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Old 21st September 2007, 10:33   #196
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Originally Posted by paras211 View Post
.i am sure the cam can fit into a suitcase not sure about the header. what if the header is bought in a plain box?
The xray machine does not see the box, it sees the contents. If it is an electronic item then it will be highlighted and an X mark with a chalk put on your box.
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Old 21st September 2007, 10:44   #197
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Yes. It sure is changing for the better. No doubt. but only you and I and the other Indians and/or regular visitors would see that. What is the first impression on gets of a country? It is their airport. Look at your travelogues, the things you have said about the airports you have visited.

I've heard tourists say things that are not to pleasant about the airport while we wait in line for the bags. I would love to jump to the defense, but the fact remains that they are right.

Yes, be proud, I'm all for that. I'd never run down anything here in the company of foreigners. But as they say, if your own family cannot tell you when you are wrong or who can.
Very well said, Rtech!
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Old 23rd September 2007, 18:50   #198
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Default Chinese Airports - Landing and Taking off

This relates to Shanghai and Chengdu.

The airports are fairly efficient if characterless. Immigration is a breeze. The authorities ensure that the front facing staff speak chinese. One needs to fill three forms when landing - Immigration, health, and customs

You first go through the health screening - cameras detecting body temperature and they collect the health form. Immigration is a quiet process/ Customs is ditto.

Getting out of the airport


Make sure you have the destination written down in chinese. If you can have a car to meet you, nothing like it. In Shanghai, most of the hotels have desks and they will have cards with the hotel names. Hotel shuttle buses are not predictable. Best option is to go to the taxi stand. Make sure there is an official in uniform over there. He will read your slip and direct the driver. Similarly, one can be brave and take the super fast Maglev into town. One needs to ensure that you have good directions to your end destination though.

Leaving via the airport

The odd thing is that they like you to clear customs before checking in (chengdu). You need to fill a departure card like in india

Note - Changing money back is a farce. You need to pay a surcharge of 50rnb (Rs 300)

Coffee is overpriced - 60 rmb and they do not take credit cards. Plenty of women standing out there beckoning you to come in.

Do not sit near a bin, people come and spit in them. They are more accurate than in India but still.....
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Old 23rd September 2007, 18:57   #199
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Default Transiting Hong Kong Airport

If you are switching airlines, although your luggage is checked through, one needs to get a boarding card from the airline service desk.

If you are landing from China and Japan, there is a chance that you will be located in the East block and need to make your way to the west block. Make your way to the end of the walkway. The service desks are listed - some like ANA, air china are in the east block. The others are in the west block and the desk numbers are clearly marked.

One needs to take the escalator down to the train which takes you to the next block where you take another escalator and the immigration and service desks are located right in front of you.

One you have got your boarding cards, one needs to go through security and take an escalator to the transit area.

Transit area is over priced. Things are much cheaper in India so don't waste your time. Take the escalator to the food court on tp. There are some nice comfy chairs and free wireless. Have a coffee and enjoy!
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Old 23rd September 2007, 19:03   #200
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ajmat welcome back - what airline did you fly? How about an Airline review?
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Old 23rd September 2007, 21:02   #201
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Default Singapore Airlines: Bangalore - Singapore - Bangalore

This flight is a killer

1: Bangalore Airport
2: Consecutive flights
3: The timings..but no alternative

Bangalore "International" Airport - 8.30 pm, it is crowded, the Thai flight, SIA and then MAS. Try and aim for 9.15, as it is of no use going earlier. Queue looks horrendous but not so bad due to restricted space.

Check in seems to be done by HAL staff who all seem to be young malayali's. In my case, it was the person's first day and he never checked my passport and visa. I later asked him about this and he was very "soorry" as it was his first day.

Then , it is up the escalator to immigration. A few broken words of kannada always help! Then, a long queue through immigration to the holding area. If you must have a coffee, have it before immigration as it is a long queue in the holding area.

Besides, I have seen the CCD person clean the floor mop in tthe same sink used to wash the CCD utensils.

Recommended that you sit in the area before the actual holding area - less mosquitos and less stuffy.

Boarding the plane is mayhem as no one listens to boarding by numbers.

On the flight

By the time you get on board, you are hungry annd is time for dinner.

Food was not bad -a lamb casserole but there are signs that value has been reduced. No cheese and crackers.

I try and catch up on sleep. For these flights, the window is best since you do not get disturbed. I was in an aisle seat and had this female sliding on top of my lap to the restrooms during half the journey. Legroom was a big tight and film selection was limited.

By the time you reach Singapore, your body is at 3.30 am, Try and find an easy chair - near the family section and snooze off.

Return flight - similar except that Bangalore airport has a terrible parking problem. We were held up for 20 min as no parking slot.

Always try and sit in the front of the plane in one of the ABC seats to beat immigration queues. However, y assumption that small bags are first out was disproven. Reason being, transfered bags are stored in first hence last out.

Service - excellent - they really do try hard
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Old 23rd September 2007, 21:08   #202
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Default Silk Air - Singapore - Chengdu

Silk Air is the budget airline of SIA. Flies to the smaller towns around the region.

Although plane was a narrow body, seats had good leg space. No entertainment. You can get a video player for 15SG but I decided to snooze. I noticed a row in front of me totally free and asked to move. Air hostess told be to hold on till they had confirmation that all were aboard.

Just before taxiing, she gave me the go-ahead and I had a good amount of space to loll around. Food - simple - noodles + chicken in oyster sauce + ice cream. Value without frills. Service was good

I would recommend Silk Air - good, clean and simple
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Old 23rd September 2007, 21:15   #203
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Default Air China - Chengdu to Hong kong

Check in was okay. I luckily showed my printed itinerary so that the check in girl understood my route. First print out showed my baggage going to Singapore, she realised her mistake and showed me the routing on the tag before putting it on the bag. Was told to collect my boarding cards in Hong Kong.

Enter the aircraft and it smelt of synthetic urine/ vinegar. This pong disappeared once we took off.

Being a national airline a la Indian, I was not expecting much but I was surprised. Decent chicken rice for brekfast. Even offered wine! The air hostesses spoke english and they were not uncle's. There was a screen showing Mr Bean and other stuff.

I was pleasantly surprised. No delight factors but I had no apprehensions about them
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Old 23rd September 2007, 22:13   #204
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Quite a few of the airports in Asia (Bangkok, for e.g., and some Chinese ones also) have an airport tax payable in cash after check-in and just before immigration on the flight out. So ensure you have some local currency left over to pay this. Though I have travelled many times, i always seem to forget about this and then end up converting 100$ travellers cheques......
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Old 23rd September 2007, 22:54   #205
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Default Tip for Berlin TXL

When you land at Berlin (and a few other places in europe), please make sure you have some coins with you.
Berlin airport luggage trolleys need a coin to detach. You get your coin back when you return the luggage cart/trolley.

I landed in Berlin with 50 and 100 euro notes only. There was no place to buy anything and no way to change it. I had a lot of luggage and needed a trolley - I had to actually beg someone for a 1 euro coin. Very embarrassing.

Remember - it will take 1 euro/2 euro/ a US quarter and a 50 paise coin. (!!)

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 23rd September 2007 at 22:55.
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Old 24th September 2007, 01:18   #206
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
When you land at Berlin (and a few other places in europe), please make sure you have some coins with you.
Berlin airport luggage trolleys need a coin to detach. You get your coin back when you return the luggage cart/trolley.
Same also applies for JFK Airport, New York. You need to be carrying change.
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Old 25th September 2007, 14:00   #207
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AC fails to work mid-air on Air Deccan flight. The article is in tamil....

AC repair in Air Deccan flight leads to suffocation in mid-air
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Old 25th September 2007, 14:38   #208
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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
this female sliding on top of my lap to the restrooms during half the journey.
Hmmmmmm. sounds like a great airline!
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Old 25th September 2007, 14:51   #209
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Originally Posted by panky12345 View Post
While I agree that all baggage is subject to X-ray scrutiny, let me be clear that its only at the point of exit, where the items are NOT dutiable. When you land at the destination, NO baggage is put to any scrutiny.

Only if the customs guy suspects anything while passing through green channel, only then he puts it to XRay.
Panky bhai, you've got it wrong here.
With reference to the scene at the Bangalore airport, all baggage upon arrival is subject to an X-ray screening and that also includes hand baggage. You are made to walk through a metal detector, but actually they dont care even if it beeps.

All bags which they suspect carry some sort of dutiable material, they mark with chalk. I saw a code very clearly marked as 'CSH-1', which was written across atleast 2 bags which were on the conveyor belts.

When you pass through the green channel, the officer there examines your bags to see if there are any chalk scribblings across it, and if no, you are free to walk through.

As for my digicam, i carried the cam with me on my hand baggage, with the battery in the checked in baggage. Was asked no questions about it, but then again, it does fall under the Rs.25,000 allowed limit.

This info is based upon my experience at the Bangalore airport last Friday.

Hope that helps.
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Old 25th September 2007, 14:59   #210
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Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
Same also applies for JFK Airport, New York. You need to be carrying change.
... and Logan Airport, Boston.

By the way, last week i flew Indian (previosly known as Indian Airlines) for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised to find that leg space was not an issue for me, even though i am 6ft 3! And i wasnt sitting on the emergency exit row either. Although, i did ask the lady at the check-in counter to give me an emergency exit seat. And she did say ok too. I guess some things will never change.

But the flight was good. They even had an in-flight entertainment system, just like Kingfisher! Not bad at all for a ticket that cost 1/3rd of a Kingfisher ticket. I finally got to watch Bheja Fry.

Amitoj
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