It is 5:42 am as I am writing this and I am waiting to board my plane to Guwahati which goes via
As we’ve always mentioned,
Indian domestic flights are in direct and complete contrast to American domestic flights. First, the service (at least the ones I know) is exemplary. Jet Airways’s service is comparable to Singapore Airlines! I was immediately impressed when I flew them last September. Second, the food is mostly excellent. They give you a broad range of choices from vegetarian to non-vegetarian, regular to low fat, etc.
Last evening, we flew Paramount Airways from
However, there is also a downside to this explosive growth of air travel here. First, when in line for either check-in or baggage screening, Indians have no qualms about cutting in front of you. Either they will slowly inch their way in front of you or they will appear like they are ignorant that they are cutting into your line! Then, there is the line confusion where sometimes a few lines would converge into one and cause all kinds of shoving around. Very frustrating when you’re trying to do it the proper way and the person in front of you gives way and lets some guy cut in.
Second, most of the airports here are still trying to cope with the increased traffic. Some have undergone renovation and expansion but the volume of travelers still seem to exceed the capacity of the airports of most cities. Also, in some cases, the service level of the airport ground staff has not caught up with the sophistication of their high-flying colleague. Hence, often there is a great customer service gap you’d experience between ground and air.
I am presently waiting to board my flight home to
Unfortunately, this time, Brian was not even able to call me at the hotel I was staying for some reason. So, we were out of touch for a couple of days. Was so glad to be able to talk to him briefly as soon as I got into Kolkata on transit earlier today.
The two-day training seminar in Guwahati went really well, I thought. More than 20 people from all over the Northeast attended – some had to travel more than 12 hours by bus or train to be there! Mind you, these were not like villagers tucked away in the hills and hence the travel time but really highly qualified people. We had a few university professors, a few medical doctors, a few PhD candidate students and a few pastors. I always learn so much when I’m here even though I’m supposed to be the teacher. Always a humbling experience.
Oh, by the way, JetLite quite suck. First, my flight was delayed big time. And then, the “food” (or whatever it was they were serving!) sucked! The service was poor as well! When I went to use the lavatory, it was unflushed and there were “liquid excretory product” in the toilet! Gross! Then, when the plane was in transit in Delhi, we had to sit in the plane for almost two hours as the British Prime Minister, Brown, was visiting and hence the airport had to be closed for his arrival! If the flight was not delayed in the first place, we would not have been caught in the closure…
The saving grace was the wonderfully chilly weather in Guwahati. A very nice change. Anyhow, gotta stop here as I’ll be boarding soon…