SR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1702 posts, RR: 42 Posted (11 years 9 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2162 times:
FRA - BOM
767-300 (Ex Gulf Air aircraft, I think) Old colors(Middle)
Check In: We got to the airport a bit early since we had a ton of bags, we were moving from FRA!!! There was no line at check in. We were asked the usual questions of "did you pack everything yourself" and so on. Once they felt we were not terrorists they let us through for the check in which was fast and efficient. We had requested reserved seats 11 A & B but we got 12 A & B. Since I knew 11 was suppose to be the last row I thought it must be a different aircraft or something.
After immigration we went to the Business Elite lounge which is quite spacious. As we got in, I tried to give the invitation to the girl behind the desk but there was a grumpy old man screaming at her since the JFK flight something like 3 hours late. He wanted a lunch voucher or something utterly stupid like that. Keep in mind it was 10 am!!! Once we got some seats I headed to the phone area to make some calls. Guess what?? No free phone service for local calls!!! Great. I went back and got my cell phone, went into one of the booths and made a few good bye calls. Time passes by quickly and the boarding announcement was done for Biz E so We headed down to the gate.
We were greeted by a smiling steward who knew who my father was, we fly this flight quite often and its usually the same cabin crew each time. This was the aircraft with two main doors before the wing so I am sure it was an ex Gulf Air aircraft. The seats are quite comfortable but they seemed a bit on the narrow side. The legroom was amazing at the time, I flew BA's new Club World 2 days ago and that has even more legroom. On the seats usually you find a pillow, blanket, amenity kit, and headphones. None of these items were on any of the 3 rows in the rear section. No big deal maybe they'll be coming!!
After take off menus were handed out and drinks were served. Meanwhile the entertainment started, at this point I still did not have the headphones and neither did anyone else in the 3 rows. I politely asked the stewardess for one and she said abruptly, "I'll get them when I can!" Ok no problem, everyone has bad days, maybe she was having one. Then the tablecloths were laid and the meal service started. This is what the menu looked like:
Lemon Herb Shrimp with marinated Cucumber and Red Onion Salad, accompanied by Orange Slices
Indian Vegetarian Carrot Salad with Radicchio, Kidney Beans and Chives
Fresh Garden Salad with spinach, Red Leaf Radicchio Lettuce, topped with artichokes and cherry tomatoes offered with your choice of Pamesan Peppercorn Dressing or Mustard Vinaigrette
Seared Breast of Chicken enhanced by Moroccan Tomato Sauce, accompanied by Zucchini and Couscous with Raisins, Green Olives and toasted Pine nuts
Radiatore Pasta enhanced by roasted Tomato Sauce, tossed with Spinach, Crooknech Squash and Capers
Shrimp and pan-seared Sea Scallops may be added to this Entree
A presentation of Vegetable Jalfrezi, Peas Masala, Channa Dal and Kishmish Pulao
A selection featuring Lamb Curry, Peas Masala, Channa Dal and Kishmish Pulao
Fruit and Cheese
Premium Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae with your choice of Chocolate, Caramel and Balckberry Sauces, Whipped Cream and chopped Nuts, Garnished with Pirouline Cookie
Neuhaus fine Belgian Chocolates
Well since I still did not have the headphones I was looking at my food intently. The shrimp was go except for the fact that there were 2 in my plate and 6 in my fathers. He game me 2 since he wasn't that hungry but the number should be the same in each plate I think!! Anyway the salad was ok, I chose the mustard dressing and it was too bitter. I decided to have the pasta with the shrimps and scallops which turned out to a very good choice. It was great. The ice cream was good and I had it with Caramel. During the meal there was no wine offered to anyone, not that I wanted to have any but after such a big wine menu, you would think they would have it out. I would love to tell you how the chocolates tasted but we were never offered any. I'll explain where all these things went later. By now I was getting bored since the headphones were still nowhere in site. I got up and went to the galley. The entire front section of Biz E was enjoying their PTV's with Headphones. I asked another stewardess and she smiled and said, "Oh sorry" I was given a amenity kit and headphones. I sat down and watched the comedy channel and then the wedding planner. I then decided to go see what snacks they had on the tray at the galley. The only thing on was V8 juice and some crackers. Strange?? Nothing else?? Oh well I guess I'll have to wait for the snack before landing. Cycle A in the entertainment was never shown for some reason, it was just cycle B. The lights were put on for the snack before landing.
Turkey and Swiss Cheese sandwich on Marble Rye served with Vinegar and Oil Cole Slaw and English Mustard
Hot Vegetarian Savories including a Spring Roll, Hara Barra Kebad and small Pastry Roll
Hot Non-Vegetarian Savories featuring Shami Lamb Kebab, Chicken Tandoori with roasted Onion Rings and Musroom Quiche
I had the Non Veg which was pretty ok, not good but definitely not bad. We then started our decent into Bombay. Our scheduled arrival time was 11:35pm. At 11:35 we were circling Bombay Airport at 25,000 feet. The captain came on few minutes later and said there was heavy rain so we would be circling around for a few minutes. This circling went on for another 1 and a half hours. We touched the runway at 1 am. Thankfully the cabin crew forgot to do the pre landing walk round to see if everyone was buckled up or not and so never took the headphones. Atleast this proved useful during the circling.
Immigration at BOM is another story all together and that the way I will leave it. By the time we got out to the baggage claim our bags were out and circling.
This was my first time flying Biz E with Delta but I have flown this flight in both directions in economy quite a number of times. I found the crew to be one of the worst I have ever flown with on any airline. Remember everything that was missing?? Well guess what, it was all stashed away in the closets behind my seat. The crew took everything from chocolates and all the wine bottles to the snacks that were suppose to be on the tray in the galley!! Can you believe that??? I like Delta and the seats were good but the crew really let the flight down. I was surprised it was so bad.
If you have any comments or want to ask any questions please be my guest. I was just wondering, has anyone else had such a crew on Delta or any airline???
Jaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (11 years 9 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1954 times:
This has never happened to me in Biz Elite before. However, if it did, I would demand to see the inflight supervisor and chew him/her out right in front of all passengers and preferably the flight deck crew.
CODC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2167 posts, RR: 8 Reply 3, posted (11 years 9 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1932 times:
Jaysit, take this advice from a VERY frequent flyer-
Kindness gets you what you want.
I have been on many aircraft where certain amenities were not distributed, and in every case all it took was a simple "I didn't receive my _______ before we took off, may I have an extra?" to the purser and the items were delivered to my seat without anything further. Sometimes it takes a hint of sternness in your voice with some of the bad apples, but generally you will receive what you want with less effort by being nicer. And in this day and age, "chewing-out the inflight supervisor in front of the passengers and flight crew" could be construed as air rage and may land you in clink upon arrival, depending on your level of intensity.
Zrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 2872 posts, RR: 10 Reply 4, posted (11 years 9 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1929 times:
I am impressed and delighted at the fact that you graciously went to a phone booth to use your cell phone. I can't stand it when people yack on the phone in the middle of the lounge. It's just rude. Thank you for your consideration.
SR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1702 posts, RR: 42 Reply 5, posted (11 years 9 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1919 times:
Thanks for all the feedback.
I was thinking about writing to Delta since I am a AF Freq. Rouge Member and most of those miles are with DL, so my complaint might have had some effect. The thing I am thinking though, is I don't want to be blackballed on future flights... Trust me it happens, I know people in the industry that actually treat certain passenges that have complained in a very different manner. Also this could have been an one off occurence. If this happens next time, I'm going to create a bit of ruckess.
Jaysit: It would have been nice to talk to the inflight supervisor except for the fact that she was taking part in this. I clearly saw her take 2 bottles of wine from the galley and put them in her hand bag!!!
CDC10: Asking the crew nicely did not do anything for the headphones. I agree asking nicely is what to do, but it did not work with this crew. When I finally went to get the headphones in the galley and I asked them nicely she ignored me. Then when another stewardess came in I said the following in a slightly elivated tone, "Excuse me but I have am asking for a set of headphones for the 6th time and I have been ignored by the sewardess sitting right there. (I pointed at this point) May I PLEASE HAVE A HEADSET!!!" Thats when the one ignoring me got up and handed them to me with a "Oh, Sorry". Most of the crew were like this, serving passengers was not part of their job on this flight.
Zrs70: Thanx, I hate it when people yack on their cell phones infront of everyone. Its so annoying!! I'm glad someone appreciated my effort, even if you were not there!
Sorry but I am trying to get the BA/AA, BOM-LHR-ORD-TPA written up but I am so busy I won't be able to for a while. I am really busy trying to get everything ready for University. This is my freshman year!!! Sorry
Zizou From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 1527 posts, RR: 5 Reply 6, posted (11 years 9 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1907 times:
Sorry to see that You had a bad flight. I too thought Delta service was good and would not stoop this low (the flight attendents I mean). It's strange to see it happen actually, I have never seen it or experienced it and neither heard about it. Maybe it was a one-off.
Will you fly Delta again? Maybe Lufthansa might be a better option,or since you are Air France frequent flyer member, maybe you could fly them to Paris then change flights to Frankfurt.
How are you settling in New Delhi? It must be a huge difference coming into the humidity that is India and contending with a new language (can you speak Hindhi?).
By the way, great trip report and I am glad that you bought up this incident.
SR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1702 posts, RR: 42 Reply 7, posted (11 years 9 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1898 times:
Thanx for the nice comments. Actually I was in Bombay not New Delhi and the heat was not a problem for me. I was in Kuwait for 2 weeks (EK trip report both ways written on this forum). It was a problem there.
To answer your questions, yes I will be flying Delta again. I am moving to Daytona Beach and since they have close to 8 flights a day to ATL I guess its in my luck. In fact I have booked them already. BOM-FRA-ATL-DAB-CVG-FRA-BOM. The first leg in January and the last in June. Though I think this may be it for them. I will keep the ATL-DAB on them but try to have the international legs on AF or AZ.
I can speak Hindi but not very well. My gujrati is much better. I am Indian though. Once again thanx for the comments.
SR3496 From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 792 posts, RR: 22 Reply 8, posted (11 years 9 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1872 times:
hey SR 103
Good report (sadly a bad experiance for you with DL). Next time fly agian Swissair.
But can you tell me (us) more about BOM costums...? I'd like to hear a bit of chaos, because when I was in India some years ago this was horrible.
SR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1702 posts, RR: 42 Reply 9, posted (11 years 9 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1874 times:
Sure, no problem. I don't want to insult anyone so I'll try and keep it bland.
The night we arrived, all the flights came in the same hour due to the weather which as you can tell caused a enourmous amount of problems. All these flights came in withing an hour.
BOM has tried a new system. They have put dividers in to form a snake like line to the 10 counters, something like you would see at a bank. On this occasion it proved useless because of the number of people (It was a god send when I flew EK latter this month) Once we stood through that huge line for over an hour, close to two, we got the immigration officers. For some reason they like to take thier sweet time on each passport. The majority also seem to type with one finger. Once that was done, it was time to go to the baggage claim area. On this night it was a fiasco, not enough belts, too many flights, bags all over place - mixed up. All the DL bags had apparently come through and were on the belt, but there was no place to stad let alone search for a bag. We were also told that if the bags were not on the belt thay had been removed and putin a pile on the side, "Go look!" was the staffs answer. We eventually found our bags in a pile on the side of the carousel 3 mixed up with AZ & LH bags. After that it was the long line for the x-ray.
In all fairness, BOM is trying and that night was an exception due to all the flights comming in so late. I don't think any other airport could have done any better under the circumstances. They had to work with whatever resources they had that night.
I am not trying to offend anyone or put down India, I am Indian. I am just relating my experience.
Jaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (11 years 9 months 13 hours ago) and read 1832 times:
SR103, you're much too kind !!
Bombay airport is a pig pen and a disaster area. It is the worst introduction to the country I can think of. It epitomizes the filthy, decrepit third-world airport in the minds of air passengers except that most third world airports in tin-pot nations are better than BOM. The custom and immigration officers are a bunch of dull morons who revel in their petty power and have no sense or idea of what a modern airport is all about. It is yet another example of what a mess India really is, and how all the endless talk of successful Indian professionals, IITs, software successes, etc are all meaningless because the leadership in India does not know what infrastructural development is all about.
That night you speak of was not an exception - most, if not all, airlines have daily flights into BOM, and the airport is poorly equipped to handle them. I have stood in line for 3 hours in emigration clearance just because some foolish khaki clad official wanted to look at every page in every passengers passport and then type with one finger while using his other hand to scratch his ass.