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Old 30th September 2008, 19:54   #526
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Originally Posted by nishantgandhi View Post
I have never been able to figure out why:
1. The captain in any airlines almost always speaks very fast and utter gibberish - read incomprehensible
2. The very first thing he announces is the altitude that he will be flying to. I mean, what difference will it make to me, or to my flying experience whether the plane cruises at 36,000 ft or 38,000 ft?
They call it "small-talk", makes you comfortable, also knowing that there is a captain on-board & he knows what the hell he is doing when he is flying hundreds of people at 700+kmph ...I think it takes more than punching a few buttons & pulling a few levers......
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Old 30th September 2008, 23:18   #527
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Originally Posted by finneyp View Post
... ... Folks with 6" and above height will find the seat very cramped!
That bad, eh?

--- " is inches; ' is feet.



A couple of times recently I've paid to upgrade one way on BA to economy-plus. That extra seven inches makes all the difference.

But it is expensive. Could never do it both ways.

Nothing like the jump to the Business-Class fare, though

<smiley ration exhausted>
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Old 1st October 2008, 12:25   #528
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
That bad, eh?

--- " is inches; ' is feet.
Oops! I meant 6' (feet)!

Thanks Thad for the correction!
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Old 23rd October 2008, 11:27   #529
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Default Qantas Bombay-Sydney direct

Just finished a return trip on Qantas Bombay-Sydney-Bombay. It was a direct flight both ways and trip in each segment lasted around 12.5 hours.

I booked the flight tickets on Yatra with a cost per ticket of Rs 47k. This seems a pretty good deal considering that one way trips cost Rs 30k.

Convenience: 10/10. My spouse's visa label had a spelling mistake which we never noticed and this delayed our check-in. But Qantas ground staff was able to sort it out rather quickly by calling up the Aussie consulate. Phew.. for a moment, we had a feeling that we wont be allowed on board.

Flight timings are pretty convenient. No middle of the night boarding or hunting for baggage on the belt. The flight took off around 9ish PM from Bombay and landed in Sydney at around 11 AM local time.

Comfort: 9/10. Very comfortable seats for cattle class.

Food: 8/10. Good food. Dinner was served as well as snacks later on. Also, I was able to set our meal preference to Indian vegetarian meals on the Qantas website. So we got our preferred meals before everyone else on board. On seeing us munching our dinner, one Indian chap seated in front of us started fighting with the steward for not getting him his meal !!

Entertainment: 9/10. All the latest blockbuster movies on demand.

Service: 7.5/10. Excellent service, but majority of the crew are male .

Also, I was able to enroll myself and my spouse to the frequent flyer program on the Qantas website itself. Best part was that we got FF points about 12k, even though it was a discounted ticket. They let you transfer points from another frequent flyer (Should be a relative) to your account. You can redeem the points for a number of things - seats on any Qantas flight or products on their online shop.

Since I wont be traveling by Qantas again (Only Bombay and Delhi connectivity), I have redeemed the points for a P&S Olympus camera (for 12k points + AUD $6) free delivery to Sydney. So my estimate is that the effective price of the ticket is around Rs 45K.
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Old 24th November 2008, 16:57   #530
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Default Flying cost...

Why these pvt airlines are still not reducing airfares? I was just checking the fare for flying BLR-COK on Jet airways and the various price components that add up is shocking. See below.
Quote:
Base Fare
2 Adults @ INR 3630 : INR 7260
1 Child @ INR 3630 : INR 3630

Total Taxes, Surcharges and Fees
Fuel Surcharge (YQ) : INR 14100
Passenger Service Fee (WO) : INR 1350
Air Traffic Congestion Fee (YR) : INR 900
Transaction Fee (OC) - Non Refundable : INR 1050

Total Trip Cost : INR 28290
Also all other airlines in this route has been canceled except Jet and KF. And both have formed an cartel to keep the prices sky high. I saw one program on TV recently where Mr Naresh Goyal getting very aggressive when asked about price cuts. He was saying Mallya has an evergreen (liquor) business to go back on, and he dont have anything else!

Based on normal economic principles and general RoI in the flying business, I thought it is wise for airlines to keep the fares optimum so that the occupancy rates are at the highest. The cost of flying an aircraft half empty and with full passengers does not change much.

But it seems now that almost 30% of routes has been canceled and even the remaining are flying with less than 60% occupancy. Its back to the old days of "unaffordable flying", even with a couple of private airlines. These adamant airlines have now completely alienated the personal/family travel community.

Unfortunately things are not improving in railways as well, even though it is quite affordable. I was looking for train tickets in the same route and it is found completely full for the whole of next 3 months!

So back on the great Indian roadways...
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Old 25th November 2008, 18:39   #531
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I had a chance to travel to Bengaluru and back on 3 different airlines. here is my experience.

Indigo

Mumbai - Bengaluru @ 2120 hours. I reached the airport around 2045 and was promptly checked in. Had already booked tickets with the seats selected on the website. The female at the counter re-confirmed if I had booked the seats and I said yes.

Flight took off on dot - 2120 we were air borne. Great looking crew and impeccable service coupled with a super clean aircraft made it a great experience. Landed at Bengaluru bang on time - 2250.

The not so good experience was - they gave me row 20 when I had blocked seats on row 6. I did not bother to check as the female asked me whether I had blocked seats so I assummed I would get those seats. And also they do not have cotton that we stuff in the ear - isn't that taking cost cutting a bit too far ?

Verdict - Highly Recommended



Air India (earlier Indian Airlines)


Bengaluru - Mumbai @ 0835. Get a call at 0600 - Sir flight is delayed by 45 minutes. I leave for the airport @ 0715, reach airport around 0825 - pick up the boarding pass and get the security check done with. It's 0850.

Around 0900, I walk up to the staff at the gate and ask them whether the flight is delayed because I have not heard any annoucements for the Mumbai flight. They assure me the ETD is 0930 and they will board at 0915.

Its 1000 and we have not started boarding. The people are getting edgy and restless. 1015 - still nothing, people start raising their voices and we get a feeble response that the aircraft is being cleaned. I look out towards the bay and see the engineers working furiously on the engine. The situation gets more tense with all the people loosing it totally. Abuses fly thick and fast with warnings of getting physical. The airport manager is called in and asked to arrange for putting people in a different airline. They check with Jet and they have 80-100 seats. We are herded back to the check in counter of Jet Airways - get a new boarding pass, pass through security and straight into the aircraft. ETD - 1125 and the flight takes off at 1145 - the delay happens because the checked in luggage has to be transferred from Air India to Jet.

Verdict - Avoid at any cost


Jet Airways


Good service, clean aircrafts and nice looking crew - really good food too.

Verdict - Great


Given a choice between Indigo and Jet - I would go with Indigo because it has cheaper fare

On the flip side - Jet has better connections to different cities.
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Old 25th November 2008, 19:20   #532
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Hey guys,I would like to know which flight is the cheapest from Bangalore to Dubai(Round trip).

Last edited by punterccrx8s : 25th November 2008 at 19:21. Reason: Spelling Error
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Old 25th November 2008, 19:33   #533
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Colombo Airport

clean but uninspiring. Duty free- well stocked but they only take USD. Coffee in the coffee bean is pretty expensive. Discovered a cheapey nescafe machine downstairs. If you have time, check out the foot rub place!
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Old 25th November 2008, 20:24   #534
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Paramount Airways:
I had a chance to fly from Coimbatore - Chennai by this airline. At first i didnt expect much from it. Was quite impressed with the flight seating, interiors and on time perfomance. Food that is served is excellent. It has just started operations to Pune, Goa & Ahem. Highly recommended!!!

Rating : 9/10

Jetlite :

The only reason i have to travel this airline is cos its the only evening flight from Mumbai to Cbe. Jet didnt bother upgrading the interiors after Air Sahara purchase. What were they thinking? They have now stopped their so called 'Meal in a box '. Its got poor record of ontime perfomance. Go for it if you dont get tickets in other Low cost carriers. Surprised for a Jet brand it doesnt boast of much service.


Rating : 5/10

Last edited by karanraheja : 25th November 2008 at 20:27.
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Old 10th December 2008, 13:11   #535
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Please note Lufthansa has increased the fares for excess baggage.

For each suitcase weight > 23 and < 32, earlier it was US 50. Not they are charging USD 150.

Last night my parents were shocked. They were asked to pay at a different counter after checking in. The people at the check-in counter did not update my parents about the increased fare when they agreed to pay for the excess baggage. They came to know about the updated fare only after checking in the baggage and went to another counter to pay the fare.
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Old 10th December 2008, 15:23   #536
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Default Bangalore to London and Back in a weekend - BA Again

Decide to live the Yetilife and pop over to the UK for a party

Reluctantly went by BA, kept some clothes in my hand luggage just in case!

Bangalore Airport - looks boring but things happen fast, very few delays. Customs guys helpful in providing an export certificate. Needed topick up an ipod- india duty free- ridiculous $220 for a nano 8gb

BA Flight going - flight was full, I like the early check in so got my required seat. Blanket was very thin. Sitting near the window meant that I literally chilled from the air-con vents. Food average, no beef, only chicken. Movie choice okay but no of block busters reduced compared to before.

Arrived 30 min early. Recession has taken its toll so very few queues on landing and getting a slot. I was out in 30 min. Immigration queue was big. Luggage came out fast - normally, one needs to be grateful that luggage would come out at all!

BA Return - T5

Checked in on line - but believe me the fast drop service is slow - big queue, stupid passengers not knowing procedure. I thought I would go a little early to eat at Wagamamma's and do some Xmas shopping. The check in wait took 20 min.

If that was not enough, the immigration took another 15 min and security 30min. queue moved slowly and my rough count is only 6 machines for the whole airport.

T5 has a nice if busy ambience. HMV limited in choice. Nice if expensive stores. Duty free 10% more expensive in Bangalore. Make mistake in not picking up the chocolates over there..why..read on! Electronics nice selection - prices not bad - ipod nano from 92 pounds - Rs 6300

No time for Wagamamma's as the gate is in the satellite terminal. Get there in 15 min and boarding has started. Join queue, the person checking me in, looks at the screen, I glance and see the note OFFLOAD

He takes my ticket shows it to a more senior guy handling the queue, they look at me, rip the baggage tag off. rip my ticket, oh oh bummer! reaches under the desk and produces another ticket and tells me

"Very sorry, sir! The flight is over-capacity so I am afraid I have to move you to business class"

"I was afraid too!"

Business Class was great - own bed and great food. I did go a little over with the champagne though- I could get used to this

Reached Bangalore and was out in 20 min. Immigration 10 min, no customs hand bag check. Baggage took 10 min. Went to duty free to find that they are totally out on chocolate
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Old 11th December 2008, 01:11   #537
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Quote:
"Very sorry, sir! The flight is over-capacity so I am afraid I have to move you to business class"
And why does that never happen to me? Sob... Sob...

Not quite the Yeti Life, but I went on a round trip to London for a week from Chennai recently.

It was a last minute decision and the cheapest available seats from BA (the only direct flight on this route) were World Traveller Plus Class. To be honest, were it not for the cost I would never fly ordinary economy ("World Traveller") again. You get an inch or two more on the width, but what makes the real difference is seven extra inches between seats. You can still breathe even when the person in front of you turns out to be a manic recliner. The downside? The fare was just over 60,000.

Checked in online, as always --- but how is it that, despite being there on the dot of flight-24, that those plum bulkhead seats are gone already? Anyway, had the extra seven inches.

I don't remember a quick-bag-drop at Chennai before, but there is one now, and even though there was a family with some long-time-to-solve problem in front of me, it was still much quicker than the big snake queue. One day everyone is going to catch on to this and then it'll become quicker not to check in online!

After checking in, went back to the barrier for bye-bye chat with wife. I hadn't realised how long the Emigration check was going to take. This was just awful, and I must have been in that queue for 45 minutes. Patently they did not have enough staff, and patently they spent far too long on each person. Why they need to give even Indian travellers such a going over is a mystery. Got to the gate in time to queue for the plane. First time I have ever been through an airport without sitting down.

Arriving at T5 (my first time) was uneventful except it took a while for the bags to arrive. I was met by the mini-cab driver I'd booked by phone from India.

Leaving through T5 was also pleasantly uneventful. T5 stands as a monument to Bad British Management, which is a great shame, as it is an attractive building, and now seems to work well. If only they'd waited another month!

Again, the Quick Bag Drop was relatively quick; check-in was easy.

I'd been dreading the British Paranoia Security Check, but the reality of that was nothing to dread at all. "Do I have to take these shoes off?"; "No, they're fine". Straight through. Collect bags and coat. No delays. Some of the restrictions still in force may be a bit silly, but if one complies with them there is nothing to be bothered about.

Chocolate? There are now 15 Toblerones in my fridge, and no begging letters, please, they are all mine!

T5 is so big that I had to catch a train after check-in and shopping to the departure gate. Apparently it would have been a 15-minute walk; the train took less than two minutes.

Sat and had tea, SMS-ed my wife that I was at the airport, drinking Rs150 tea, then sauntered to the gate itself. Swapped the London boots for the Chennai sandals (But not until reaching home did I swap the trousers for the vesti!) and packed the thick coat in my carry-on. It was hard making all fit, and I asked a woman at the gate if I could take my small bag separately --- she said I was allowed two carry on bags, no problem. I keep a bag for in-flight stuff, sounds player, books, etc, which I put under the seat in front. Sandals are so much more comfortable on a plane anyway.

Arrived Chennai on time, Immigration was reasonably quick, but the baggage took an age to come through. I sat on a trolley; why does everyone stand and wait? Optimism?

The pre-paid car only cost 50% more than the call-taxi, so I was soon back home to my waiting mug of chai, which did not cost Rs150.

Although my wife is yet to tell me what I am going to be charged for a 3.00am welcome home!

I'm a BA regular, due to there being no choice unless I want to fly via somewhere else. One thing I've noticed on my last two flights, (Nov 08 and Nov 09) is that the food seems to have improved recently. Also that the female crew no longer wear saris, which (as one of them agreed) is a shame.
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Old 11th December 2008, 09:01   #538
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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Customs guys helpful in providing an export certificate. Needed topick up an ipod- india duty free- ridiculous $220 for a nano 8gb
What is this export certificate? Does it apply to things that you buy form duty free?
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Old 11th December 2008, 09:44   #539
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
One thing I've noticed on my last two flights, (Nov 08 and Nov 09) is that the food seems to have improved recently.
Never knew that BA does time travel as well

Regards,
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Old 11th December 2008, 09:59   #540
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Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
What is this export certificate? Does it apply to things that you buy form duty free?
suppose I am taking my Nikon camera out and bringing it back, it saves a whole load of explanation / misunderstanding with customs
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