A Flight in the Life of Deponti Murphy
The flight to Hyderabad was scheduled for 8am; I can never sleep before an early flight and was up at 4 am. At 5 am, I was told that the flight was on time, so set off. On the Ring Road, the heavy fog gave promise of what was to come….the flight was delayed to 9.30 am. Bought a coffee and settled down on one of those delightfully luxurious airport chairs (eighteen different positions and a free massage as you twist around trying to find a pose in which your spine is not twisted out of shape)…at 9.30 am we were told we could get breakfast against our boarding passes. It was such fun to join the huggggge queue and get something to eat…and come back and find that since all the flights were getting delayed there was not a seat to be had. “Borrowed” a seat from a young girl while I ate and then started walking around again. The delightful smell of Channel (no mistype there) no. 1 and 2 started permeating the hall as the toilets quickly backed up.
At 10.30 am our flight was announced and with great relief, we finally got into the aircraft. Or rather, the others got into the aircraft. A young girl from Infosys, Chicago, who was back for her wedding on Feb 9th, didn’t have her carry-on luggage tag stamped. She was drooping with weariness after her long flight, and I took her along with me and got the needful done.
When I finally boarded, I found that an announcement had been made…the airport was to be shut down until 12.30 because of the air show. Not because the Air Show was actually ON, mind you. It was just that 3 of the aircraft involved in the aerobatic show were at Bangalore airport, and because of the helicopter crash the day before, they decided that while these aircraft practised their manouvres the airport would be shut down.
We were asked to get out of the aircraft again. Logically, we had gone through baggage screening and security check so it would have made sense to send us back into the departure area. (The good part was watching the Sukhoi doing its manouvres high up in the sky as we got out on the runway, and later, watching it land, too. Saving grace.)
So of course we were sent, pell-mell into the arrival area, from where we came back into the outside with no clue as to what we were supposed to do. We trudged back into the airport and a huge melee resulted in the Air Sahara counter, where we had to give in our boarding passes and get fresh ones. AND do the baggage screening and the security check all over again, this time with serpentine queues.
At 12.45 pm, our flight was called. I realized my new boarding pass didn’t have any luggage tags, so I had to go back to the counter and have an energizing argument with the Air Sahara personnel over there. Then I boarded the aircraft once again.
I had specifically requested a window seat NOT in an exit row. So guess where I was seated….I made yet another fuss and was put in the last row (where the seats do not recline.)
Because of the disorganized fashion in which we had been sent back from the aircraft, 9 people were now missing and we missed our turn to take off while they were located. We finally took off at about 1.45 pm.
By the time I reached Hyderabad there was no sign of the car that was to meet me, and I had missed the entire morning’s rituals at the wedding I was going to attend…
I had no imperative hurry, nothing urgent to attend to, no ill relative to rush to, no important meetings. I really wonder how those who had all these to cope with, managed!
Each day until the Air Show is over (its from Feb 7 to 11) , the airport is being closed down while the aircraft (a MIG 35, an F14…lovely sights….) do their manouvres. Was this really necessary?
MOTS: Do not travel in the morning if there is fog, and the Air Show is on, unless you want to be intimately acquainted with the delights of Bangalore Airport.