While in India, one of our smaller trips was to Bangalore to meet my maternal grandmother who is nearing close to 90 and also to meet an uncle who is suffering from a double whammy of Alzheimer’s as well as Parkinson’s!
The four of us plus my mum were supposed to be taking IndiGo both ways, with us taking the 12:30 flight from Mumbai, reaching Bangalore around 2:15. The new airport in Bangalore is very, very far away from the city and to get to anywhere in the city is at least a 90 minute drive, this is assuming the horrendous traffic that Bangalore is famous for is clear and non-existent at that point! We’d planned for a two hour drive to my aunt’s place which is in one of the outer suburbs, the other side of the airport and which should take around 70 – 80 minutes at that time of the day and had expected to reach latest by 4 pm. We’d also arranged for a taxi to pick us up at the airport.
In the morning, while getting ready to leave, I got a message from the airline that the flight had been retimed to an hour later than it was supposed to leave. Though it was irritating, we shrug it off and changed our plans accordingly. We left around 10:30 which should get us to the airport around 11:15, which would be well in time for the 1:30 pm flight. On the way to the airport I received two messages from the airlines – one after the other, which now changed the flight’s departure time to 4 pm!
I was thus, quite upset when I reached the check-in counter. The person who checked us in told me that it was a technical problem and he could check us into the next flight to Bangalore which left at 3:45 pm. When asked, he said there was no guarantee that our scheduled 12:30 flight would make it at 4 pm, but the 3:45 flight was assured to leave on time. So we did the change and spoke to my dad. My dad was by that time not interested in us going to the city, he wanted us to cancel the tickets, get a refund and return home. My mum, on the other hand wanted to meet her mum, sisters and brothers-in-law. Around 3 pm, when we were waiting to start the boarding process, I got another message from the airline saying the 3:45 flight had now been postponed to 5:30 pm.
At this point, I completely lost it! The boarding gate area at this point was resembling a small town bus stand with passengers all over the place. The domestic airport didn’t even have decent places to eat and we were hungry, bored and super angry. I then went to the airline counter and spoke to one of the supervisors. What she told me was a completely different story from what the check-in guy told me. Her story was that since all their flights originate in the northern part of India and that part was fogged up, all flights were running 3-4 hours late, there was no technical problem at all!
Then me and another lady who had to get to Bangalore also urgently spoke to her and when I told her what I was told while checking in, she decided to get it reconfirmed. That was a lie I was told initially. Then that sweet lady (I did write down her name, but now I can’t find the paper) told us she will put us back in my original flight (the 12:30 one) which was now going to land shortly and depart for Bangalore at 5:30 pm.
We (the five of us plus the two of them) then were led out of the security area and had to re-checkin for the 5:30 flight. Clear security once again and then start the wait all over again. We finally got in the bus to get to the aircraft around 5:15 pm and when we reached the aircraft, we saw that all the passengers had not disembarked. What we saw made everyone on that bus comment again! We saw groups of people who used the gangway to take photos and selfies! This sheer selfishness of people really threw me away! These people have also been delayed by 3-4 hours and they know this flight has to go to another destination, yet they spend, nay waste precious moments taking pictures that they can do outside the plane.
We finally boarded and the flight left around 6 pm. We reached Bangalore around 7:15 and got to my aunt’s place at 9 pm! What was roughly a 6 hour journey door-to-door became an almost 12 hour one!
The return journey was nothing like what I wrote above! It was a breeze and what IndiGo is renowned for and we made it home by 3 pm (We had taken the same 12:30 flight from Bangalore to Mumbai)!
This is one trip that none of us are going to forget in a hurry I am sure!