A Missed Approach at Delhi Airport, Welcome to Travel 2013!

We were flying back from Bangalore to Delhi today. When the flight started boarding on time at Bangalore we assumed that the fog was bearable at Delhi. My daughter and I slept through most of the flight. I didn’t even drink my customary tea on the Indigo flight. To put the record straight I do not like the packet mix tea they serve as it has added sugar in it but then tea is tea is tea!

Delhi Airport Fog
Delhi Airport Fog

As soon as my daughter started stirring and began asking for food they announced the descent to Delhi. So I told her the plane was about to land and we would go home soon. She got distracted. She was also sitting on the window seat, my window seat!

You know how descents are, fasten seat belt, trays folded, seat upright, window shades open and the like. While descending came a time when I could hardly even see the wings of the plane! Suddenly the plane started making a noise that is not typical of landing. And my husband pointed out we were gaining height fast. I remarked, “and not a sound from the cockpit.” But I was wrong, soon the first officer made an announcement that we had a missed approach to Delhi as they could not see the runway lights. He said it was a safe procedure and he would get back to us with more information.

My daughter started complaining of ear ache and a lot of my time went in soothing her. The second announcement was that we were circling 40 kilometers east of Delhi and would make another approach soon and if they saw the runway lights they would land the plane. I was wondering if the plane would land at Jaipur or Mumbai eventually, if it landed at all!

On the second approach some of us tried to laugh it off, some prayed. I could once again for a while not see the plane wings but a few seconds later I could see the ground and that we were about to land! The plane did land safely on the second attempt. While disembarking I told the cabin crew to say a big thank you to the captain for landing us safely.

So welcome to travel in 2013 with Travel tales from India!

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10 thoughts on “A Missed Approach at Delhi Airport, Welcome to Travel 2013!”

  1. I would have had a terrible anxiety if it was to happened to me. Not a fan of flying difficulties coz I’ve been in an emergency landing. It scar me for life. haha..glad u landed safely.

  2. Such an experience can be nerve racking. Have been in similar situations a couple of times and been diverted to distant airports.

  3. Aha Missed Approaches! Being an Air Traffic Controller, I have controlled so many of them..but never experienced on a plane..and regarding the safety..its an absolutely safe procedure to avoid any last moment problem during landing because of weather, machine or human error.

  4. I have been reading some of these recent stories about the heavy fog – when you read a blog post it is much more personal AND scary! Glad you all landed safe, my closest story for India flight-fright is getting diverted to Montreal on the way to Bombay because of a snow storm 🙂

  5. Thank you Desi Traveler, air travel has to be tolerated as it saves time!

    Rayyan I am only imagine, thanks for sharing.

    Rama that sounds bad.

    Yes Meena 😀

    Avinash if and when I meet you again I am surely going to ask you more about it! Thanks for the sharing your thoughts, I was wondering what would you think of it!

    Thank you Meenakshi.

    Paul I would actually like getting diverted to Montreal instead of Mumbai 😀

    Anu I could really do with a little less adventure! 😀 And it was a bit scary as we did not know what was happening. Though the first officer did communicate and told us that we were safe!

  6. You made me remember my own “Fog Flying Horror Story” on the 24th of Dec, 2006. I was supposed to land in Delhi at around 8:30 pm on that Christmas Eve, but ended up landing the next day at 11:40 am;thanks to the Jet Airways flight flying all the way back to Kolkata!


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