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Old 17th August 2007, 23:10   #76
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
People try to rob you right at the airport. They try to snatch your luggage.
So hold on to it very well.
Imagine that everybody around you wants to harm you.
Thats the only way to survive Delhi airport.
I have had locks broken, stuff stolen(not too expensive too, just a wireless router).
Recently TOI had a story about a gang of cargo handlers who would look at luggage X-rays and if saw anything interesting like a handycam etc., would pilfer it.
So if you don't want to bolt the barn after the horse has bolted, imagine everybody around you is a thief.

Tsk - is this problem there in the other airports as well?
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Old 18th August 2007, 01:13   #77
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tsk1979, I do tend to believe most of the things you say, but the way you say it makes one think that everyone will be waylaid in the capital city & that you should carry a shotgun to help yourself.

It sounds a bit far fetched. I agree there are quite a few unscrupulous elements in the airports, but if they did what you alleged they did, to all people, there would be no airport in delhi.

BTW, did you say BLR & Chennai in one breath as honest ? Please vist BLR now & see if you can correct yourself.

Last edited by esteem_lover : 18th August 2007 at 01:15.
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Old 18th August 2007, 10:00   #78
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Originally Posted by panky12345 View Post
My personal experiences:

Majority sectors travelled are Middle East and West (US/Canada in particular).

AIRLINE experience:

1. Air Canada: Though Canadian immigration requires visa for people travelling through Air Canada (even for transit to the US - and taking visa means another 1-2 days here in Delhi), this airline had been the BEST I could ever fly on this sector. EXCELLENT food; EXCELLENT restrooms (yes even after app 17 hrs of NON stop flying from Delhi to Toronto) ; EXCELLENT service. This is probably the only airline to give you an option of changing your dates n no of times once you depart India. There is a mix of uneducated people (farmers basically) from remote areas of Punjab and westerns. All in all, a very good experience.
I am sorry Panky but I was really disappointed with Air Canada. That 17 hour Delhi-Toronto flight was horrible, with unclean toilets (should also blame the passengers). Oh and one of the toilets could not be used since the door broke. Also their in flight entertainment is like the worst. The drop down screens keep folding up for no reason.

Also about Alitalia, I don't know how Sam likes it. but they have the worst record for flight delays, crew strikes etc. I mean they are the only airline in the world where the crew members went on a strike mid-air and they had to land at the nearest airport because of that. From Delhi to Milan and back, their food was burnt and overcooked, however from Milan to Toronto, it wasn't that bad (lasagna).

The best airline I've been in is American Airlines. It's cheap, amazingly efficient, never late (we arrived in Delhi non-stop from Chicago 2.5 hours earlier but had to circle the skies for another 2 hours due to air traffic), have good food and a very good in flight entertainment system (LCD screens on every seat in Coach class). Also I got really lucky during my Delhi to Chicago flight and back. Both times I had the window seat and the aisle seat next to me was empty, although the aircraft was otherwise full. I could stretch my legs and sleep really well.

Also regarding Indian Airlines, have any of you guys ever been on the Calcutta-Port Blair flight? If yes, then you'll know what I'm talking about. As much nice as it looks just before landing in Port Blair (islands, beaches etc), it also defies all rules of airline travel. Also the airstrip in Port Blair is one of the shortest I've ever seen. I mean you will be really scared to see it after you land, looks like about the same size as that on an aircraft carrier.

And I'll let you in on a little secret, NRI's coming to India never travel by Air India if they are paying for it themselves, because it's expensive and inefficient and takes a lot of time too.
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Old 18th August 2007, 10:11   #79
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Originally Posted by sreedotk View Post
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.

\
Also to add to that, shave off that damn beard you have been growing, unless it's for religious purposes. Trust me, I'm not kidding. This is especially important if you are applying from outside India, say from Europe, Canada, Far east etc. where you do not see too many bearded South Asian people. That could make the difference between a 1 year and a 5 year Visa.
Also don't dress up too formal, like a suit or a tie. It's not an interview, they are just gonna ask you a couple of questions. If you dress up too much and try to say too many things to them it looks like you are trying too hard. Only answer what they ask you, you do not need to say anything more.
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Old 18th August 2007, 10:18   #80
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I travelled on Paramount last August to Chennai from Hyd and back. It was a great experience---both flights were on time, the aircraft was spacious for a 5'11" guy like me (only 2 seats on either side of the aisle in the Embraer craft), and the staff were very courteous.
Best thing was that their staff assists you with your hand baggage till the aircraft, and also guide you to their deluxe lounge where you can relax and have a dig at the samosas, cutlets and cofee they offer from FREE.
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Old 18th August 2007, 10:36   #81
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@sujaylahiri: My experience was opposite. The plane was new, having individual LCDs at the back of the seat. Air India had this central screen.

I've travelled more than 6 times to US via Air Canada & let me assure you that it never happened the way you put it.

It may be a bad experience for you, or may be a couple of good experiences for me. :-)
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Old 18th August 2007, 12:18   #82
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Originally Posted by sujaylahiri View Post
Also about Alitalia, I don't know how Sam likes it. but they have the worst record for flight delays, crew strikes etc. I mean they are the only airline in the world where the crew members went on a strike mid-air and they had to land at the nearest airport because of that. From Delhi to Milan and back, their food was burnt and overcooked, however from Milan to Toronto, it wasn't that bad (lasagna).
Sam - did you say you liked Alitalia?

Alitalia have more problems than Air India, I think. Their Milan hub is worse than the old CSIA. Their aircraft are old-ish. The Recaro custom leather seats in Business from their glory days are no match for today's flat-bed seats offered by any airline worth its name.

However the food is normally very good (an Italian served bad food wont hesitate to throw the pasta at the cabin crew, which probably explains the food) IF YOU CHOOSE Italian or VGML. Never order AVML (Asian Vegetarian) on Alitalia - its not their forte.

Plus the coffee is simply the best. KLM is another airline that serves really good coffee.
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Old 18th August 2007, 14:08   #83
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I wasnt too happy with Alitalia, the food was pretty bad, the airhostesses were very ok, not rude or anything but not not polite either, No screens behind the seats and just one movie being played throughout the flight. I dont know who put in this request for me but there was a vegetarian meal request for me and even thoguh I explained it to them that I hadnt requested for vegetarian food they didnt agree to give me the regular meal and I was stuck with the veg food.

Last edited by khanak : 18th August 2007 at 14:09.
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Old 18th August 2007, 16:49   #84
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Quote:
Also about Alitalia, I don't know how Sam likes it.
Quote:
Sam - did you say you liked Alitalia?
No man I didn't. I normally like all things Italian, but that airline is just no good.

Quote:
I dont know who put in this request for me but there was a vegetarian meal request for me and even thoguh I explained it to them that I hadnt requested for vegetarian food they didnt agree to give me the regular meal and I was stuck with the veg food.
Trust me, I know the answer to this one. It's your booking agent. I know for a fact that when booking agents are asked to indicate a mean preference they just blindly choose Asian Veg, as every Indian can eat that. It's like the blood group O, that everyone can take, lol.

Ask ANY travel agent. They just choose that, rather than call you and ask you what you want to eat.

Unless you use a regular agent, who knows what you eat, or book your own ticket (unlikely for international) SPECIFY to your agent what meal you want.
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Old 18th August 2007, 22:07   #85
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Originally Posted by panky12345 View Post
@sujaylahiri: My experience was opposite. The plane was new, having individual LCDs at the back of the seat. Air India had this central screen.

I've travelled more than 6 times to US via Air Canada & let me assure you that it never happened the way you put it.

It may be a bad experience for you, or may be a couple of good experiences for me. :-)
Hahah
I guess it evens out in the end. cheers:
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Old 18th August 2007, 22:12   #86
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And to add to Steeroid and khanak, the entire aircraft from Milan to Delhi had Indian people only. I mean when I went to the departure gate of Milan for the flight, it looked like Delhi airport. Everyone talking in Hindi and not a single Italian or anyone else. I saw more foreigners at Delhi airport that day than Milan. Wonder how so many of us end up in Milan at the same place and same time.
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Old 19th August 2007, 10:47   #87
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Unless you use a regular agent, who knows what you eat, or book your own ticket (unlikely for international) SPECIFY to your agent what meal you want.
True we specify especially since our son is veg while my wife and me are not.

be very specific: my wife usually does the bookings and such and she quotes "1 Veg Kiddie Meal + 1 Non Veg Adult Meal without spices + 1 regular Non Veg Adult meal".

The "without spices" usually means that you get a Continental meal. The Kiddie means that they will try to offer kid friendly food a la sandwiches, burgers, french fries, and even if you request kindly a glass of warm milk!

1. Explain your position politely: my son is lactose intolerant, my husband gets an upset stomch if the food is too spicy, etc...
2. Dont get too picky. If you are then carry something edible. As long as it looks like food the airline will only be happy to heat it up for you. For example when my wife orders a non-spicy meal for me I usually get an option of pasta of a fillet of some meat; I wont get Thai Green Curry on Lufthansa, or Veal on Singapore Airlines.
3. Follow the rules of ettiquite (stay belted, dont make a nuisance of yourself, travel light, given them time to fullfil your request, etc..). If you do you often get rewarded. Even my son knows this. He has been invited to the cockpit twice because he was well behaved. Ok he is 5. Dont expect them to invite 25 year old men into the cockpit in this day and age.
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Old 19th August 2007, 16:28   #88
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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
Sam - did you say you liked Alitalia?

Alitalia have more problems than Air India, I think. Their Milan hub is worse than the old CSIA. Their aircraft are old-ish.
The Milan airport is quite bad though I wouldnt say its as bad as CSIA, atleast it has a Ferrari Store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
The Recaro custom leather seats in Business from their glory days are no match for today's flat-bed seats offered by any airline worth its name.
Jet Airways has Recaro seats in economy class and their First Class seats are amazing as well.
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Old 19th August 2007, 17:18   #89
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Sam and Steer have already said a lot. My two cents:

Emirates - a total disappointment - service between India and Dubai as also the seat pitch is smaller in magnitude compared to Dubai to London

Dubai Airport - Toilets are appalling - if you need to do your duty, either complete it on the flight or perform in the bathrooms soon after you deplane frm the aerobridge. The hoi polloi always rush to the duty free area and, oh boy the queues. Duty free is apallingly expensive.

Singapore Airlines - Excellent if a little soul-less

London Heathrow - Avoid if possible, crowded, dirty, miserable. Check in staff are out to rip you off if your hand baggage is slightly off. Best solution. Keep a large carry bag hooked on the back of your trolley and fill it with your junk. Demo your hand baggage with a "fingerlift". Worse case, they may weigh it and see that it complies. Walk away and fill the hand baggage. Don't be too clever and try to put 20kg in else you won't get through security. Secuity are bolshy about one piece of hand baggage. Once you are in duty free, you are home. If you over fill your bags, worst case is that it is removed and put into hold.

US Airlines - avoid, bland, blousy, ugh. Be careful that Steeroid's KLM heaven does not turn into NorthWest Hell

I've heard good things about Jet- which I will go for once direct flights starts from BIAL
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Old 19th August 2007, 17:24   #90
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Originally Posted by khanak View Post
The Milan airport is quite bad though I wouldnt say its as bad as CSIA, atleast it has a Ferrari Store..
and a decent selection of wines and coffee.
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