I flew with Air India to Sri Lanka and with Indigo to Nepal. Both have been recent vacations, I have enjoyed a lot on both. And guess what? All the flight were on time too! The choice of the air carrier was determined by cheap airline tickets.
To Sri Lanka I was traveling with my nephew who talks a lot! It was great fun to have him with me. I have been on some Air India flights on the domestic sector where there was TV on the seat on an Air India flight. So I told him Air India has entertainment on domestic flights too and that was my undoing. When we found none on our Delhi-Chennai flight he went on and on about it, teasing me to no end! Thankfully they had enough food this time (unlike my Delhi Bagdogra flight) on all the four flights I took with them, Delhi-Chennai, Chennai-Colombo and back the same way. On the Colombo Chennai flight the entertainment set was not working in our row. As the flight was not full, my nephew changed his seat to a row where it was working. All this for a 45 minute flight! Both of us were happy, he watching some program and I having some peace and quiet.
I heard the most bizarre cockpit announcement ever on my Delhi-Chennai flight. The pilot came on the intercom after breakfast and said, “ladies and gentleman, you all would have got up early to catch the flight. I would suggest that you put the window shades down and take a good nap.” I kid you not, this was the announcement and it made me a bit jittery given the reputation of Air India and sleeping pilots. Anyway this one apparently didn’t go to sleep and landed us all safely at Chennai.
Air India and Indigo
On the other hand my Indigo flights had no such announcements and both the flights were on time. Last year also for Nepal I took Indigo flights and my return flight was terribly late. So was really thankful that both my flights were on time this year. All my Indigo flights have been generally hassle free. I usually buy something to eat on the plane so I was looking forward to buying upma this time. Only the serving flight attendant was visibly tired/annoyed. She would make such a grumpy face at everyone that I too didn’t feel inclined in the least to say thank you and I hardly ever don’t say thank you. When I asked her for upma she acted surprised. When I reminded her that it was listed in their menu she suddenly remembered and gave it to me. It was instant upma but it was good. I actually felt sorry for the girl. She was so young and was either tired or upset and had a job that didn’t allow her to be any of these! I saw her laughing only when she was saying bye bye to us after the flight landed.
But both the flights were good overall and I remember both of my trips fondly. After all what is a flight if there are not a few hiccups in it as long as they are not of the technical type!
The last time I took a flight with Air India (its domestic operation was earlier known as Indian Airlines) it was from Delhi to Bagdogra. I was headed to Baiguney (Sikkim) to attend an event organized by Club Mahindra.
Those of you who have been on sponsored trips, you might agree with me that an invitation feels complete only when the air tickets arrive in your own email box! Before that it is only a potential invitation.
I almost always arrive in plenty of time at the airport and this trip was also no exception. I also like to do web check in so that I can get a window seat. Without a window seat I sulk sulk and then sulk some more. There was another person flying from Delhi and we both checked in without any hassle.
I remember chatting with the young Air India ground crew and we realized that we were from nearby small towns. Once in flight I remember Saurabh watched Pan Singh Tomar whereas I watched an old Hindi movie (which was quite a tear filled affair), I vaguely remember the plot but I cannot remember which movie it was!
Delhi Bagdogra on an Air India Flight
In this flight I remember they ran out of vegetarian food. I had to do with lot of bread and butter but I was so hungry that even that was fine with me. As a traveler I really ignore these minor hiccups, they really don’t affect my mood, more so on short flights. I am not sure I would be equally gracious if this happened on an eight hour flight!
When the plane started its descent my eyes were glued to the scenery but this was another flight when the clouds ruled at the touch down and I could not see much while landing.
Over all it was a pleasant flight but then the airline has such a reputation overall that every time you board the plane you wonder how it will go!
I was not always a fan of flying. There were two reasons for it. Tickets used to be expensive and I used to be a student with a very small pocket. Leaves were not an issue. I have lived through the time when to do a flight booking you had to contact a travel agent! Now that was a hassle too! I am so used to booking all my flights online now!
But now as I work, leaves are an issue. So if I can I prefer flying to save time. But I am quite value conscious so I do look for flights that are cheap be it from Air India or GoAiror anyone else! My best flight booking experience has been for my Delhi-Kathmandu flight in May 2015. I got it for 6500 rupees return! I have paid much more for a lot of my domestic flights actually.
Air India Planes, T3, New Delhi
However I find it quite tricky to keep up with the lowest fares. I have only two tricks up my sleeve, comparing fares and checking the website of a particular airline to know if they are directly offering the lowest fare. I have heard that there are apps which would alert you (or was it that someone was looking for such an app) when the price on a particular segment falls below a certain price level. Now that sounded like a very useful thing to have but two things might be an issue for me in this. One is that I am not at all app savvy. Apart from using Facebook and Twitter from my cell phone I use no other apps, not even instagram. And secondly, I am not sure at all that the lowest fare will tally with the days when I can take leave!
What do you say? Do you bother about low cost tickets? What are your favorite ways for searching for them?
I took a vacation with Make My Trip, some of you who have been reading my blog might remember my trip to Andaman with them. I had booked it with Make My Trip India, the division that looks after the Indian holidays.
I have been more of a solo traveler and I was really skeptical of booking a group holiday. But one thing decided it, the reasonable cost of the package! I realized just one week before my trip that I could actually take a week off. I tried to do the airline booking but by then cheap flights were nowhere to be found! In fact at that point of time the independent air tickets were costing me more than 50% of the entire cost of the Make My Trip package. I distinctly remember that I searched on Air India and Air India Express as well but all the prices one week before were astronomical!
That is when I decided that I was going to go with Make My Trip. There were two of us, I did this trip with a friend and we had a gala time. I clearly remember telling the tour manager in the end in Havelock that I was very skeptical about the tour as I don’t like group tours but the way you guys conducted it, I am willing to try it again.
I still remember Mustafa Fakhri who managed the tour at the Port Blair and he was an excellent guy. He made sure that the trip was memorable for us.
I also got to know that if you ask them they can customize some of the itineraries. My recommendation is that if you want to experience the beach more customize the existing one because it includes more time around Port Blair than Havelock. I am these days thinking about a vacation in Bhutan and wondering if I will have enough leaves to go by road or should I once again start searching on Make My Trip?