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DEL-BOM on IT308, BOM-DEL on IC166: two pleasant surprises!

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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:29 pm    Post subject: DEL-BOM on IT308, BOM-DEL on IC166: two pleasant surprises! Reply with quote

DEL-BOM on IT308, BOM-DEL on IC166: two pleasant surprises!

This Trip Report is available at the following URL:

Another Mumbai trip! I look forward to visiting tinsel-town each
time I have some work there. Having been a Mumbaikar for six
years, I really love the city, the people, and the amazing work
culture. This time, I had some work in a
non-Government organisation, and hence the option to travel by
any airline. I chose Kingfisher - no, not because of any other
reason. I had some points, which I could use for a trip for The
Wife and Junior (TW and Jr, as they will be referred to, in the
rest of this report). I had some Flying Returns points as well,
which I would use for their return trip. This was our onward

Set out 20 Jan (Thu) for Mumbai from New Delhi
IT 308: Kingfisher Airlines (A321) [Seats: 30E, 30F]
New Delhi (DEL) - Mumbai (BOM)
[11:50 am - 01:55 pm]

I apologise for the relative lack of pictures - I was in a hurry
to show TW and Jr around, and we traversed every nook and corner
of the domestic part of T3, IGI. I was specifically looking
forward to showing them the two ends of the terminal - the Air
India (IC) one, and the private airlines' one. Traffic at this
time of the day was not as much as I would have liked it to be,
and we did not see too many take-offs and landings of interesting
aircraft. The haze made it difficult to appreciate the planes
coming in to land at the latter end, and we only saw planes
taxing in after landing, close-by at the former end. We did make
it to the boarding gate back in time,
but had to go at a fast clip on the way back, for boarding had
been announced. We hopped on to a battery-operated vehicle, and
got the the boarding gate. There is some asymmetry in the
travellator directions in the two parts of the terminal. for the
private airlines part, the travellators only go in the forward
direction - towards the end of the wing. There are no
travellators in the reverse direction, unlike the Air India (IC)
part. We were more relaxed on the return leg, and I took four
snaps with my cell-phone. TW added two more: more on this, later.

We had chosen seats 30E and F, to give us an unrestricted view
out of the window from the Kingfisher A321, with not even the
wing coming close. This was the last-but-one row, and the last
row of reclining seats, if I remember correctly. Jr did not mind
it at all. He excitedly repeated his repertoire of vehicles he
knows about. Sweet lime drinks were served on boarding. Jr was
curious to know what was it that people around him were enjoying.
Liquids are best enjoyed with their contents more on the outside
of the tummy than the inside - at least, that is what his point
of view is. To avoid a sticky situation (both literally as well
as figuratively), TW decided to do some supervised feeding, and
thankfully, Jr did not mind it much.

Captain Sanjeev Sharma was in command. We had a smooth take off
on the new runway 29-11, taking off towards the west, over
Dwarka. Jr busied himself with the IFE controls, and the PTV in
front of TW bore the brunt of constant changes in channels, and
more irritatingly for TW, the volume. The fact that the PTVs can
also be operated using the touch-screen, makes it a bit
troublesome for parents with kids in an exploratory mode.
A trip report from me, so how can food matters be far behind?

A very nice touch was that the cabin crew went about asking
passengers with kids - their meal options, first. The company policy is
nice and considerate - when the food comes, and little stomachs
are full, little minds get rested, and their parents have a
better experience. The same goes for the passengers around them.
After these came in, then the crew went on to
serve other passengers. (I found out that I got categorised into the
`other passengers' list, but did not mind it one bit - so
impressed were we with this little nice gesture.)
I had opted for the veg option, and TW, the non-veg one.
The non-veg option had a very aromatic biriyani, with some nicely
done chicken. The aroma filled the environs just on removing the
cover. TW said that it was really wonderful. The accompanying dal
makhani was also nice. The salad had some spicy apple pieces. But
the piece-de-resistance was the dessert - sevai kheer/payasam,
with generous shreds of dry fruits added. The veg option had a
small paratha/barota, nice long-grained rice, with sweet-corn and
spinach curry on one side, and a dry cauliflower preparation on
the other. TW and I were looking forward to the tea/coffee run
wondering what coffee would be served. We were pleasantly
surprised - it was a nice blend. We also appreciated the gesture
of having milk/sugar sachets with the cabin crew - being handed
out on request, to avoid wastage. Capt Sharma made a smooth
landing on Mumbai's secondary runway 14-32 (as the main runway
was closed, owing to repair and re-carpeting work).

The return trip was to be on Air India (IC). This part of the
itinerary was as follows:

Set out 22 Jan (Sat) for New Delhi from Mumbai
IC 166: Air India (A321) [Seats: xx, xx]
Mumbai (BOM) - New Delhi (DEL)
[01:00 pm - 03:00 pm]

We went to the impressively re-touched Terminal 1A - the Air
India (IC) and Kingfisher terminal. Here is a picture of the
Air India check-in part. I wonder what the chairs are for, in
this in-between region (between the IC and IT check-in areas).

All roads lead to...Roam. We now roamed around the whole of
Terminal 1A, and the nice Terminal 1C. Here is a Jet Airways 738
going towards the secondary runway for take-off.

Here is a picture of the very impressive Terminal 1C, from the 1A
end. The natural lighting, and plants add to the nice ambiance.

Here is one looking in the opposite direction.

We boarded the plane, and Jr was looking all around excitedly.
He did not like the taxiing delays, when the plane stopped after
going forward a bit. The planes all around were a visual treat
for him. The take-off seemed to keep his interest up, as we soared
into the sky from runway 14-32, and went over the sea.
In a first for me (and us, by the way), on Air India (IC), a
member of the cabin crew went about asking meal choices for
people with kids on board. We were pleasantly surprised, since we
had the same treatment on Kingfisher on our onward leg! I have
never seen this before on Air India (IC) - possibly because I
have not sat beside people travelling with kids too often. And on
instances where I have, I have steadfastly refused to give up my
window seat even to a pesky and insistant five year-old. This
speaks volumes about my being adjusting, and general reputation
for being nice with kids - well, as long as you do not opt for my
window seat!

The lunch on the way back had rice with a parantha as the
cereal-based staple. I again went in for the veg option, owing to
some dietary restrictions. There was a sweet corn and spinach
preparation on one side, and a cabbage dry curry on the left. The
two temporal sides of the meal had the salad bowl, and a nice
Gulab Jamun. TW opted for the non-veg one, which had a nice
aromatic chicken curry. Jr was in a nice mood, and did not mind
us eating around (as long as he did not have to eat something, he
is usually in a good mood).

The IFE movie selection was not nice: both the Kingfisher flight
(DEL-BOM), as well as this IC flight (BOM-DEL) had a horribly
slapstick Boman-Akshay-Reitesh-Deepika potboiler, which I have
had the misfortune of being forced to watch some quips of, on a
flight before, as well. TW noticed this, and was in complete
agreement with me (which was nice, else the temporal progress, or
regress, shall we say, of the ensuing argument eventually boils
down to pin-pointing my lack of taste, proof of which is my
liking the slapstick Rowan Atkinson-starrer `Johnny English'.)
Anyway, I felt I was getting senile, since I not only watched the
Rajani-Aish potboiler `Entheeran-The Robot', shockingly enough,
I found myself liking it, too.

Since Jr would not allow me to do any academic
work, I took refuge in other channels, one of which was showing
some very old comedy clips - of the silent era. This was both
entertaining, as well as interesting. Jr did not mind it a bit!
On the other leg of the journey, I had watched `Highway on my
Plate' - the glutton that I am. This was a nice trip, which
culminated in a very smooth landing at DEL.

As we went towards the designated gate, I saw an aircraft that I
find `quite interesting' in Air India colours, what I refer to as
the `masked bandit'. TW has always wondered at my fascination for
this slightly weird-looking aircraft. When I happened to murmur
the word at the sight of such a plane beside us, TW decided to
click it on her cellphone. Now that Air India prominently
announces that cellphones can be used after the aircraft exits
from the active runway, TW decided to seize the moment.

Before Jr got hold of her cellphone camera and demanded its use,
TW managed to click a picture of the gate beside the one we were
heading towards:

Thank you for reading!
Links to my previous TRs, in reverse chronological order:
5. DEL-MAA on IC439, MAA-DEL on IC802

4. DEL-PNQ on IC849, PNQ-DEL on IC850

3. DEL-MAA on IC429 (A321), MAA-DEL on IC7602 (CRJ7)


1. IGI T3, AI 314 DEL-HKG and AI 311 HKG-DEL
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Location: Indian Ocean

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers for another neat TR Sumantra. Smile

With regard to children being fed before adults on Kingfisher, this was the case on their Red flights as well, both on the Airbus and the ATR before they decided to do away with meals on the LCC.
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Location: MAA/AMD

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely TR Sumantra! Loved reading it! Great to see AI provide good service on this trunk route! How were the loads on both sectors?

The planes all around were a visual treat for him.

An enthusiast already! Way to go Sumantra Junior! Very Happy

thanks a lot for sharing again! Smile

pS: i absolutely LOVED johnny english! Wink
Causal Determinism : We are hardwired to need answers. The Caveman who heard a rustle in the bushes and checked out to see what it was, lived longer than the guy, who assumed it was just a breeze.

- Greg House
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Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great trip report!

How was the ground handling for AI vs. IT? Baggage arrived on time/ queues at check in etc.?
We miss you Nalini!
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

- Duplicate post deleted -

Last edited by sumantra on Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Varun, Rishul and Nimish - thanks for taking time off from your schedules to go through the details, and write your appreciative comments! I will try to answer each point, below.
But first, a postscript:

I guess this now explains the hieroglyphs on our TV set.
Jr must have been wondering why our TV did not respond to touch,
just like the PTVs on Kingfisher and Air India do.
Neither can you change the channel, nor can you make random
changes in volume.
He took some crayons in his hand, and proceeded to undertake the
`writing on the wall' rather, the TV set.
The result?
The Wife (TW) noticed this, and no, the changes in her volume and
pitch were not random. They showed a monotonically increasing
trend, resulting in what physicists call, a coupled system.
A little voice, whose pitch and loudness, also showed a
proportional monotonic increase.
Note the cause.
This is the voice every husband knows. And dreads.

Spiderguy wrote:

The preference-to-mummys-with-kids was new to both TW as well as
Yours Truly. Both Jr and TW have done the DEL-BLR segment on
Kingfisher before, and we did not notice anything special then.
Is this a recent phenomenon?
Most of our flights on Kingfisher were in 2008 and early 2009, with one in 2010 as well. I guess I haven't noticed it on flights which I took (without TW
and Jr along) - I have done the DEL-BLR, DEL-IXC and DEL-CCU
segments a very large number of times. But then, as I wrote, I
haven't really sat next to children, and in one occasion when I
did, I steadfastly held onto my window seat.

me111993 wrote:
How were the loads on both sectors?

Rishul: With TW and Jr along with me, I did not do my usual `head
count' in the plane. So, I cannot really vouch for the loads.
More so, since TW was concerned about the loads making their way
into my tummy. `Tummy ki suno, yaa Mummy ki', to misquote the
Knorr soups advertisement on TV.
Both flights were moderately full: I'd say around 70-75%.
The reason is I guess, the segment (DEL-BOM), and in the latter
case, this is the last flight before the 4 hour gap in flights:
the next flight is the 5pm one.

me111993 wrote:
An enthusiast already! Way to go Sumantra Junior!

Jr has always had an interest in planes. On a
Mumbai trip in August 2010, he noticed landings and take-offs on
the active runway 27-09 with some level of interest.
Soon, we found him playing with his toy
planes, which landed with the main landing gear touching down
first, and then the nose landing gear; and the reverse taking
place on take-offs. Aerodynamically, this would have been a
nightmare for his toy planes, since most of them have a wing or
tail missing, or at least one wheel.

Nimish wrote:
How was the ground handling for AI vs. IT? Baggage arrived on time/ queues at check in etc.?

I did not notice anything different in the ground handling. Jr in
a good mood usually elicits smiles, and coochie-coos from the
check-in counter - usually ladies, mind you.
I guess he has started early in this respect.
And beats his Papa hands down.
I really hope he does not do what I managed to do once.
I have had quite an incident when I was about 2 years old.
I have brought a plane down.
Safely, thankfully.
This was a LHR-DEL flight (a BOAC VC-10!), when I developed very
high fever aboard the flight, and developed delirium.
(As an aside, TW says that I talk rot even when I do not have
high fever)
The captain requested for permission to land at Tel Aviv (yes,
those were troubled times for the Middle East), and a team of
doctors rushed in, and stuck a syringe in my posterior.
The shrieks increased as a result,
but this was thankfully the storm before the lull.
All was well, later on.
Back to the baggage part on IT308/IC166.
We did not manage to get priority tags on either leg, but at BOM,
the luggage came out relatively quickly. At DEL, this had the
usual little T3 delay, but all was well within limits.
Of Jr's tolerance, more than anything else!

Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report, specially when the central character is you little one.
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot, Sri Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.
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