Karan69 From India, joined Oct 2004, 2907 posts, RR: 17 Posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 9378 times:
Often have we witnessed things change, but such dramatic changes of the kind we are witnessing in the Indian Economy and the air travel situation in this country makes one really wonder, is our infrastructure really able to handle such a change??. But we will let time decide that, and anyways to come to the point .
I have not been doing a great lot of flying recently but this trip of mine should give us an insight about the dramatically changing Indian aviation scene and ofcourse my first Indian LCC experience.
The idea of this trip came up from a thread on the airliners-india.net forums where plans were being formulated for an Aero India meet at BLR.
At first I was not too keen and only decided to go if a good and convenient ticket price became available.—a rare combination indeed::
I surfed around the web pages and found a return fare on GO Air for approx INR 2400 or around 60 USD .
After coordinating with a BLR/BOM based and fellow airliners.net member Himmat01 we fixed the timing for Saturday the 10th of Feb, 2007.
10th Feb, 2007
I did not sleep well at all the previous night due to some unexpected guests showing up at my place, this would prove to be quite disrupting for my entire trip the next day
So after barely 2 hours and a few winks it was time for me to head to the airport, my parents saw me off at around 6:15am , I looked at the huge check in line for the flight and was quite disappointed to say the least as I did not know if I had enough energy left in me to tolerate such a queue.
But as luck would have it, a GO air agent came up to the line and said, “Anyone without any check in baggage?”
I quickly raised my hand he took mine and a few other passengers e tickets and after a few minutes came out with our printed boarding passes— No photo id check at all
So check in turned out to be quite a breeze, and I felt sorry for the rather long queues of passengers at the various IC IT G8 check in counters during this morning rush hour
I just don’t understand how they plan to integrate both domestic and international operations in one large building
I headed to the security screening and after about 20 mins cleared it, but the screener did not put a stamp check on my carry on bag and as a result I was stopped before arriving at my departure gate and was requested to pass through security again, I told him, “no way am I standing in the line again”, he said just give me your bag and ill pass it through and get it stamped, I thanked him and after receiving my stamped baggage proceeded to the departure gate.
Altough spacious the departure hall is pretty dull as it is located at the lower levels—which means boarding the aircraft by bus and the sad part being tinted glasses which prevents any views of the tarmac action.
However just when it was time for boarding to commence an announcement regarding first a 30 min delay and then a 1 hour delay.
I made the necessary calls to Himmat informing him about the change in the timings for my flight.
I then tuned onto the music on my Nokia N73 and wiled away my time hearing aircraft takeoff noises and some Trance, quite an interesting mix if you ask me, maybe some of the DJs should try it out.
Soon it was time for boarding to commence by bus, it was a long bus drive to where our aircraft was parked.
I was one of the first ones on board this very fresh looking A320 and took my seat and gave Himmat a call so that he knew by what time to come and fetch me from the airport,
I gave a goodbye call to my parents reminding them that I would be seeing them later that day.
As other passengers were still boarding I began snapping away.
We soon began our taxi to the main 27 runway however this time following a path which made me believe that I might experience my first takeoff from the Intersecting runway 14 , sadly this was not to be.
While taxing I noticed an Air Deccan aircraft VT-DKV and Spice Jet Aircraft VT-SPE which apparently were also headed to BLR, It was ironic that even though they were just a few hundred rupees more, I had not booked those flights because their departure times were about an hour later than my Go Air flight, however with my delayed departure this benefit had been negated, so 1 point down for G8 in this aspect
Remember these registration VT-DKV and SPE as you will see later.
Soon we were given the clearance for our departure and we powered down runway 27 on what I would like to describe a very vibratory takeoff.
We banked left and flew over the Bandra Worli Sea link and began our journey to BLR, I just tuned onto my music on the N73 and looked down at the view, the crew came around with some water which was all that happened in a pretty uneventful flight.
Just after we docked at our assigned gates I looked out to see none other than Air Deccan VT-DKV dock to the right of us and as I got down the stairs I saw Spice Jet VT-SPE landing on the runway.
Surprisingly even DN had had an ontime performance.
I gave Himmat a call and he told me that he and his parents were waiting outside for me.
I headed out and was quite happy to meet Himmat and especially his father who was an ex Indian Airforce Pilot and later went on to be An Air India 744 captain before retiring , I must say he sure did have an impressive personality.
It was to be a long journey towards Yelahanka Airforce base where the airshow was being held and we had some interesting conversations enroute .
We also passed a fellow a.netters house and discussed how he constantly whines about AI not serving BLR not realizing other things, but now we have seen a slight change in his attitude as AI have announced BLR-SFO services. –No hard feelings mate, we all love to hear your comments
Yelahanka Airforce Base, Aero India 2007
Then just as we reached a few yards from Yelahanka AFB , we were hit by a massive traffic block, we could hear and see some of the displays but were stationary for what felt like eternity, and as time stands still my fatigue gave way and the next thing I remember was being awoken by Himmat, with a tap on my shoulder, who told me that the LCA-Tejas was doing the display, and also that I had slept for almost 20 mins, but strange enough we had not even moved an inch in this traffic.
As a few gates cleared we finally got some parking space, me and Himmat then went to buy the tickets and as we stood in the ticket line this is what we saw.
Himmat had told me that if I were to make it back for my flight we should head back by around 17:30, so we began the long journey back to HAL,
Now this time the drive was good [without much traffic] and after such a tiring and exciting day and an equally hectic night, my body just gave way and the goddess of sleep just drew my eyes shut.
Unfortunately for Himmats dad I fell asleep with one of his reading material in my hand, and they being the good people they are did not disturb me.
I think I slept for about 30-35 mins, Himmat is that right?? And quickly returned the book to his dad and I could see from the overwhelming smile that I got from his father that he was expecting that book much before
Soon enough we reached HAL, and I said my goodbyes to Himmat and his family and thanked them for their hospitality.
I headed into the miniscule thing of an airport and went straight to the empty Go air ticket counter, received my boarding pass and went into another long queue for the day.
I saw the same aircraft I came in the morning arrive again from BOM a bit late, so I guess once they had a late start they just could not cover up the lost hour in the morning, and I was anticipating a delay.
Sure enough 30 mins delay was announced.
But then soon enough it was time for boarding.
You would not believe but guess what I saw from the bus my dear old friends who were there on either side of my aircraft just to perhaps give me a tease and remind me that you could have just as well booked us.
Yup you guessed right my aircraft VT-WAB the same one which bought me here was flanked on either side by its counterparts Air Deccans VT-DKV who apparently took off just before us and Spice Jet VT-SPE who took of just behind us.
Most of everything was pretty standard with regards to the safety procedures, however this time around the aircraft looked much nicer because of the lighter load factor, and the fact that I had an empty seat next to me.
I gave Himmat one last call to thank him and apologise for all the sleeping beauty [giant] trouble I put him through and then made one more call to my mom to tell her that I would arrive about an Hour later than usual.
The takeoff experience was the same vibratory one as experienced before.
We were given a flying altitude of Fl280 for the remainder of our flight.
However this time around the flight felt a lot smoother, and as usual was uneventful, within no time we approached BOM and after doing an airtour over the city were given clearance to land on main runway 27.
And ofcourse my dear friends DNs VT-DKV was also there before me and VT-SPE just landed after me.
I was glad to be back and went straight home onto my room to enjoy a much-deserved rest.
Commonly given for both flights
Aircraft: 8/10 —despite the vibratory takeoff the interiors were very fresh Crew:8/10
On time Facotr:4/10---- despite being the first flight of the day for that aircraft from BOM , it was delayed considerably
I apologise that this report of mine might not have the same photo quality as my others as my camera Sony P-150 malfunctioned 2 days before the show, hence those black lines in some of my shots and over editing in others, infact some of the static displays are taken by N73 mobile camera, now I have bought a new Sony Ultrazoom H9, so atleast better pictures next time around.
If you ask me to draw a conclusion about this new breed of LCCs in India, I would say too early too soon, but nevertheless they are responsible for bringing down the fare fares from what the traditional Legacies used to charge and have geared the likes of 9W[although more credit for that would go to IT] from almost getting complacent at one point.
I hope my trip report gave yoll an insight about the interesting and ever changing skies in my countries supposedly boom time as it was pretty hard for me to make it worth writing it as you can see nothing happened inflight , lets hope all happens for the better. As usual any comments/suggestions/criticisms are more than welcome
Justbala From India, joined Feb 2006, 178 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 9308 times:
Nice Report Karan... hope u njoied Aero India .. I was there later in the evening.. enjoied a beautiful performance by Surya Kiran.. Was there with a fren of mine who is with IAF and got to meet sm of the Surya Kiran pilots...
Among the a/c on display.. Grippen was my favourite.. amazing machine!!
That is not the cricket stadium, but the Kanteerava Athletic and Football stadium, along with the Indoor stadium on the left. You can also see the majestic Vidhan Soudha, the Karnataka State Assembly in the backdrop.
Flown IC , 9W , SQ , SV , GF , S2 , LX , IT , LH , OS , DN , AC , MH , 6E , MI , AA , TG , EK , QR , SG , TK , KW, UA ,
Blrsea From India, joined May 2005, 1538 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 9002 times:
Good report Karan.
Quoting Karan69 (Thread starter): I quickly raised my hand he took mine and a few other passengers e tickets and after a few minutes came out with our printed boarding passes— No photo id check at all
I have noticed similar behavior by Air Deccan, though Indigo always checked my ID as did Sahara and IC.
Quoting Karan69 (Thread starter): I headed to the security screening and after about 20 mins cleared it, but the screener did not put a stamp check on my carry on bag and as a result I was stopped before arriving at my departure gate and was requested to pass through security again,
It happened to me too, but you don't need to pass through security again. I just went to the CISF personnel near the scanning machine and told him that they forgot to put a stamp on my carry bag, and he did that. After that, I make sure before picking up bags at scanning machines that it is stamped
I noticed that this past week, neither IT nor 9W ever checked any identification.
Quoting Karan69 (Thread starter): Altough spacious the departure hall is pretty dull as it is located at the lower levels which means boarding the aircraft by bus and the sad part being tinted glasses which prevents any views of the tarmac action.
The tinted windows really did make it seem kind of dark and gloomy. While I did not think the view was too bad, photographs were virtually impossible to take.
Quoting Karan69 (Thread starter): I then tuned onto the music on my Nokia N73 and wiled away my time hearing aircraft takeoff noises and some Trance, quite an interesting mix if you ask me, maybe some of the DJs should try it out.
That combo is very nice, listened to it myself many times while waiting at different airports around the world. While I may be more partial to techno, trance is my second favorite.
Again, great trip report. I look forward to many more.
BigTom From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2006, 597 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8971 times:
Nice report Karan, GoAir seems to be better than I expected. Bangalore airport is just too crammed for comfort, hopefully the new airport will settle all these issues. One of your landing approach pics into BLR seems to show a golf course, is it right by the airport?
Nimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3354 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 8865 times:
Quoting BigTom (Reply 8): One of your landing approach pics into BLR seems to show a golf course, is it right by the airport?
Yes - there's a nice golf course just before runway 09. It extends all the way from there to my apartment complex - referred to right below ...
Quoting Karan69 (Thread starter): We also passed a fellow a.netters house and discussed how he constantly whines about AI not serving BLR not realizing other things, but now we have seen a slight change in his attitude as AI have announced BLR-SFO services. wink –No hard feelings mate, we all love to hear your comments wink
Hey Karan - you've seen the crowds at BLR now - and hence you know there's a market waiting to be picked up and flown around the world by our wondrous AI! I may have slowed down on my whining for now, but will probably start whining about AI again once they join the *A and I need to actually fly them on BLR-SFO, and they've not improved their game Oh the horrors, the delays, the terrible ground staff, the IFE not working etc. etc...
Great report, it was unfortunate I was not in town at that time (yes - off on the BLR-SFO sector again) and had to miss meeting you guys and visiting the show...
Ronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 8494 times:
Very interesting TR. Great to see something different for a change
Wish i was there at the Airshow.
Quoting Karan69 (Thread starter): I hope my trip report gave yoll an insight about the interesting and ever changing skies in my countries supposedly boom time as it was pretty hard for me to make it worth writing it as you can see nothing happened inflight , lets hope all happens for the better. As usual any comments/suggestions/criticisms are more than welcome
Being an avid supporter of the good old legacies, i find it unfortunate that LCC's are taking over the industry. As fares drop, so will in-flight service ..
Anyways, thats for a wonderful insight buddy!
Hope all is well...
A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
Quoting Cabso1 (Reply 3): I like your reports but it's just that you should make the pics larger
Thanks for your comments, you can always click and enlarge the pics if you want mate, the reason i make them smaleer is they are user friendly and its quicker to load, especially in countries like ours where you have very poor internet connection speeds comparitively.
Quoting Nimish (Reply 9): Hey Karan - you've seen the crowds at BLR now - and hence you know there's a market waiting to be picked up and flown around the world by our wondrous AI! Wink I may have slowed down on my whining for now, but will probably start whining about AI again once they join the *A and I need to actually fly them on BLR-SFO, and they've not improved their game Wink Oh the horrors, the delays, the terrible ground staff, the IFE not working etc. etc... Big grin
Fantastic mate keep em coming as i said we love to hear them.
Himmat01 From India, joined Dec 2004, 1049 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 7892 times:
think I slept for about 30-35 mins, Himmat is that right?? And quickly returned the book to his dad and I could see from the overwhelming smile that I got from his father that he was expecting that book much before
Yes, you had slept for around half an hour. My dad and I were through with that book in a day. If you really want it, I'll send it to you.
An airplane might disappoint any pilot but it'll never surprise a good one.
Yes indeed - my apartment complex is visible in this shot - the 3rd set of structures if you start from the bottom of the picture, and just slightly right of the vertical center line of the picture. Apartments in kind of a peach and white paint. My apartment is visible as well!