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Mostly Indoors, in Indore

 
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4482
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:01 am    Post subject: Mostly Indoors, in Indore Reply with quote

Mostly Indoors, in Indore: AI634: DEL-IDR and AI633: IDR-DEL on AI

This trip report can be found at the following URL:
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11533.html

This was to be an official trip for a huge group of colleagues to
Indore, all with really heavy check-in baggage (trunks, to be
precise). We were 43 people in all, and the loads were expected
to be heavy - both on the flights, as well as in the plane's
entrails! We were travelling `On India Government Service'.
As we roamed around (`all roads lead to roam') IGI T3, we came
across this very representative mannequin at one of the shops.



This is representative of - both the prices, as well as the
competition, both being cut-throat!
Here is a view from one of my favourite viewing positions: which
comes just after going up the slight ramp, and turning left into
the Air India wing. This is a very common big
brother-younger brother scene - an Air India A321 in front, with
an A319 behind. Way behind on the remote stand is an Air India
Regional ATR-42, in the new Flying Swan livery.



The journey started off with me trying to contact a colleague,
who lives in the next building. I had tried to get to him on the
phone, but was not successful in the venture, as an elderly
gentleman had picked up the phone and told me in broken English,
that he had gone to drop a relative at the railway station.
The Wife (`TW', to the reader
familiar with my scheme of things) had rung up at his place after
some while (I was busy in some other work), to be told that he
was `on the upper floor', and would take some time.
Let us refer to him as Mr. Philos Offer.
Our start towards the airport was delayed a bit. that allowed a
huffing and puffing Mr. Philos Offer (thank God, he did not
blow, or bring the house down) to come in, and join the team.
We had a very practical and quick-thinking person in our group,
too - let us refer to him as Mr. Frederick Foresight. Mr.
Foresight will appear in future trip reports too, as I have made a
few trips with him.

Our plane was VT-SCA, the first A319 (leased) for Indian
Airlines. I was expecting a new A319 with PTVs, since this was a
flight on the DEL-BOM segment. No, not just this, the seats were
the old dark blue colour. Not that I mind the old Indian Airlines
colour - the seats or the wallpaper were not the Indian Airlines
ones. The seats just happened to be dark blue, without the Indian
Airlines pattern on them. The seats on this leased plane, and the
wallpaper, had been kept as such, without any change. Well, it
was neat and clean, however. This would be my first flight on
VT-SCA (and my first aboard VT-SCC on the return leg, as well). I
have travelled quite a bit on VT-SCD, and once on VT-SCB. The
rest of my Air India flights on A319s have been on the new planes
with the PTVs. Captain Kedar Vaidya was in command, and I counted
only 7 seats empty on the all-economy-configured A319.
This is a real hopping flight, DEL-BHO-IDR-BOM.
I wonder - are the loads usually excellent on
this flight, or did it have something to do with the 43
passengers travelling in both directions, `On India Government
Service', on an A319, in all-economy configuration?
Here are two pictures inside VT-SCA: the first shows the bulkhead
position.



The second shows the seats in detail, looking across. I had been
one of the first to board, and got this rather empty-looking
plane shot. As mentioned above, this plane was to fill up
rapidly!



The food on board was to be a snack. The main course was a
Rumali-roti wrap/`Bombay Frankie'. The cover was a very thin and
soft Rumali roti, called so because of the similarity in
thickness to a handkerchief (`Rumaal' in Hindi/Urdu), but made
out of highly refined flour (maida), instead of the usual wheat
flour (atta). Inside it was a spectacular concoction of finely
chopped carrots, tomato, capsicum, onions, and small pieces of
cottage cheese (paneer), which had been lightly tossed in oil.
There were no spices at all.
This done just right: the onion shreds tasted neither raw, nor
were they fried deep, brown and hard. The cooking
preserved the colour of the onion without getting it brown.
The accompaniments included a sachet of tomato sauce/ketchup,
(which I started off with, and quickly finished - why? read
ahead!), and a nice white chutney. This had a light mayonnaise
base, was soft and milky, with a gentle hint of vinegar.
This was just heavenly, and complemented the Rumali-roti wrap
very well. The sauce/ketchup would have overwhelmed the subtle
flavours of the filling. This was quite filling!
The dessert was a piece of cake. Literally, so.
Not a sinful brownie, but a piece of cake.
This was slightly sweet, with very little butter/oil/clarified
butter (ghee). This was a bit dry (which others also noticed,
including the food connoisseur Mr. Frederick Foresight), but
quite tasty. A nice coffee rounded off the mini-meal - this was
quite strong, and certainly not the run-of-the-mill Nescafe. It
was also served in the old-style Indian Airlines tall jar, and
not the more recent rounded and plain-jane design jars.

The touchdown into Bhopal was a very soft one, and we were on the
ground for approximately 40 minutes. We had landed on the runway
30-12. The new terminal building seemed to be taking shape
nicely. Having a cellphone camera isn't quite nice, except for
broad daylight. I clicked a pic, and the overall darkness
punctuated by saturated dots of bright lights did not bode well
for public viewing. I was to click a picture of the said
terminal on the way back.
The load factor was maintained throughout. and I counted
only 5 empty seats on the plane (one was right next to me!).

Set out 08 Apr (Fri) for Indore from New Delhi
AI 634: Air India (A319) [Seat: 3F]
IGI T3, New Delhi - Raja Bhoj Airport, Bhopal -
Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, Indore -
New Delhi (DEL) - Bhopal (BHO) - Indore (IDR)
[06:00 pm - 07:15 pm; 07:50 pm - 08:35 pm]

We landed on runway 25-07 at Indore. Though this landing was not
as smooth as the previous one, it wasn't too bad, either.
I was in the front of the plane, on seat 3F, and it was only
after 42 of us deplaned, that we realised that one team member
was nowhere to be seen. Yes, it was the same gentleman who had
come in late, Mr. Philos Offer. We joked around, wondering which
upper floor he could be in, on the plane.
``Ah come on, it is only 20 minutes since we have deplaned - we
need to wait for a good 20 minutes more'', said another colleague.
``Ah, he has some work in Mumbai, actually.''
``Oh - I cannot take his heavy load: his trunks, I mean, the
steel ones,'' said another.
Mr. Philos Offer made an appearance, all of a sudden.
He was looking sheepish.
And sleepy.
He had dozed off sometime after the plane took off from Bhopal,
and on the 30-odd minute flight, had fallen asleep, in the true
sense of the term. The smooth landing of Captain Vaidya
did not help him wake up - he work up when the baggage
identification check was being performed by an Air India
official. He recounted this story to us as the trunks started
coming in, on one of the two baggage belts at IDR.

We were put up in Hotel Fortune Landmark, in Indore.
The bar and lounge would have their own dedicated patrons, and
Mr. Frederick Foresight mentioned this to me. This bar and lounge
had an interesting name - `Nostradamus'! If evil spirits engulfed
a patron inside, it would be ominous, as well as...omenous!
In spite of the name, many unpredictable things could happen to
patrons, Mr. Frederick Foresight and I decided to keep our
pockets and their contents, intact, and be tea-totallers: totally
depend on tea as a beverage, rather than one with specific
gravity less than one.

What did we see in Indore? Not much - as the title of this report
indicates. One was the Temple of Mirrors, the `Kaanch Mandir', as
it is called. Photography inside is prohibited: here is a shot of
the exquisite outside:



Here is a nice haveli, or old-style large palatial house, just
beside the Kaanch Mandir:



The Chhatris, or cenotaphs of the Holkar family, lie beside a
small stream. Here are two pictures at that site:





In a brief dash across the city, we went past the Holkar City
Palace (This was was closed, unfortunately):



and a nice clock-tower:



The night before we set out back from Delhi, Mr. Philos Offer had
announced that he was extremely tired, and would hit the bed.
He may have, but then he hit us with a sudden piece of
information, which had us in a spot of bother. More about it,
soon. Our sub-group of two was joined by Mr. Frederick Foresight,
and a very senior colleague, whom we shall refer to as Mr. Physiques.
For what? Food for Thought, of course. Dinner.
At dinner, the discussion shifted between an IPL match going on,
our heavy steel trunks to carry back,
and the state of the current generation of Engineering students.
Mr. Physiques lamented that the quality was showing a
monotonically decreasing temporal trend, which shocked and
disappointed him. The current crop of students did not think -
they were good at problem-solving, and just that. He cited an
example of a lab session, when he asked students the wavelength
of red light. No student even got the order of magnitude right.
Ignorance of one's Ignorance is bliss, I decided, since I did not
have much of a clue, either. Not one to miss out on the
opportunity, I suggested a reason for the same. I said, ``Sir,
you should not have stopped at asking them the wavelength of
red-coloured light. They would have got moving had you asked them
about green.'' Not wanting to shift the colour of my trunks (the
non-steel ones, that is) to peak around the 650 nanometre range,
I quickly changed the topic. We had a pleasing dinner: methi
malai curry (a heavenly concoction of Fenugreek and sinful milk
cream), raita, curd, and then headed off towards a `matka
kulfi' seller by the side of the road. Now, given the
well-rounded middle that I have (which rather looked like a cool
matka in itself), I gave in to temptation yet again.
Quite satisfied, I went back to the hotel room, and prepared for
a very early morning take-off from the bed, a quick bombing run,
back to base. I started my packing, but my thoughts were sent
packing by a phone call from Mr. Philos Offer. No, not just was
he up, he took my sleep away when he announced at 11:30pm that he
had misplaced his ticket. He did not have any copy - either
in electronic form, or on paper. He had his e-ticket number and a
PNR (which was incorrect, by the way), and nothing else.
And we were to set out a few hours later, for Delhi.
We did.
At the Devi Ahilyabai Airport at Indore (the old terminal), the
Air India counter had not opened till then. The others went in,
hoping to put in his details to the check-in counter, and get his
boarding pass, which we could pass to him outside. After an
anxious 15 minutes (at both ends of the entrance), parallel
processing happened. We got a boarding pass, and he came in
beaming with a copy of his ticket - the Air India counter had
opened by then, and he was in luck. Mr. Frederick Foresight had
suggested that he could have got the information from Air India
itself (of course, if he could get to the call centre number,
from his cellphone. Somehow, the toll-free 1-800-180-1407 is not
easily accessible from one's cellphone. Of course, the landline
option was there.).

AI 633 was the earlier IC 133 - BOM-IDR-BHO-DEL (sometime even
further back, was GWL also a part of this itinerary?) In 2002,
once I was supposed to do BOM-DEL: I had chosen this flight just
to partake of Indian Airlines's possibly three snack rounds on
this flight. This was the pre-recession period, and the Indian
Airlines food was excellent in both quantity as well as quality
(thankfully, the quality has not deteriorated!). Anyway, back to
the proposed IC 133 flight in 2002. In my excitement looking
forward to the flight, I reached the Mumbai airport very early,
and I was cajoled by the Indian Airlines check-in agent, into
taking the earlier BOM-DEL flight, which had a good empty window
seat available. This time, I was to catch the same flight, this
time on an A319, this time from IDR.

Here is a picture of the airside waiting hall at the airport:



Set out 11 Apr (Mon) for New Delhi from Indore
AI 633: Air India (A319) [Seat: 1F]
Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, Indore -
Raja Bhoj Airport, Bhopal - IGI T3, New Delhi
Indore (IDR) - Bhopal (BHO) - New Delhi (DEL)
[07:50 am - 08:30 am; 09:05 am - 10:20 am]

I was in seat 1F, a first for me in an Air India A319. This plane
was VT-SCC, in the new `Indian' colours. A leased bird. The
leg-space was quite nice, and I was able to work on my laptop on
the BHO-DEL segment, with ease. Captain Narang was in command.
The loads were excellent on this segment - most of the seats were
full, as far as I could see. The seat covers in VT-SCC were in the
new Air India colours. Here is a picture of the amazing amount of
leg-space:



We took off from runway 25 in IDR, onward to BHO.
We had a smooth touchdown after a 30 minute flight, into Bhopal.
We landed on runway 30-12 in BHO. A 9W ATR took off a short while
after we landed, and this took off from runway 12-30. There was
another 9W ATR 12-30 takeoff, followed by a Cessna C-172 takeoff
and landing on 12-30.
Here is the Cessna, with the new terminal at BHO visible behind.
Appall-ogies at the appalling quality - this is a cellphone
picture, with its associated saturation, and colour bleed.



...and the Jet Airways ATR-72 taxiing out:



However, by the time our plane was ready to
take off, the wind direction had changed again, and we took off
from runway 30-12, and banked left. The IDR-BHO segment did not
have any food, so the glutton that I am, I was looking forward to
the BHO-DEL segment. Captain Narang had made a very smooth
touch-down at Bhopal, and my pleased mind was now looking forward
to some food, after the 40 minute halt at Bhopal. The loads were
again, excellent, and most seats were full.

The snacks had been loaded in Mumbai itself. There was a
croissant with butter and preserves, and a nice fruit bowl having
a mousambi (`sweet lemon') slice, a candied cherry, a black
currant (the grape was not sour), and three pieces of the nice
variety of papaya which is available in Mumbai. I then opened the
main box, and was surprised, since my smell sensors had not
detected this. The box had two small vadas on one end (`medhu
vada', as Mumbaikars call it), two min-utthapa(m)s at the other,
and in between, was something dull. Yes, more Dal, than Sambhar.
I can understand the need for the concoction to be relatively
thick. This had the sour element primarily coming from tomatoes,
there was a curry leaf, but no touch of tamarind, or any seasonal
vegetable, as one would expect in a Sambhar. The meal was topped
off with a very ordinary instant coffee (yes, unmistakably
Nescafe, and that too, served from the new-style simplistic jugs,
rather than the old-style contoured ones). The service was nice,
with two senior ladies doing the duties up front - cheerfully,
and efficiently.

The landing at DEL was not too bad either, though it paled in
comparison with the landing at BHO, which we barely felt. This
time, we landed on runway 11-29 that is, from the Dwarka side. We
got out on a taxiway which took us close to the `Kingfisher
gates' on the arrivals and departures side of T3.

We got a gate close to the mudras gallery, and 43 of us reached
the baggage belt quickly. The luggage came in relatively fast,
and I thus concluded my second trip to Indore.
---
Links to my previous TRs, in reverse chronological order:

8. Inter-metro Shuttling on AI: DEL-BOM on AI810, BOM-DEL on AI888
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11449.html

7. On the cusp: DEL-BOM on IC863, BOM-DEL on AI660
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11160.html

6. DEL-BOM on IT308, BOM-DEL on IC166
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10986.html

5. DEL-MAA on IC439, MAA-DEL on IC802
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10809.html

4. DEL-PNQ on IC849, PNQ-DEL on IC850
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10510.html

3. DEL-MAA on IC429 (A321), MAA-DEL on IC7602 (CRJ7)
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10401.html

2. DEL-NAG-NDC, NDC-BOM-DEL on G8
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10169.html

1. IGI T3, AI 314 DEL-HKG and AI 311 HKG-DEL
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10018.html
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Nimish
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Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 9755
Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report, though I was left intrigued with the need for 43 colleagues to travel together with heavy "trunks" at that! I think the last time I used a trunk was about 20 years ago while going to my engineering college for the first time... I can't imagine using a trunk now, given how we've got used to wheeled bags that we can carry around ourselves.

Of course AI with it's milk runs seem to do well on this route!
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the appreciation, Nimish.
The sealed steel trunks have examination material, and even though most important examinations in the country have changed to an objective-type format, and many have been made on-line, we still have a vast number of places in the country which do not have electricity, forget the Internet. Such examinations cannot be totally decentralised either, since confidentiality and security are important issues involved.
The only workable solutions do not earn the Government too many carbon credits!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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GuyFromBOM
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Posts: 544
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR, Sumnatra..!

The new terminal at Bhopal resembles a venue at the forthcoming London 2012 : View here

sumantra wrote:
The sealed steel trunks have examination material, and even though most important examinations in the country have changed to an objective-type format, and many have been made on-line, we still have a vast number of places in the country which do not have electricity, forget the Internet. Such examinations cannot be totally decentralised either, since confidentiality and security are important issues involved.
The only workable solutions do not earn the Government too many carbon credits!


Any idea what department these answer sheets belonged to..? I am expecting a few results as well..! Rolling Eyes
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Nimish
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Posts: 9755
Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
The sealed steel trunks have examination material, and even though most important examinations in the country have changed to an objective-type format, and many have been made on-line, we still have a vast number of places in the country which do not have electricity, forget the Internet. Such examinations cannot be totally decentralised either, since confidentiality and security are important issues involved.


Ah - now it suddenly makes sense! Good break for the academics I guess, or is this considered a punishment gig?
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jasepl
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report - thanks. Are you required to fly AI when travelling for government work?

sumantra wrote:
I then opened the main box, and was surprised, since my smell sensors had not detected this. The box had two small vadas on one end (`medhu vada', as Mumbaikars call it), two min-utthapa(m)s at the other, and in between, was something dull.

Medu vada in Bombay usually! And I haven't eaten those in a long time... Now I'm craving hot vada and chutney!
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words, Hiren and Jason!

GuyFromBOM wrote:
The new terminal at Bhopal resembles a venue at the forthcoming London 2012

It is interesting that quote a few of the new airports coming up in the country - most of them (if not all) being built by the AAI - conform to this rolling wave top, and a steel-and-glass facade design. I guess Alex of A.net (abrelosojos) would have to coin a new term, after his earlier famous IADS: Indian Airport Design School abbreviation! Many airports now have new terminals - some have come up, some are in the process. Some I have seen include MAA, CCU, BHO, RPR, PNQ, TRZ and IXM.

GuyFromBOM wrote:
Any idea what department these answer sheets belonged to..? I am expecting a few results as well..! Rolling Eyes

No, Hiren - from what I have read about you on this forum, candidates in this examination would be much younger than you!

jasepl wrote:
Are you required to fly AI when travelling for government work?


Jason - in most cases, yes. About a decade back, this was the norm, so is it now. In the interim period, there was a relaxed rule wherein one could choose any airline whose ticket cost was less than or equal to the Air India fare, if it took the same route. To fly other airlines e.g., in cases where Air India does not fly to a particular destination - the rules force one to take tickets through Air India (this is obviously at higher rates, in higher booking classes in Economy for instance). The rule book also states that permission has to be sought from higher authorities in one's organisation for taking a non-Air India flight - this is having the ticketing done not through Air India, but with the actual carrier itself. I have managed to fly quite a few carriers - British Airways, SAS, Cathay, Aeroflot and all the (horrid) `legacy' (whatever this means) American carriers (except US Airways, perhaps the scum of the lot) Northwest Orient and later Northwest, Delta, American Airlines, Continental, and United; and domestically, Sahara, Jet, Kingfisher, Indigo, GoAir and Spicejet - in addition to the erstwhile Indian Airlines and the erstwhile Air India, and Air India Regional.
On Air India, I have experienced the odd rude and obnoxious`Scary Aunty' (to borrow your words), but overall, my experiences have been more positive than otherwise - in the last decade. (The financial mess the organisation is in, and the burden on the exchequer is a different matter, altogether.) I have also flown Air India during the period one had a choice - for the simple reason that I may not be able to afford an Air India ticket otherwise (Air India tickets are often not the cheapest option in Economy - though there are exceptions from time-to-time). Why do I often choose Air India when I have a choice, or even I have permission to fly other airlines? The food, for one. Excellent mileage accrual and very liberal redemption options. (Kingfisher also scores high on my list for similar reasons). In my trip reports, you may see a smattering of quite a few carriers here and there - in addition to Air India.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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GuyFromBOM
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Why do I often choose Air India when I have a choice, or even I have permission to fly other airlines? The food, for one. Excellent mileage accrual and very liberal redemption options.


+1
Couldn't agree more..! AIC & KFA allow earning & redemption onto virtually every flight operated by their group. This is not the case with the Jet-clan.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nimish wrote:
Ah - now it suddenly makes sense! Good break for the academics I guess, or is this considered a punishment gig?

Nice way to put it, Nimish Smile
Interestingly enough, this is completely voluntary. I had avoided all this for close to a decade. In many cases, one can opt for duty either in the city and its environs, or to some far-flung places, reachable either by road, or air. Some algorithm is used, based on previous records, choices, and seniority, and one gets the decision. I have sometimes got my choice, on other occassions, I have not been so lucky. Some lucky occassions have, and will result in, trip reports Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.
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jasepl
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
On Air India, I have experienced the odd rude and obnoxious`Scary Aunty' (to borrow your words), but overall, my experiences have been more positive than otherwise - in the last decade. (The financial mess the organisation is in, and the burden on the exchequer is a different matter, altogether.) I have also flown Air India during the period one had a choice - for the simple reason that I may not be able to afford an Air India ticket otherwise (Air India tickets are often not the cheapest option in Economy - though there are exceptions from time-to-time). Why do I often choose Air India when I have a choice, or even I have permission to fly other airlines? The food, for one. Excellent mileage accrual and very liberal redemption options. (Kingfisher also scores high on my list for similar reasons). In my trip reports, you may see a smattering of quite a few carriers here and there - in addition to Air India.
Cheers, Sumantra.


Thanks for that. My experiences on AI - in the air, have ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime; usually somewhere in between. But on the ground they just got unacceptably bad at some point and that's when I decided enough was enough. Until then, I used to swear by AI, and I wasn't the only one. There were so many people who effectively mimicked the sarkari diktat: AI as far as they can take you and then change to another airline if needed. Not the case so much anymore.

Indian Airlines, on the other hand, I have no problem with. I'm probably going to Hyderabad soon. And I will likely take IC over IT (crap timings) or 9W (avoid 737s) or AI (goes to Sahar) or SG (avoid 737s and crap timings) or Indigo (crap timings).

And the AI/IC aunties may be scary to look at, but they do know how to do their job (when they could be bothered to do it). A far better option than the clueless giggling schoolgirls on many other airlines, or the kowtowing geisha girls on others.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jasepl wrote:

And the AI/IC aunties may be scary to look at, but they do know how to do their job (when they could be bothered to do it).

Nicely put, Jason. To add to your points: when it comes to taking care of elderly Indians and young kids on board, more often than not, I have seen service which is simply exemplary. As regards the experience on the ground, I have had some surprisingly good experiences - both on the erstwhile AI, as well as the current airline. Most of these have been at BOM and DEL (I must add EWR and LHR to the list), however - I have read absolute horror stories of the ground staff in the Gulf, and some other places. Of course, I have always flown Economy, so I cannot comment on either the J or the F experience (and there have been a few negative trip reports on some fora, as well). This includes getting a seat on a fairly full alternate flight since I was travelling on `Government Service', and being called back because a bag had opened by the time it had almost reached the aircraft. The latter incident was particularly touching, as the senior gentleman who had checked me in - somehow tracked me down in the security line, got all my bags back (including the one which had opened up), just so that I could re-pack my things in a way which I considered best. This incident brought tears to my eyes - he could have simply ignored it, or have a large plastic bag enclose the offending piece (the way I have seen things usually handled).
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PAL@YWG
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:37 am    Post subject: Re: Mostly Indoors, in Indore Reply with quote

Quote:
The main course was a
Rumali-roti wrap/`Bombay Frankie'. The cover was a very thin and
soft Rumali roti, called so because of the similarity in
thickness to a handkerchief (`Rumaal' in Hindi/Urdu), but made
out of highly refined flour (maida), instead of the usual wheat
flour (atta). Inside it was a spectacular concoction of finely
chopped carrots, tomato, capsicum, onions, and small pieces of
cottage cheese (paneer), which had been lightly tossed in oil.
There were no spices at all.
This done just right: the onion shreds tasted neither raw, nor
were they fried deep, brown and hard. The cooking
preserved the colour of the onion without getting it brown.
The accompaniments included a sachet of tomato sauce/ketchup,
(which I started off with, and quickly finished - why? read
ahead!), and a nice white chutney. This had a light mayonnaise
base, was soft and milky, with a gentle hint of vinegar.
This was just heavenly, and complemented the Rumali-roti wrap
very well. The sauce/ketchup would have overwhelmed the subtle
flavours of the filling. This was quite filling!

Well Sumantra, you may be an academician but who is this culinary expert?
I thoroughly enjoyed your satirical style, it made the report all the more interesting. Keep writing!
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Mr. Pal, though I can be hardly called that! However, I am, and have been a glutton from the time I have memories. I do not have your enthusiasm for exotic routings, your seize-the-moment-photography skills, or your lovely arrangement of boarding passes in a hand-of-cards-manner (a masterpiece!) instead of simply airbrushing or colouring out your name, or your nice descriptive skills...so, in the midst of some aviation-related description and some brief around-the-place descriptions, creeps in something which has me overweight by some 10 kilos or so.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sumantara an excellent report once again. Liked all the characters on this trip report.

What was interesting to note was that your organization allows 43 staff to travel on the same aircraft. In my organization as well as most multinational companies there is a strict rule of not more than 2 to 3 people from the same team or not more than 2 senior executives from the leadership team. This as you may know is to ensure that their is a team to carry out the duties incase if any serious incident with the aircraft.

Sri_Bom
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your appreciation, Srinivas! Well, all-eggs-in-one-basket (or whatever that means!) is the Government norm here. Given the time and effort constraints of a small team trying to keep this afloat, I guess this is perhaps the best solution, given the constraints, and the scale of operations!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great report as usual. I love the way you describe the in flight meals. BTW, I have fond memories of VT-SCA. This was the first aircraft I flew on with my wife after my marriage. That was around Christmas 2005 on a BOM-BLR flight.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Himmat - that is a piece of information I will recount each time I see VT-SCA! Food has always been a passion for me (my rapidly growing middle portion echoes its assent as I type this). Thanks a lot for your kind words - it really feels nice!
With warm regards,
Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great TR Sumantra! Thanks for posting!
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Rishul! By the way, it has been quite some time since you posted a trip report!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and Rishul, yes - my next trip report will cover a Bhopal trip, on your favourite airline!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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stealthpilot
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one- thanks
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Captain!
-Sumantra.
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Spiderguy252
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent report once again, Sumantra. It's been a while since I posted one myself, and I should find the time to write one shortly. Smile

Is VT-SCA in the interim 'Indian' livery still? Or has it been painted to reflect the 'Flying Swan' scheme?
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Varun! Yes, we were missing your trip reports - sure, we look forward to them! I do not know about VT-SCA's current apparel. However, given Air India's financial state, I doubt if we will see too many repaint jobs, unless the plane has to go in for a heavy maintenance check. The only planes that seem to have been repainted are some old 320s, and a few ATR-42s. Some 320s are still in the old Indian Airlines scheme, one may still be in the interim Indian scheme, and a few ATR-42s are in the old Alliance Air colours. This is from what I have seen at DEL in the past few months.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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