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DEL-CCU -DEL: This November on Kingfisher and IndiGo

 
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PAL@YWG
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 438
Location: YWG, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:23 pm    Post subject: DEL-CCU -DEL: This November on Kingfisher and IndiGo Reply with quote

Like previous years, I started feeling homesick as soon as the temperature started falling below Zero in the Canadian prairies. This year my transatlantic flight had to be from my Aeroplan (Air Canada’s FFP) account and I had just enough miles to get me one last time free to India on Star Alliance.

After a couple of calls to Aeroplan call centers (read $40 plus taxes as change fees each time) to get my routings and dates right, finally I am booked on AC/LH for YWG-YYZ- FRA- DEL- MUC- YYZ-YWG. I am not going into details of my transatlantic flights (I wrote a TR on a similar routing last year when AirlinersIndia was on a different server). Best part of my journey (which I knew that it will be) was DEL-CCU-DEL sectors.

I didn’t fly on Kingfisher, SpiceJet and IndiGo before, so this year I chose IT and 6E which suited my timings. I could use my Canadian credit card to buy my ticket on IT website but for 6E, I had to use makemytrip.com

After landing at midnight at DEL, I had two choices: to take a taxi or to try AAI’s free shuttle service to the domestic terminals. I settled for AAI’s shuttle which hasn’t changed much in last five years when I took it last time. Similar coach, the same pile up of suitcases at the front gate of the bus and may be the same security guard whom I have met 5 years back! But what has changed in these 5 years for sure is the landscape of parked aircraft at IGI in the midnight! It was an impressive sight of young fleet donning the colors of new opportunities and aspirations!

DEL-CCU: Kingfisher Airlines IT 601 (A320)
Date: 23rd November 2007
Departed DEL: 0655
Reached CCU: 0900
Load: about 95%


After making my way thru the suitcases finally when I got down at IGI 1A, a smiling agent at the door asked me whether I am flying KF. The guy carried my bag to the check-in counter and handed me over to a smiling agent. I bought some liquor from Delhi duty-free which needed to be sent as check-in baggage. They were packed carefully in front of me and I found them first on the conveyor belt at CCU on my arrival. Otherwise, the check-in was a breeze. I was told a Flying Blue gold elite card would have allowed me an entry in KF lounge. But I am still at Silver elite level!

The flight was eventless or eventful, depends on how you look at it. IFE was working, girls were not only great looking they were efficient, enough leg space, the amenity kit for everyone and a menu card for the brunch. All were well presented. The aircraft looked little tired (I heard all their planes came straight from Toulouse!). In no time we landed at NSCBI airport.

At NSCBI airport, I spotted a GMG dash-8, Emirates 332 and strangely an Express Air 747 (if I saw it right then I had no idea what it was doing there).

CCU- DEL: IndiGo 6E 274 (A320)
Date: 29th November 2007
Departed CCU: 2020
Reached DEL: 2250
Load : about 95%


After consuming my share of Rasgoollas and variety of fishes, my mind was still not in a mood to leave CCU yet but tummy definitely needed a break!

Reaching about 3 hours early at the airport, as expected, I couldn’t found an empty seat to relax. As soon as the counter opened, I checked in and headed towards the only lounge at the check-in area called “Clipper Lounge”. Fortunately, my gold Master card was accepted, I found a quiet corner and grabbed some sandwiches.

IndiGo has spotless, crisp new coaches to ferry you to the aircraft. Their staircase to the aircraft is very innovative. It has no stairs, so you don’t have to lift your handbag rather you will pull it easily to the aircraft. I have never seen this before. The aircraft is mint fresh with ample leg space with all-economy layout. Finally, an expat captain called Freddie (with latin American accent) greeted us with some flight details. Four F/A’s who womanned (!) the aircraft were very professional. Water was generously free, sandwich which made me poorer by about CAD2 left me with no room to complain (having forced to pay CAD2 to use a pillow on Air Canada, CAD5 for a dry sandwich. I wonder the time is very close when we have to pay $ to use the in-flight washroom in North America). By LCC standard, IndiGo offers a superior service with brand new aircrafts. Only flipside, they don’t have in-flight magazine yet! Landing was smooth, so was the baggage retrieval. I was very impressed by IndiGo.

I will definitely wait for my turn to “fly good times” within India next year and want to meet all the midnight birds (I am sure they will grow in numbers) at IGI tarmac in sleepy Delhi.

I sincerely feel that the new raising stars of Indian aviation should be nurtured…they shouldn’t fail. They are part of what we call, New India.
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Nimish
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Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 9757
Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent report - thanks for posting! Do you happen to have any pictures, I'm curious to see this boarding staircase with 6E at CCU!
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PAL@YWG
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 438
Location: YWG, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent report - thanks for posting! Do you happen to have any pictures, I'm curious to see this boarding staircase with 6E at CCU!

Unfortunately no pictures this time! Imagine a long carpet (with a twist in the middle) which takes you from the ground to the aircraft gate! Very helpful for passengers on wheelchair.
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ParisFlyer
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Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report.
But i don't understand how you managed to get in the plane without stairs, and what was innovative.
Could you explain me what's the matter plz ??
Razz
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iflytb20
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Joined: 27 Jan 2007
Posts: 1079
Location: Next to the Airport

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well i guess what he is refering to is the unique step ladder being used by 6E.....its like a small ramp...but instead of a straight one, it is curved. That ways its is shallow enough for the wheelchairs to be pushed aboard. Will try and get a pic but im sure MEL bhai can do it faster Wink
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Aiel
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 927
Location: Bangalore

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ParisFlyer wrote:
Nice report.
But i don't understand how you managed to get in the plane without stairs, and what was innovative.
Could you explain me what's the matter plz ??
Razz


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ParisFlyer
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Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys.
I think it's a very good mean for disabled people who are travelling domestic as you said. I agree it is innovative. Hope, indian airports would be full of this ladder.
However aerobridges are the best way to access to the airplane, especially during moonsoon... India needs much more aerobridges, especially MAA, COK ,....
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