trip Report Channel : www.youtube.com/Theairplaneguy4ever
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karan69 wrote:
But the AI 321 is one product which i really look forward to if given a chance
This is a bit surprising, for such a frequent flyer as you, but wait...now-a-days, I have found the A321s (ex-Delhi) not in a pristine state. Tired fabric, and grime marks. Which saddens me, since I have seen extremely clean elderly birds such as the old double-bogey A320s, and the A332s (when they have been based here) - someone at DEL seems to feel for the older birds, and put in that bit of extra effort, which should have been standard across the fleet, irrespective of the type. CD's ATR-42s and CRJ-700s often are not spotlessly clean, either - ex-DEL, that is.
Do let us know Sir, when you get an A321 trip, next.
Cheers, Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
The Taxi Ride, literally, the CISF, and the aircraft disappointment....You continue to have some interesting trips, destinations, experiences all across the country!
Thanks a lot, Ameya - though Sir, I find your descriptions of people, places and the environment around you a real pleasure to go through!
Cheers, Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:
First of all sir, congratulations for reaching 50 trip reports on this forum Smile
Thanks a lot, Sir - for a moment, I thought you were congratulating me for reaching 50 - no, I am not that old Smile
jbalonso777 wrote:
I too, prefer starboard. Maybe its just the views of the International Terminal while landing in BOM's Rwy 27 which has made starboard a top priority for me, as you may have noticed in most of my TRs!
Yes, I too do that! A dekko at Jari Mari, the Air India hangars close-by, the international terminal, the cargo terminal, the old IC hangars, T1B - of course, I would miss the Air India hangars on the other side.

jbalonso777 wrote:
Quote:
put down details of the food that was served.
You'll never fail in that, will you?!
Sadly, I will, for some parts of the next few TRs - there will be as many as three TRs without food descriptions, and the names of the people in the front office. I had keyed these in, and these made their way into the bit bucket, unfortunately.

jbalonso777 wrote:
I have read in other trip reports too, where the writer is quite surprised to see a meal on a flight where snacks are to be served. Amazing stuff!
Yes, Sir - I have seen this, and been pleasantly surprised to see a full meal served when - the official notification on the website shows a snack, and second, when it is certainly not meal time! Such announcements are certainly very welcome.

jbalonso777 wrote:
Speaking of Dad, he said that he has a couple of experiences to add to this forum, so do expect him arriving soon. Very Happy
This brilliance in descriptions and photographs runs in the blood-we eagerly look forward to the senior-most Mr. Basu writing for us on the forum, in spite of his heavy schedule.


jbalonso777 wrote:
K. R. Puram...and then...Yeshwanthapuram
What an experience...they aren't exactly close together, and if one factors in the Bengaluru traffic...wow!

jbalonso777 wrote:
Quote:
ABC-DEF-GHJ
Why is the I missed?
Why am I missed?Jokes apart, I have always wondered about the same. On some types, `J' is also missing: the AI 777s have ABC-DEL-GHK. This is something I wrote about here, in some detail:
Madurai'12:Silver Lining on Darkened Dream)liner Dream
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13217.html

Thanks once again, for your detailed reply!
Cheers, Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adi, thanks a lot for the detailed reply, and the kind words!
Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
Quote:
``Sorry Sir, we have a full flight''
Dreaded words that no avthusiast wants to hear. Was this downgrade due to the loads?
Sir, this was a fog-related diversion for the B788. The loads ensured a jam-packed A321 (with a few lucky upgrades, I guess, as J looked quite full too), but somehow, that made the cut. Additionally, some passengers may have been bumped onto the second flight (which agonisingly for me, left much before our delayed flight). I had always looked longingly at the AI 803 BLR-DEL first flight of the day, feeling jealous of the lucky passengers who were patronising the B788 in large numbers.

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
Quote:
The only two photographs associated with this trip report were scanned in from the only two pictures I had taken from my Analog SLR.
I know I keep saying this, but isn't it time to upgrade to a digital?
Sir, the digital photos went out with the hard disk crash (as will have gone out, for a couple more trip reports to follow - till journeys up to May'13), I had quite a few of them. I did not use my Analog SLR much during this particular trip. The Wife has some interesting digital snaps from her Nikon P&S, as well as Sony Experia for her AI 020 Dream)liner trip on 25 Jul'13 - the one with the oven malfunction. I will put these in as well - I was also travelling on a Dream)liner around those days: AI 439 DEL-MAA and AI 430 MAA-DEL. I will put down her experiences as a passenger. Well, passengers did not notice much about the over-heating oven, so...

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
Quote:
The main course looked awesome.
Shouldn't they have served breakfast?
Yes, Sir - I defintely felt so. However, Air India now serves breakfast only for early morning flights, much to my disappointment. A 10am flight typically only qualifies for a snack.

Theairplaneguy4ever wrote:
Good to know. I have yet to try the heavenly catering on board Air India, the AI-R meals have left me skeptical though.
Sir - that will be something we all will look forward to - a video TR on an AI flight with a meal service! As for AI-R/CD, as you know, they have all but removed the cold snacks and replaced them with a buy-on-board, except for the four long flights: Port Blair, Guwahati, Vadodara and Surat. Worse still, one cannot (yet) book a BoB offering on the booking page. If this is implemented at all, this may take a couple of months, is the information I got. I was actually looking forward to a website bookable BoB, since a request made days before the trip increases chances of a particular item being loaded on board the plane, rather than some generic items loaded (perhaps cold items). AI-R/CD's CR7s have ovens on board - I am sure of this, since I have had a hot breakfast and a hot lunch on the DEL-BBI and BBI-DEL sectors (May'13), which I enjoyed immensely!
Thanks once again for going through my report in such detail!
Cheers, Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Spiderguy252
Member


Joined: 10 Aug 2007
Posts: 4256
Location: Indian Ocean

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Nimish wrote:
Next time you're in Bangalore, do give me a call - I can take you for some delicious biryanis here Smile.
Thanks a lot, Nimish - I will look forward to it! It will also be my second meeting with an AI.net moderator, the first being Varun, a fortnight back!


And like I mentioned, I'm based in BLR now as well - feel free to call. Smile
_________________
Yeah.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiderguy252 wrote:
And like I mentioned, I'm based in BLR now as well - feel free to call. Smile
Sure Smile Is your mobile number unchanged? In case you have changed it, please send the new one over a PM/SMS/email
Cheers, Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Airliners-India Forum Index -> Trip Reports All times are GMT + 5.5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group. Hosted by phpBB.BizHat.com