Recently, I was in Bangalore for a short Holiday made possible due to the availability of low cost air tickets. I remember the time when air travel was too expensive for us and by train it took almost more than 40 hours to reach to Bangalore from Delhi. Short trips were just not possible then.
When we do air tickets, we solely go by the lowest price. For two and a half hour flight everything else can wait. This time we booked our tickets through Makemytrip.com. They got us Air Sahara round trip tickets for Rupees 7500 per person. I have traveled with Air Sahara before they tried to get a merger with Jet Airways (and failed). That experience was good (they had excellent meals back then) though the ticket cost was more than twice too. I was a bit apprehensive how it would be this time but all in all, it was not a bad trip.
The Check-in at Delhi: Nightmare is the word to describe it. I was dog tired, coming straight from work (after teaching 18 year olds!) and the Air Sahara counters were overflowing with people. And overflowing people mean chaos and frequent attempts to break the queue (we Indians just can’t stand in a queue!). Sesha and I stood in different lines, maximizing our chances that at least one line may move. Both moved at a snail’s pace and I asked at least three people (politely) not to break the queue (and got ugly glances in return but I can live with it). A few people (and one well dressed young girl, actually she started that unofficial line) tried directly to go to the back of the counter to bypass the queue but thankfully she (and everyone else) was told to join us mortals for the check-in. My line moved faster and Sesha got out of his. But when I handed the lady our tickets and photo identity cards, she started talking to her colleague and complained loudly about her supervisor not giving any attention to the legitimate demands and got out of her seat! Not very confidence inspiring but thankfully she handed our tickets to another person and I finally got the boarding passes.
We immediately attacked a snack bar and crashed in the waiting area, I reading a book (Silas Marner, still unfinished and I am reading O. Henry now) and Sesha chatting on the phone.
The Flight: I will forgive the lady who got up in quest of her supervisor because her coworker gave us exit row seats! My mood immediately improved. I also got instruction on how to open the door in case of an emergency.
The flight was uneventful (except for the fact that Sesha hates flying and always cribs inside a plane). I still love to watch the Delhi night lights during the take-offs and landings. The meal served was from Taj-SATS but it was a typical flight meal, pretty unappealing. Still, at the price of the ticket I paid for, it was a plus that they were serving a meal! The flight started late from Delhi and arrived late at Bangalore.
The Return Flight: I was traveling alone from Bangalore to Delhi as Sesha was coming later. And can you believe it? I got the exit row seat again. And next to me were a bunch of giggling, cackling teenage girls going to Delhi for some school competition (don’t know which school they studied in!) but thankfully they feel asleep halfway through the flight. The breakfast again was very average but the flight was on time.
On both the flights their cabin crew was polite and professional. On our return flight the flight captain was a lady but I could not catch her name on the announcement system properly. If Air Sahara manages to give me such good prices, I will have no problem flying with them again.
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