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Tigerland - Bandhavgarh

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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 2322
Location: BLR, DXB

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:08 pm    Post subject: Tigerland - Bandhavgarh Reply with quote

Jungle time- this trip had been in the pipeline for ages but never materialised. The last time I was in Bandhavgarh (or any jungle) was 2010. This was also the first time R was going to a big tiger reserve (not counting a short short trip to Nagarhole). When I was smaller we used to do a lot of family trips to Ranthambore and Corbett, tho in 4 visits to those parks I never saw a tiger. Well we saw its tail ...... briefly. My last Bandhavgarh trip we saw 9 tigers, including 5 cubs. I didn't expect to be as lucky, and best to keep expectations low- tiger sightings are pure luck.
I managed to sneak in a quick trip to BLR for 2 days (mainly to see my dog), then had to be in NAG for a day for two close friends wedding and then Bandhavgarh.

As usual the story starts at DXB.


The flight wasn't full. The gate area was somehow chaotic so I sat by the next gate which was equally chaotic, a packed 380 to BKK. For once I didn't hound avbuff/obpap/loadmaster too much about flights. The loads looked good for a standby ticket I asked him to check if it was passenger load restricted and he replied with good news.

Boarded the a/c and pushed more or less on time. The mood lighting turned on after TO I think, at least I didn't notice it earlier. During boarding the FA took the drinks order and asked if I would like to be woken up for breakfast. I said no, I wasn't hungry at all. (I had landed 3.5 hours ago from a trip and rushed home, last minute packing, showered, changed and was back at the airport)

It was the loudest rumblyest engine start I've heard in a while .... GE90 style holy smokes!

My neighbour decided to eat breakfast (R had flown out a few days before) ... so I gave in and chole it was.

Doesn't look like much but it was good.

I was really sleepy but wanted to watch a movie .... Big hero 6, The Judge, Nightcrawler, Fury? I figured I'd probably pass out halfway so let's pick something useless .... Dracula untold Razz
The crew handed out immigration forms in the air but didn't have customs/ebola ones. On arrival someone was waiting at the aero bridge handing them out which was OK, I still prefer doing all the paperwork before I get off the aircraft.
10 immigration counters were open and ours was the only flight in the hall. I heard some chap tell the immigration officer 276 passengers on our flight. Why that information? No idea maybe they were happy it wasn't going to be a busy half hour.
The only advantage of getting off the airplane first was no wait at passport control, it took 3 mins longer than normal (so 4 minutes) and as usual for BLR bags were already on the belt.
Took the bus- 230 rupees. The ride took 1:45 Evil or Very Mad Aaahhhh BLR morning traffic!!

The best change .... autos in BLR now go by the meter Shocked Yup ... hard to believe. I was surprised no questions asked meter was set and off we went. Apparently there was a police crackdown and things got better. Hopefully it's changed for good.
After 2 fun but hectic days, it was time to go to NAG.

a320 (surprise!)
0545-0705 leg one
0735-0850 leg two

There were not too many options from BLR-NAG in the morning. It boiled down to a direct 6E or a one stop G8. I hadn't been on G8 in years so .... it took some time to convince R. fares were more or less the same, 7k a person.
0545 departure, so left home really early. Booked a Meru Cab the night before and he showed up on time. After the trip I got an email with the receipt (apart from the printout the cabbie gave me).... never seen that before.
Go had 5 counters open, no hassle line wasn't long. Bags were almost 35kg so the guy said 4kg overweight. He asked if we wanted to pull stuff out we said no too much of a hassle. 1000 rupees charge = 250 a kilo Confused - probably should have taken a few kgs out Confused

Found the pic.
Online seat selection was funny, I sent a pic in the what's app group (deleted it by now) but they had the seat map ulta - showed F-E-D ... C-B-A (or the aircraft had rows 1 counting down from the back)

Two in one message

Security didn't take too long but was badly organised. They had created place to take stuff out and put it in trays etc etc but after that was the bottleneck. One line to get your bag on the X-ray belt (which wasn't moving quickly because ppl weren't picking them up quickly on the other side) and another line to get yourself xrayed. As usual they have the guy doing the pat down standing about 20 feet away from the metal detector. Why?? It doesn't sound like much but every time he frisks someone and asks the next in line to walk thru they lose 10s, it all adds up. Why stand 20 feet away, why not stand right after (6' after) the metal detector? It's not complicated to design a good system and place equipment (man and machine) efficiently. Anyway we had coffee from malgudi and R asked for a vada .... which came in a bag. Plain Mad Hahahhaa lesson learnt next time ask for vada + sambhar please.
Boarding pass said gate 7 .... screens say gate 5. Obviously it's gate 5.

I lost my Drivers Licence somewhere ... asked the G8 chap at the boarding gate if he could check with the checkin desk but he was no help. Gave me a BOM number and asked me to to call when I landed. Huh? I told him again I may have left it at the check in counters he kinda just said call that number. Not the most helpful chap, maybe he made sense but people especially guys who deal with customers should explain how and why if they have a weird procedure. Anyway called the number when we landed no info on my DL.

Racing VT-JCT an ATR72-500 to our left for push.
VT-WAK was a clean aircraft, first 2 rows were go business had only 2 ppl. Seemed like normal loads maybe 70%ish? Maybe a tad more. Wing light was on for taxi, even another Go leaving BLR the same time had theirs on. Maybe it's g8 procedure?
All the cabin lights came on a few mins after TO around 0600. They had a pre recorded PA when they started their service, most people slept. Landed on 28.

What the heck is celshius? Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Not the first time I've heard people make that announcement .... "the outside temperature is 22 degrees celshius." Evil or Very Mad ;
Everyone got off at PNQ except 3 of us. Quick cleaning + boarding pass check and boarding started for the next leg.
Next quick hop to NAG was ... nothing to say.

Nagpur airport

AI 469
0740-0825 leg one
0855-1040 leg two

After a quick day in NAG, woke up early (again) to get to DEL. The options for this flight were direct 6E (two options) or this hoping AI flight. Now this one was a lot harder to convince R. She couldn't understand why I wanted to fly thru Raipur. I tried to tell her we would get fed on AI (don't think she cared) and she could get Star Alliance miles (worked a little, but again don't think she cared). Anyway she was sporting and agreed to a hopping flight to DEL. The AI flight was one rupee less than 6E.

NAG airport was .... AAIish from a different era, I was surprised.

Boarding announced at 0730
Pushed back 0745 landed at o830

Some genius passengers carry on didn't fit in the overheard compartment so he just left his stroller sticking halfway out. The cabin crew (rightfully) didn't seem too happy and asked whos it was and told him to move it- good for her. 4 cabin crew no young ones, not much smiling going on. Got a 'hello' when we boarded and another we got off the aircraft but that was it. They didn't seem particularly interested in being there, I didn't hear please even once.

Flight was more than half full not much more. Half of the pax got off in Raipur and we took on a few more for DEL. No meal/drinks service of any kind on this short hop. There was no pre-departure PA, actually on the first leg I don't remember there being one (maybe during descent I cant remember). On the second leg one of the pilots made a PA during cruise.

No audio channels but 6 video, oldish screen. I was expecting this- sumantra had mentioned this earlier.
I miss those head rests on the economy seats, why are they generally on international flights?

Lusaka has moved since I was there last Laughing

Plane seemed more comfortable than G8, not as clean tho it had a few marks on the seats/floors and old carpeting but she wasn't 'dirty', just unkept.
I also recognised RPRs terminal from sumantras TR Smile
Busy ramp in RPR, two Indigos one Jet and us. 0910 push

Snack were served after :30 mins. This was the best part of the flight and the main reason most people would chose AI over 6E (well ok miles as well ...) A lime chutney sandwich was kind of nice, soft. The 'snack' was 4 pieces of chicken which tasted like nothing. Dry and blah, I'd only eat it if I were hungry. The medu vada type was really nice. The best part of the meal was the desert. Really yum! Gulab Jamun in a glutinous thing (pudding?), don't know what else to call it. Indian deserts are generally too sweet but this was great, the jamuns went really well with the vanilla pudding. I could have had lots more. Coffee-tea was served later all without a smile. Coffee and tea pots were carried around and poured on request, we got sugar-creamer packets on the tray but they didn't offer extra- something a full service carrier must do.
Landed in DEL 10 mins early ..... and didn't wait long for bags.

Delhi - Katni
Mahakoshal Express

Landed and went to my uncles house, met up with parents and brother. Had lunch at Bukhara ... then made our way to the train station absolutely stuffed.
Supposed to leave Nizamuddin at 1605 got to the station at 1530 and signboard says trains delayed till 1730. Eventually it left at 1800 so we killed our time at a family waiting room.

4 of us (parents + R + I) in one compartment my brother had to sleep in the other. Bedsheets and pillow were delivered soon after we left.
Passes time the usual train way, chatting, munching on snacks and playing rummy later on.
2 toilets at the end of the carriage one western and one indian. They were kept relatively clean and the flushes worked. They had toilet paper and proper liquid soap (not watered down) but we carried our own.
Someone came around later offering meals, dunno if it was included or not but we were stuffed from lunch and had some sandwiches + chicken packed for dinner (apart from fruits/biscuits/cereal bars). A few hours later we decided to make our beds so we buzzed our attendant to help. Actually we wanted him to do one and we said we would do the rest but all 4 were done (without any complaining from our side Cool

What can I say about the cabin, it turned out to be a private cabin since there were 4/5 of us. It was a bit aged apparently was an older model. There was a newer train which was an option but we couldn't get 5 first class seats on that one.

The door handle was broke (multiple times by the looks of it) and in order for it to be latched from the top it had to be left a smidgen open. The nightlight was really bright, more like a regular light. Apart from that no real complaints the interiors were old but clean. The temperature was very comfortable the whole way.

We left 2 hours late and arrived at Katni over 6 hours late. Fog over parts of North India led to a lot of train delays, apparently we were stuck at some station for 2 few hours earlier that morning. By the time I woke up around 10 we were on our way after a fog break.
We had some left over sandwiches and almond croissants (from cafe noir picked up at BLR airport) so food wasn't an issue.

We also hopped out at Satna and got coffee and samosas.

6 hour+ delay getting into Katni.
A driver was waiting for us and it was almost a 2 hour drive to Bandhavgarh

Spent 2 half days and 3 full days (total 6 drives). 3 morning and 3 evening. The morning drives started around 6am when the park opened (or :30 mins later if we were lazy) and we had to be out by 10. The afternoon drives were 1500 to 1800 altho I think it changes with the season.
Mornings were cold, afternoons nice and evenings cool becoming cold.
We did 2 'gates' Tala and Magadhi, more or less alternated between the two.

Drives were a lot of fun, I enjoy these trips (been to Ranthambore and Corbett twice and this was my second trip to Bandhavghar). We used to go every few years when I was smaller as family trips with aunts/uncles/cousins. Saw the usual ..... lots of Cheetal (spotted deer) Sambar, a few Barking Deer and Gaur (Indian Bison). Jungle Fowl and an elusive Jungle Cat, also saw one Jackal. Lots and lots of peacocks (always trying to impress the chicks) and quite a few Wild Boar, Kingfishers, I forget which eagles, Vultures and a bunch of other birds.


Even that little pipsqueak on the right is trying to impress the chicks Wink

Magadhi gate

Tiger food!


Tala entrance

Boar family

Had to use manual focus .... damn hard.

Jungle cat

The main attraction obviously was seeing the Tiger and we were lucky enough twice. One sighting a young male we saw from a distance- he was going for a walk.

First sighting = far

The second time was a young female who was resting very close to the path. Everyone was clicking away she didn't seem to mind the 6 gypsies, one moron gypsy pulled up and some girl inside was waving saying hi tiger Evil or Very Mad Rolling Eyes

Auto focus fail

Switch to manual for the rest of the shots .... not easy

Love this one

It rained the last morning and we didn't see anything that whole day, more birds than animals.

Tea break

Best snack on a cold morning

Doggies everywhere

Jungle shots

Vulture .... not the best shot.

Rs camera is the D800 with a 70-300mm lens. Well it's her camera but I always wind up in charge of it making sure the spare battery is charged etc because she forgets. We lost the lens cap, what a pain.
My father in law had the D750 with an 80-400mm
My uncle had the hard core stuff. A 600mm bazooka and 70-200mm.

Tea time outside the park ... in Tala

We had a 5:30 hour drive to Khajuraho 9W2424 was at 1345 so we left at 0620. As soon as we got in the car we dozed on and off for 2 hours. We stopped for a restroom break once and petrol once again .... apart from that no stops. Pretty much drove without stopping and reached Khajuraho at 1150. R was hungry (we carried some chicken sandwiches for the drive) and we had almost an hour to kill so we stopped by the Taj next to the airport for a club sandwich (she doesn't share our excitement for aircraft food).

In terms of flying back to DXB my first option was Air India out of Jabalpur. Reasons a)- CRJ (been on lots just not AI) and b)- 787 to DXB. We were worried about the JLR-DEL leg getting delayed since that had a shorter connection time in DEL, anyway 9W was a tad cheaper and I flew thru 2 new airports.
The airport has a new terminal which looks almost ready (from the outside at least), has that very new AAI terminal design. Don't know when it's opening.
The old terminal was basic. You enter and there's one luggage X-ray machine besides 3 check in counters.

1345-1435 leg one
1505-1640 leg two

The 9W check in agent was highly confused. We asked if he could check us in all the way to DXB he said no, then yes (after asking us if we are going to DXB?) then no. After 5 mins the supervisor came and said they could check the luggage to DEL and we could pick it up and check in separately for the international leg (??). He said if they check it in all the way from HJR to DXB we may have to identify it (or something) in DEL? It sounded too complicated and he seemed to think checking us to DEL was the way to go .... we agreed. Didn't want to risk showing up back home without any luggage (not that there was any connection but my in laws flew 9W from BLR to HJR and Jet misplaced their luggage, they got it the next day late)
Anyway it's DEL single terminal connecting 9W flights yada yada we said we would recheck in for DXB, I had wanted to see what the domestic-international transfer was like but o well. All 3 sectors were on the same PNR but it didnt really make a difference we had a longish transit in DEL and they said they would priority tag out bags.

Security took about :10 mins for this small line. Razz spelling mistakes and corrections.

JFM was a nice and clean aircraft. Cabin had 12 J and we were the first row of economy seats 10A-B which had the extra legroom. Pushed back (actually didn't need to so just started engines) 10 mins early. No PA from the pilots, some pre-recorded announcements were played which no one could hear. The purser (whatever they call them at jet) introduced himself and the captain- that's it Rolling Eyes How weird, not very nice or professional. It's a 737 im sure they can take 5 seconds to introduce all 7 crew or whatever.
After welcoming everyone they welcomed 'our Etihad partner guests' or some rubbish like that hahahhaa. Quick taxi which meant a super quick manual demo. Aircraft was full.

Loud takeoff ... I love the engine sound but only on TO! The cabin noise was terrible during cruise. Maybe it was just the seat position forward of the engines but if I had to sit thru 4 hours of that noise I'd shoot myself. The aircraft had the new sky interior and the really nice overhead bins. Very clean look, I liked the overhead bins more than the sleek ceiling. The BSI (which our 9W fans go on about Wink ) etc is all very nice but if the cabin is that loud no thank you give me another aircraft. I don't remember the 320s being this noisy, maybe it was just 10A. I don't know why I'm sounding so confused I've been on dozens of 320/737 but never has the cabin noise been this bad before. I generally listen to music but that was futile.
:35 mins flight time to Varanasi. The crew handed out some sandwich, R and I just had a bite.

Landed at 1315 and surprisingly almost everyone got off (only 9 of us stayed on). A lot of tourists guess that's why.
An Indigo aircraft was on the way out and another came in shortly after.

Another noisy takeoff (and climb and cruise). Food was vegetarian or chicken. It was just a snack so nothing was described (as in other TRs) options were just veg/chicken.
What's this SkyMart thing? Even the AI flight had this little shopping coupon. Rather tacky IMO get rid of it Jet you have lots of space in your magazine.

The chicken roll was ok, nothing special. It didn't have much of a taste. The cake was very nice tho, nice and soft and had bits of nuts. That imli candy looking thing which people love was there Razz . Icy splash water 'sourced at the Himalayas' and had a picture of penguins on it. Hahahahahha.
A pilot (dunno who) made a PA before ToD, apart from 'some congestion' and 'thank you for flying with us' I couldn't make out anything I doubt anyone could the PA was so soft.
Landed :30 mins early into DEL.

Our bags were their first ones on the belt, came out of arrivals took a left and up again to departures after showing 2 CISF chaps our tickets. They had quite a few counters open but the line moved slowly, check in agents looked quite grumps/hassled but give them leeway they sit there dealing with irritating passengers and can't be expected to look happy all the time. Tough job.
Immigration quick, security slow. Story of any airport in India- badly designed and managed security lines.

Went to the food court and got some food (because R was hungry because R didn't eat on the previous flights and because R is normal and doesn't get excited by aircraft food). She got a chicken red curry from Noodle House for 360 rupees. It was a big meal and good value for money at an airport I thought.

VT-forgot to check.

Boarding started at 1900 for a 1945 departure there wasn't any crowd at the gate but it was quite full. Aircraft had 16 J seats same cabin as the last aircraft but IFE in economy.

Kindle size?

The screens are small ... smaller than the AI one. The entertainer system was crap tho. Movie selection, touch screen and interface quite bad. I finally managed to select 'video' by pressing a random spot on the left top left corner, but the touch-screen wasn't accurate and R + neighbour gave up eventually.
Games didn't work but I didn't care, that and the music selection doesn't interest me. I stick to movies and flight info.

Some may think that describing it as crap is a bit harsh, but neither me in seat B or A-C could watch the movie/show they wanted .... the guy in the next row was hammering away at his screen in frustration (probably making it worse) and wound up watching what was in front of him. Think that qualifies as crap.
I mean the Emirates 330s have ancient screens (I can't stand them) but their 15 year old system works better than this. The only plus with the Jet Screen was the resolution and colour quality (which is nothing surprising considering it's a decade newer). The screen size and content was small but ok, no one is expecting an SQ/CX/QR selection but if the interface isn't good what's the point? I was a lucky one who could correctly select a movie .... but it wouldn't play. Black screen Rolling Eyes

At least the flight path worked (after 'please wait' for 20s) and that kept me entertained for 3 mins.
This time the captain made a welcome PA and introduced the crew. Thank god. The other announcements were audible as well.
Best thing .... the cabin wasn't as loud hehehe Wink There was a continuous drone throughout cruise but it wasn't deafening. Still louder than I remember the 320s but like I said I could be imagining.

Maybe :20 mins after TO they rolled out the drinks service. Took a long time to reach and the rear cart reached just before the front (we were in the mid section). I got a ginger ale some weird brand wasn't very good, the steward gave me the whole bottle + moong dal snack.

Dinner was served 2 hours after push-back. Salad was nice but small. Desert was pointless. It's like they had extra cream and decided to stick it between equally plain cake. The main was ok. Took a while to figure out if it was Indian or Chinese but the fried rice has me tilting towards the latter. Didn't look like much (red and more red) but tasted a bit better than it looked (just a bit) Overall the meal was nothing I'll remember but I was tired and not hungry.

Half salad

The seat wasn't particularly comfortable but I think that was more me. We had been up for 15 hours and in a car for 5 hours and 2 previous legs .... I was tired anyway. The winged head rests were comfy (all aircrafts should have them IMO) but no pillows? (I like to use it as lumbar support).

I picked 9W because it was marginally cheaper than AI and it would include 2 new airports.
EK DEL-DXB was obviously more expensive (single leg) but would have been way more comfortable in economy. They give small pillows but that's asking a bit too much for a Jet 737 me thinks.

All in all I wasn't particularly impressed with the DEL-DXB. Food was soso, IFE didnt work. The crew were good. The shorter domestic flights were ok, but honestly apart from a free 'snack' and miles nothing sets them apart from a low cost. That's a lot of pressure on the cabin crew (unfair pressure if they are the differentiator), that's why the airline has to do a bit more. Food, seats, entertainment, something- no one can expect the crew to be brilliant all the time every single time their hands are tied if the food isn't great or the IFE doesn't work.
I had read an article or blog recently (probably posted on the whatsapp group) where the writer said 9W seems like a transporter of people from A-B and not an experience. I agree. And the adds plastered on the seats are Rolling Eyes

DXB airport ... Jet 737 next to MEA 330.

Long TR with lots of pictures ..... but thanks for reading.

Last edited by stealthpilot on Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:03 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Location: Never, never land

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Nikhil, thanks for sharing such an awesome TR!
Long TR or not, it was a joy to read, and those JiBes at times, targeted at some specific people hehe Wink

This actually is the first time I'm reading a travel experience from Bandhavgarh: Kanha, Ranthambore and Tadoba, I've been there, while I've read a lot on Pench.

I loved the pictures. All of them. The Nikon family, and those dog pictures really take the biscuit!

Sorry to hear about your bad experiences at times: losing the DL (I got mine yesterday! Razz ), the weird G8 OLCI, the train delays, and the largely underwhelming 9W experience. The checking in of bags is surely a weird issue, while not for the first time, I'm reading about another tough day in the office for the 9W check in chaps at DEL, having experienced that twice already.

Your DEL-DXB plane is either VT-JBW or VT-JBX. They're slowly getting rid of the plastic ad things though.

Once again, thanks for such a well balanced TR, I really should learn, hehe.

PS - GE90s are awesome. Smile

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Posts: 4685
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We always look forward to a stealthpilot TR for the same reasons, each time. Nice backgrounds and introductions, nice descriptions, nice pictures, and above all, exotic places and routings, with innovative planning ideas!
And yes, thanks for the multiple mentions in the TR!
A nice description for the DXB-BLR leg, and the BLR-NAG one as well!
A good update about ricks in Bengaluru. Can something similar happen in Delhi?
Meru email receipts: have been around since quite some time, and are better for reimbursement, since by the time our semi-Govt reimbursement process starts (unlike a GE-90), the thermal printer printout fades out completely. We used to put them beside photocopies of the same, the time the officials (un)concerned get to them, perhaps even the paper would yellow out, and the photocopy would start fading out.
Sorry to hear about the loss of your Driver's Licence: I've lost one as well, at DEL T1-A, and had to make two trips to the Police station to finally get an FIR, wait, and then go to the RTA office in Saket (ugh...), get into an argument with a policeman who refused to accept my semi-Govt organisation photo-ID as a valid photo ID (we get all the heavy baggage of a Govt organisation, but none of the great benefits such as the CGHS coverage, and the importance given to a Govt photo ID!). I finally got my DL after a long wait. And then we shifted residence, rendering one of the basic advantages (address proof on photo ID)...gone.
You did not write anything about food on the BLR-PNQ-NAG trip on G8.
AI 469 is a flight I have taken on many occasions, and I am a bit surprised that the flight was only half-full. I have seen some great loads both ways. Second, your pictures of NAG show the terminal in a fairly good condition, in spite of it being from a different era. I have seen a mixed bag: lack of suitable maintenance, indifference, and some surprisingly good days, where the airport was clean.
No audio: I do not like that at all!
You have an eye for detail: the dual pasted over G8 sticker, the AI Lusaka gaffe, the `multiple times repaired train door handle', the pipsqueak-and-chicks, the information board at HJR ... it was very funny!
I am also satisfied not to see grime marks on the plastic, or tired fabric on the seats. AI's Y-class seat pitch continues to be one of the best in the skies, domestic, as well as international.
The food on AI 469 NAG-RPR-DEL: was perhaps loaded in RPR. The fusion AI dessert...ah, stealthpilot: I would love to try this one!
Nizamuddin Station's CWG'10 facelift made it a passable place (literally as well as figuratively) from the dump it used to be earlier. No, meals are not included in the ticket price. You got a renovated old coach, which was in good condition. Nice! The first class coupe space is awesome.
What awesome wildlife pictures from Bandhavgarh!
What majestic tiger pictures you got, especially the second set!
And what a great collection of photographic equipment! I wish I had some of these, and much more importantly, even if a genie gave them to me, I wish he taught me how to use it as well!
Thank you for some pictures from Khajuraho airport (both land-side, as well as from the plane): I've never been there. That new terminal looks nice: with all the rtourist traffic, I hope they maintain it well, once it is open. I am sorry you missed the JLR opportunity, and one to fly the CR7 `masked bandit'.
A small sandwich on a 35min flight is not bad: I guess the quality was terrible, hence it was worth one bite/byte. the food on the second leg: that chicken roll wrapping looks as long as a take-off roll. What was this about?
``R is normal and doesn't get excited about aircraft food'' Ha ha!
It is sad to see 9W's narrow-body IFE although switched on, is very bad shape. At one time they had the only AVOD IFE in a narrow-body, in the domestic Indian skies.
The dessert description was hilarious, but desserts generally have been good on 9W, over the years.
Jishnu's reply: JiB-es - ha ha!
stealthpilot: thank you once again, it made my day. And cost me a good deal of calories. One samosA, one methI maTThrI, one gujiyA (Holi is near!), and two packets of chips, with one cup of tea. All at office. And to top it all, I got back home late. I hope The Wife does not read (into) this!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful report and your lucky as your wife agreed to all the one hop trips.

The Nagpur airport does take you back in time with the décor looks very sarkari.

Your description of the A1 railway coaches were very apt. Unfortunately India Coach manufacturers lack design element hence you see a hotchpotch of things banged or placed with no design sense. Hopefully with the upgrade to the new “Bombardier” designed coaches we should see more improvement.

The Do and Don’ts at Khajurao airport were hilarious.

Jet video screen is really a hit and miss. In my earlier flights on Jet I have never managed to get anything moving as the screen does not react to touch and one needs to keep banging it constantly and after some time you just give up.

Any idea who is the supplier for Jetscreen?

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Location: BLR, DXB

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:

- Well the only 'bad experience' was the non functioning IFE on 9W. Everything else was ok, may not have been great but wasn't bad. I don't particularly expect the crew to be constantly outstanding (and except for AI crews indifference I thought G8 and 9W were fine) ..... but I do expect IFE to work Wink
- Good news if they're getting rid of those plastic adds.
- Those friendly jibes were targeted at quite a few people .... but not targeted Wink
- Thanks a lot.

sumantra wrote:

- Wow .... thanks.
- I guess I haven't taken a Meru cab in a while, yea it's a nice feature.
- G8 flight and food .... no clue. I didn't eat (was looking forward to the breakfast buffet at the hotel) I did notice the crew roaming up and down but I didn't really bother to check what they offered sorry.
- AI-469 being half full .... must have just been the day. I don't generally look at loads and assume anything (of course neither do most people)
- Yup I found the AI airbus seats to be the most comfortable of the lot.
- Camera equipment, I know zoom and focus (if automatic doesn't work) that's about it Laughing
- That sad looking sandwich on the first 9W flight .... was OK. I didn't write about it because I forgot about it heheheh. The chicken wrapping (you notice everything) the ends were folded over that's why it looks so big.

sri_bom wrote:

- Ya R didn't put up much of a fight with the flights. My next trip in April though she already told me she is flying the direct EK flight and isn't interested in my planned route (which is good.... she can take my luggage if im flying low cost) Razz
- I hear the new train cabins are much nicer. I love long train trips, it's just a hassle in terms of time sometimes.
- I haven't flown 9W 777s in years, but those screens were really nice. I assume it's the same on their 330s. Maybe we were just unlucky with our flights ... but it is weird. No idea who makes them .... out resident encyclopaedias will answer that who.
- Thanks for reading
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3671
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot ! Memories of my bandhavgarh trips were refreshed.
The auto crack down at BLR – I noticed in my recent trip too – pleasant surprise
You have kind of weird routing ! Why do all this when you could have landed at Jabalpur from somewhere and gone to bandhavgarh ? dxb blr pnq nag rpr del – KATNI > !
Interesting you chose a one stop option over direct one for the same fair – G8 does BLR PNQ NAG CCU PAT CCU NAG PNQ BLR while 6E does BLR NAG IDR DEL SXR AND BACK.
Did the pnq-nag leg have better loads since G8 now has best timings for day return after 6E moved their flight

Nice pics of bandhavgarh – which gate did you use ?
Interesting pics of HJR !
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 5031

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superb TR, excellent pictures ... and a very interesting journey by plane, train bus.

Wasn't flying into NAG directly not an option from SHJ?
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 2322
Location: BLR, DXB

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys

ameya wrote:

Well we booked the train down to Katni a while ago and my BLR/NAG plans were only finalised end Jan (when I knew my Feb schedule) so instead changing things around I just built my flights around available dates.
G8 PNQ-NAG loads sorry don't remember Embarassed
We did the Tala and Magadhi gates.

avbuff wrote:

Yup I could have flown SHJ-NAG however a day earlier than planned (it isn't a daily flight) .... but I had a few days off so thought might as well go home for 2 days. But ya I had to weigh the pros (going to BLR) vs the cons (expensive)
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Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 9757
Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely to read this report Nikhil - and glad you + family had a good trip to the Tiger reserve.

The Bangalore ricks are back to their old ways - there was a crackdown some time ago which probably resulted in their cleaning up their act for a little while.
We miss you Nalini!
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