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Old 15th August 2007, 23:16   #31
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Sam, its a very good write up and agree to most of your ratings. I like kingfisher(evn in thier ATRs), Jet and Sahara(they use to have enormous leg space) and In LCC Go Air is the best followed by SpiceJet. Air Deccan is Simply No for me instead of Simply Fly. Will try Indigo in future. Regarding Airports, i didn't see a review of Hyderabad, wouldn't comment else people will get offended as i almost missed a flight after reaching there before 2 hrs of the flight. They don't have announcements nor message boards.
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Old 15th August 2007, 23:22   #32
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FREAK....Well i thought this would be a para or 2 probably...but it almost 2dam pages Sameer!!!!
Going to read through this on a sunday afternoon.AARAM SEE...We'll comment on the posting then...
It earlier used to be the old ladies with the aachar jar and walking stick but nowdays i see a lot of young crowd doing the same..except the walking stick.
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Old 16th August 2007, 00:07   #33
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Great stuff. I'm an infrequent flyer (maybe 2-3 times a year) but I could relate to much of what Sam said, and there was quite a bit of stuff I didn't know. Much appreciated. Now, if someone could start a thread on how to handle the visa process and interview before flying abroad, it would be a great help. I may get a chance to visit the US early next year (my first overseas trip) and I have no idea what the visa procedure is, or how badly they can screw you if you're unprepared and/or inexperienced!
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Old 16th August 2007, 00:26   #34
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Just read the first 4 articles. This is a quick post before I move onto the next article. Another great set of observations and advice from the Yetimeister. Well worth a read!

Easyjet isnt as bad as it is made out to be mate....you get what you paid for.
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Old 16th August 2007, 00:36   #35
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Great thread Sam. Amazing amount of info in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiery enzyme View Post
Could you guys throw some light on how to handle electronic stuffs we buy from there- like laptops cameras etc.. Do we have to pay extra in our customs?
Anyone can bring in one laptop without any duty so you are OK there. In my experience with US travel and talking to friends, I found the Chennai custom folks the friendliest so you should be OK. These days, I don't really bring anything electronic (other than some toys for my daughter) so I don't have problems with customs in Bangalore.

However, don't go overboard. I think the limit is around 25,000 Rs worth of goods. May be someone can clarify.

Like Steer said, don't drink in the flight. I usually carry a bottle of water with me and when I run out of water, I request the cabin crew to fill it up. That way I don't have to ask for water very often.

Also, do not carry any gels or liquids more than a certain size in the cabin baggage (pretty much rules out regular size shaving gel, shampoo, deo etc).

You haven't mentioned which airlines are you taking and where are you going in US ?
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Old 16th August 2007, 00:52   #36
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Sam, I do not know if you experienced Air Deccan of late since VM sneaked into its board but then they have had a change in their booking. Now they have also adopted a global booking system (Radixx I think). VM probably thought Sabre will work out costlier (KF uses Sabre).

And irrespective of everything else I find that AD is not that bad afterall. If anything they have all new planes and for a change I find that the legspace in the economy class is much better. In fact better than Jet. And till date I have not experienced any hiccups in their flight timings, touchwood. AD is also turning out to be another Tata, albeit in aviation. Grossly under estimated and loathed but many a times unfairly IMHO.


By the way, has anyone tried the Air India service from NJ to Mumbai? haa haa haaaa... thats something really. The hostesses nowadays are much more helpful. At times even mighty intuitive. Why, they even try to fill up the immigration form for many a 70+, only gujju speaking, old ladies and gentlemen. However the general ambience is that of a bus on a rickety ride from Khagadiya to Ara Many a times one tipple down and you get an admonishing look from the grand old gujju lady seating next to you. And if you are really unlucky the gujju grand dad on the next seat who speaks broken hindi will give you a long lecture on the vices of the modern generation as well.

Last edited by Zappo : 16th August 2007 at 01:00.
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Old 16th August 2007, 00:53   #37
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Default Travel to the US- The Visa Hoop

Since FE and ER's requests for American Travel i am putting down my experiences


Visa Process:-

Travelling for the first time to US entails you getting a Visa. Since most of you are going to be travelling for Business i am putting down my the process for the same.

1. Getting a visa Appointment
Go to the site https://www.vfs-usa.co.in/Home.aspx. The site has most of the official formalities so i am not going to get to the details of the same.

Plan your US trip well in advance and with a reason to travel. ( Min a month in advance)

If you are not very comfortable with conversing in English request for the language assist and you can get interviewd in most of the Major languages in India. This may though delay your interview appointment as the language experts are in demand.

Make Sure you have all necessary office papers collated including and not limited to
1. Your official invite letter for either your client and / or your US office
2. If your employement with the company is 1 year or less carry your appointment letter (always a good idea to carry)
3. If you are a business man going to sell wares in the US like a jweller or a Clothing professional carry brochures . If you have company brochures carry them
4. Filled in forms in your own handwriting. Please write is as legibly as you can and preferably write it yourself.
5. Two Demand drafts towards application fees and visa fees. Make sure you carry from approved banks.

Optional documents
1. Pay stubs
2. Tax documents


At the visa interview

1. Smile - It does wonders to your confidence and as they say first impression is the best one

2. Dress Neatly and Formally. Ties and business attire will give an air of sophistication. Smell good invest in a good deo. And if you grow facial hair trim it and look neat.

3.Make sure you arrive 15-30 mins before your appointment at the gate of the consulate. Dont get their in the morning if you have an afternoon appointement you dont want to be soaking in your sweat when you get infront of your interviewer

4. Answer all questions truthfully and in as many words necessary. if you are going to stay in company provided accomdation say the same like " i am going to be staying at a company guest house in "X" city and "Y" state. You dont have to explain how to reach there .

Questions you can expect.

What is your nature of business in the US
How long do you plan to stay in the US?
Are you going to be reimbursed for your professional work?
Who is going to take care of your expenses in the US?
Are you going to be travelling in the US?
Do you have any immediate relatives in the US. (Immediate includes father mother, grandparents, Siblings. Need not necessarily inlcude your uncles and cousins)
Have you travelled to any other countries ?
Have you ever been deported or rejected issue of Visa for any other country.?


This is from my little knowledge of having travelled a dozen times and having attended the Visa interview twice . First time i received a Single entry visa through my employer and did not even have to go to the Embassy as they did not have the compulsory interview then. Second time i went to the embassy and the whole process took about 3 hrs from entry.

Tomorrow i will try and put my experience of travelling to the US.
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Old 16th August 2007, 09:46   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondadude View Post
Like Steer said, don't drink in the flight. I usually carry a bottle of water with me and when I run out of water, I request the cabin crew to fill it up. That way I don't have to ask for water very often.
I don't think you need to carry the water.
What I do:
As soon as I am seated, I speak to the girl who welcomed me onboard and request her for a large bottle of water. If they don't have a large bottle, I ask for 3 minis. Then I take my time and finish it on the flight.
But this is very true, any alcohol on flight makes you completely dehydrated.
In any case, even on domestic flights, where alcohol is not an option, it is best to drink atleast half a litre of water on a 1 hour+ flight.
You feel fresh when you land, instead of drained.

And remember to use the toilet 20 minutes before scheduled landing, before the seat belt sign comes on. Later, there is a mad scramble for the toilets.
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Old 16th August 2007, 10:23   #39
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Default Small tips - timing

1. On domestic filghts, "check-in" starts between 4 and 2 hours before scheduled departure. So, make sure you have the schedules confirmed. This is important since once you check in, you cannot leave the terminal, and if the flight is delayed, you may be stuck inside the terminal. If you are flying a LC airline, this can get irritating and pocket-draining, since food and refreshments inside the terminal will cost an arm and a leg.

2. There is no need to go straight to the security check as soon as you checkin. I usually do security check only half an hour (or less) before flight departure. The area after security check can be very boring in some airports, and refreshments if available, will cost an arm, leg and your neck.

3. Security check starts only one hour before actual departure. (depends on the airport). So, even if you check in, you may have to wait till security check is announced.

4. While checking in, if you are asking for a window seat, ask them to avoid seats above wings. (window seats above the wings are as good as aisle seats - you get to see nothing).

5. Some airlines allow tele checkins and/or net based checkins. This is possible only if you do NOT have un-accompanied baggage. If you have, you can go straight to the security.

6. On flights with stop overs (means your flights lands at some intermediate place hyderabad on a flight like Cochin - Delhi via Hyderabad), remain seated at the intermediate destination, and make sure you have your boarding passes handy. There will be a security check and you will be asked for your boarding pass. Also, make sure that somebody else has not mistaken his hand baggage for yours.

7. If you take medicines, carry them with you in hand baggage.

8. There are rules on what may be carried in hand baggage. These will not be interpreted uniformly in all airports. What was allowed in AP of origin may not be allowed in the AP where you commence your return journey. If in doubt, put them in unaccompanied baggage.

9. Air port taxis are like autos lying outside railway stations. Even prepaid taxis will procrastinate for short distances. Any fare less than Rs. 150/- IS a short distance for them.(example - I was charged Rs. 50/- from CS domestic terminal at mumbai to lower parel railway station - this happened both ways). From Churchgate to Nariman point, it cost me 40 something, and I believe C'gate to NP was more.
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Old 16th August 2007, 10:30   #40
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I had a not-so-good experience with Go Air once. I had reserved seats (they allow you to do that at the time of booking) in the second row. While checking in, I had the second row same seat numbers printed on my boarding pass. As I boarded the flight, saw another guy sitting in my place!! Turned out that he also has been alloted the same seat in his boarding pass !!

Luckily, it wasnt a case of over booking and everyone else had the same problem. So they took a leaf out of AD and made it a free seating flight..
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Old 16th August 2007, 10:36   #41
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Sam
Fantastic work...!!

When u start writing about international travel please dont forget about ECNR.
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Old 16th August 2007, 10:43   #42
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Great work Sam & Steer!
Will be a good guide for 1st time flyers and others too.

From my brief International travel experience, I found Singapore Airlines the Best!
Air India is good only for food, nothing else!

Last edited by finneyp : 16th August 2007 at 10:51.
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Old 16th August 2007, 10:48   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
1. On domestic filghts, "check-in" starts between 4 and 2 hours before scheduled departure.
Actually I don't think they accept passengers more than 2.5 hours before schedule.

Quote:
2. There is no need to go straight to the security check as soon as you checkin. I usually do security check only half an hour (or less) before flight departure.
Baba, it is mandatory to be seated 15 minutes before departure. Include 10 minutes for sec check and possibly a 10 minute bus ride. That itself is 35 mins.
While you can do this at a smaller airport (Where you'll probably walk up to the plane), at airports like Mumbai and Delhi it's best to go for sec check 30-40 mins earlier.

Cut it fine and you'll be the hero that everyone was waiting for.
Sec check opens (as you said correctly) one hour earlier. Try and be there 45 mins before scheduled departure at a metro and 30 minutes in case of a non metro airport.
Quote:
(example - I was charged Rs. 50/- from CS domestic terminal at mumbai to lower parel railway station - this happened both ways). From Churchgate to Nariman point, it cost me 40 something, and I believe C'gate to NP was more.
50 rupees from the airport to lower parel by taxi is cheap. Are you sure you're not making an error?
Churchgate to Nariman point is a much, much shorter distance than Santacruz to Lower parel.
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Old 16th August 2007, 10:50   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spadival View Post
As I boarded the flight, saw another guy sitting in my place!! Turned out that he also has been alloted the same seat in his boarding pass !!
This, I've seen on many domestic flights. Some sort of system error, I've seen it happen on Jet and Air Sahara too.
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Old 16th August 2007, 10:52   #45
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Firstly great work Sam and Steer, it will help many of us here.

Now FE, remember US uses a 110v electric current and we 240v.

So either there should be a switchable option present or you need to buy a 240v to 110v converter, once you land up here.

No problems for battery operated items like camera but if it uses an adapter for charging then again it needs a converter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiery enzyme View Post
I in particular found it very useful because I'm travelling to the US for the first time. Infact It is my first time abroad.

Could you guys throw some light on how to handle electronic stuffs we buy from there- like laptops cameras etc.. Do we have to pay extra in our customs?
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