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Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J  
User currently offlinehenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 15711 times:

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Diversity is the spice of life!


Part 2: Fighting with bureacracy and escaping India.

BACKGROUND


This report is part of a long trip from Goa to Denpassar (Bali). Because it became to lenghty to post as one I cut it into three parts. This is part 2.
Part 1 can be found here: Kingfisher Y - Goa To BOM (by henkybaby Mar 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
Part 3 can be found here: The CX Upper Deck Experience: HKG-DPS In J (by henkybaby Mar 2 2010 in Trip Reports)

This report deals with everything from the transfer in BOM to arriving in Hong Kong. I flew CX. This would be the first time I would fly their infamous herringbone J class for any lenght of time. I had flown it once from MNL to HKG but that was only an hour. I did recall I found it very claustrofobic so I was not necessarily looking forward to it. As usual I was being way too critical and the product is quite acceptable, although no match for BA J (hard product that is).

I had flown CX from BKK to BOM

A Long Trip From Thailand To Goa. TG, CX And IT. (by henkybaby Feb 21 2010 in Trip Reports)

and that was a very poor experience to say the least. CX surprised me this time with good crews on the BOM-HKG leg and a simply outstanding crew on the HKG-DPS leg. The tough part was getting out of India.


CX684
Airbus 34B
Seat 20K (Business)
Load factor: 60% in J
Dep: 04:05 (actual 05:25)
Arr: 11:45 (actual 13:15)


We had arrived in BOM Domestic around 17:40. Now it is important to realize that my next flight was at 04:05, which is the next day. And according to Indian bureaucracy that is a problem. While Richard (a nice guy I met on the GOI--BOM flight) was getting his luggage I was initiating round one of a 5 round battle to get to the lounge at BOM International. My first nemesis was the keeper of the passenger manifest of the transit bus. He refused to let me on the bus at first ("no sir, your flight tomorrow, you wait here until four hours to departure!" meaning at least 5 hours) but I blatently lied that I needed to get to the International Terminal to change my flight to the CX flight to DXB which left in 90 minutes. Since it was an 28 minute wait for the bus he now tried to tell me I would never make it but I had decided that I already won this battle. By the way: bribing these guys is useless. Richard came about 10 minutes before the bus left and used the same excuse. You might wonder why we lied, but they really will let you wait if the bus is full.

The second nemisis was am army security lady who once agains determines if you are worthy to board the bus. We did the same routine as before but she was more difficult to persuade. We got into quite a heated argument in fact. Finally I said "Listen, if you keep interviewing me for 10 minutes I will never make the DXB flight and no doubt more people will miss their connection!" . I said this pretty loud and the long line behind me was getting restless. She waived me through with noticeable contempt.

However, I am not sitting here for 6 hours! No sir (or rather: Madam)...


The bus was full and took forever. Forever being around 40 minutes. Now this is not really a sightseeing tour I can tell you. Here are some impressions of the trip...


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They stopped us to let an El Al flight leave the gate but when they could not connect the (what do you call those vehicles that push the planes again?) to the plane and they finally waved us through. That was 15 minutes of my life I will never get back.

The bus drops you off at the beginning of the International Terminal (gate A) even though gate D (CX) is another 500 meters or so. I guess a second stop is too much trouble. Richard needed 9W so he went straight in to check in whilst I proceeded to gate D. I told him to come find me in the Clipper Lounge.

My third nemesis proved to be the hardest one. I had not realized that if you travel at 04:05 AM they simply will not let you in the terminal the night before. At least, they don't want to. When I showed my itinerary to the guard he shouted at me to go away and come back tomorrow and started to physically push me away. I could see that the Dubai flight was closing so I pushed back and started to confuse him by showing him my business visa, telling him I needed to change flights and that I had a meeting in the lounge. This proved too much information and he then (literally) pushed me into the terminal. Henk 3, India 0!

I made it to the CX desk and was refused a boarding pass since security would not let me throug anyways. What? CX nemesis number 4? That was unexpected. Luckily they have kiosks at BOM so I printed my own boarding pass. Meanwhile the local CX manager (excellent chap!) got involved and sent one of his staff to try and persuade security to let me through. He came back after about 15 minutes to tell me there was "no way you will pass security before midnight, since the flight is not yet in their system (yada, yada, yada)". It was Henk 4, India 0 and I was almost cocky about my chances. I tried to bet them that I would make it through. They laughed and told me I was happy to try.

I was ready for what I felt would be my most difficullt nemesis: customs! I had my story ready (business meeting in the lounge) but was secretely affraid it would turn out to be a long wait landside. So close but yet so far. When I walked up to the desk I expected anything but what really happened: nothing. They just let me through. No problem whatsoever. Ah well... Henk 5, India 0. Final score. Security took some revenge by taking forever but at least I was going to relax in a lounge!

It turned out that RIchard had beat me to it because when I told the attendant that if he came by he was to page me he told me that he had already come in. He showed up again while I was being 'checked in' to the lounge (a long and very laborious process during which 4 people asked me for my name) and I was able to guest him in. The

Clipper lounge is actually a good place to relax!

Very comfy loungers!

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A lot of airlines use the lounge, as you can deduct from this display.


Richard was an entertaining guest and we chatted quite a bit. The food at this lounge was very nice. Good quality although a limited selection.



Around 11:00 PM my guest left and by this time the lounge was getting rather busy.



I still had a while to go so I decided on a walk. The terminal itself is very spartan. Not too many shops but some good eateries.


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Part of BOM busy night schedule.


The BA Galleries Lounge. Did not look like anything special so I did not bother going in. It only opens 3,5 hours before the BA flight, whilst the Clipper lounge is 24/7.


At 03:30 I made my way to the gate to discover that our flight was delayed by 20 minutes (IST). Back to the lounge it was, but all the loungers where now taken. After a short wait I returned to the gate to find that everything was still in chaos.



Finally, around 04:40 they started boarding. A good hour later than planned. I was first in line but of course India would strike back, albeit weakly. Since I had used the kiosk nobody had looked at my passport and that now had to be done extensively. 5 minutes. It is probably because it is such a pretty picture in there.  

My seat: 20K


I had decided to hate the seat and it is very cramped. You can't really move your arms and to look outside you need a chiropractor with a mean streak. I had some time to make myself comfortable and get used to the seat since our captain was Mr. "5 more minutes, folks!". First of all he announced that we lost our slot and that this was the busiest time for departures in BOM. However, he expected to leave in 5 minutes. That gave me some time to make some cabin pictures.


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The amenity kit

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Sleeping position


It was a long wait...

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Our route


15 minutes later he came back on to announce that we had a medical emergency (not too uncommon in India I have found, maybe linked to the disproportional number of wheelchairs?) and that would take about 5 minutes. 15 minutes later he told us that the passenger was being offloaded and they were searching for the bags which would take... (you guessed it!) He was almost right. We pushed back around 05:25 and by now I was extremely tired. It is only a 4h20m flight and I could only hope the seats were good to sleep in.

Taxi to the runway


Cabin in night mode


It turned out that the seat is indeed quite comfortable for sleeping in. It can also be that I was so tired that I would have slept on a bed of nails. Knowing I was going to skip the meal I took a picture of the menu for you.



And that is all he wrote until about 40 minutes out. I woke up still groggy and tired but ready to face another day. The crew was preparing the cabin for landing and did so efficiently.

Morning!

.


I always like the approach to HKG. Such a shame I never got to do the old airport though...


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I could barely stand up straight but I sailed through customs and went to the airport express train to take me to Kowloon where I was to spend the night at the InterContinental. Although I had shopping planned I really just walked around a bit before falling asleep early. A good thing too since the next day they had a marathon and that meant either a very long and difficult trip to the airport or getting up to leave at 05:00 before they close off the streets.

You can read about part three here: The CX Upper Deck Experience: HKG-DPS In J (by henkybaby Mar 2 2010 in Trip Reports)

As always: feedback is very much appreciated if only to discover people actually read this stuff...  

[Edited 2010-03-02 03:55:41]

[Edited 2010-03-02 04:17:41]


Wherever you go, there you are!
50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineseamefly From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 317 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 15406 times:

Oh my gosh, I was exhausted from reading your report and how the bureaucracy is in India!! I can't believe the hassle one has to go through just to be in a lounge!!!

Good that you were able to talk your way into the lounge even with all those obstacles ;p ...


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5076 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15152 times:

Personally, I have a hard time understanding your need to break security rules in other countries and count it as a score when this type of behavior would be completely unacceptable by security forces in Netherlands and/or other parts of the Europe or the U.S. And, India faces a significantly greater terror risk than most of them.

Thanks for sharing an insightful report.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinehenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15101 times:

Although I appreciate your reading of the situation I find it frustrating that there are so many ambivalent and seemingly arbitrary rules in India. Why would international transit passengers be allowed to wait in the terminal but domestic to international are a threat and should be rudely refused entry? It is all one airport, is it not? We could debate this till the cows come home, but I have had it with Indian bureaucracy and I indeed celibate any victory over it.

At no other airport in the world did I encounter such strange 'rules'' or have I been treated as I have been in India. Exclusively by the army types by the way who I have also encountered asleep on the job, taking bribes and goofing off. They are mocked and feared even by the airport and airline staff.

We have bumped heads over comments about India before. It seems you are very sensitive to any form of criticism towards the country or its inhabitants. Believe me, I have some good friends there so my criticism is far from racially motivated.

[Edited 2010-03-02 06:25:01]


Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5076 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15077 times:

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 3):
Although I appreciate your reading of the situation I find it frustrating that there are so many ambivalent and seemingly arbitrary rules in India. Why would international transit passengers be allowed to wait in the terminal but domestic to international are a threat and should be rudely refused entry? It is all one airport, is it not? We could debate this till the cows come home, but I have had it with Indian bureaucracy and I indeed celibate any victory over it.

At no other airport in the world did I encounter such strange 'rules'' or have I been treated as I have been in India. Exclusively by the army types by the way who I have also encountered asleep on the job, taking bribes and goofing off. They are mocked and feared even by the airport and airline staff.

= We will have to agree to disagree. After all, rules that may seem arbitrary or frustrating to us, might be there for a reason. I could write a novel on the moronic response at AMS after the Christmas bombing attempt, but recognize that sometimes we (the traveling passenger) do not have as much information as we thought we do.

Don't get me wrong ... I am all about breaking rules that are lame ... but I don't make it a personal contest  Wink.

Saludos,
A.

[Edited 2010-03-02 06:28:17]


Live, and let live.
User currently offlinehenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15047 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 4):
I could write a novel on the moronic response at AMS after the Christmas bombing attempt

I think you mean the US response to the bombing attempt on a Delta plane that originated in AMS with a Nigerian passenger that boarded in Ghana. Yes, I agree. The world went a little crazy.  Smile

[Edited 2010-03-02 06:29:35]


Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5076 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15044 times:

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 5):
I think you mean the US response to the bombing attempt on a Delta plane that originated in AMS with a Nigerian passenger that boarded in Ghana. Yes, I agree. The world went a little crazy.

= Or, the immediate Dutch response to have full body scanners (without any strict requirements from the U.S.)

Anyways, no point in spending the day on arguing this here. Thanks for your report.

Saludos,
A.

[Edited 2010-03-02 06:30:08]


Live, and let live.
User currently offlinehenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15021 times:

Yes, agreed. TBS are nonsense anyways. But that is a different subject altogether.

Suffice to say that I find Indian airport security bewildering, unorganized, poor (otherwise I would not have scored a 5-0 victory) and most of all extremely rude. They are by far the exception in the larger, more organized world.



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineLYchemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1170 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 14363 times:

Well the guy got through security in Holland and Nigeria, not here so that speaks for itself.
The seats really do look claustrophobic in C. From what I gather CX service due to cost cutting has declined.
Did you enjoy Goa? Everybody raves about it but the ocean looks rough. Thank you for the report.


User currently offlinecakentennis From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 14298 times:

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 7):
Yes, agreed. TBS are nonsense anyways. But that is a different subject altogether.

Suffice to say that I find Indian airport security bewildering, unorganized, poor (otherwise I would not have scored a 5-0 victory) and most of all extremely rude. They are by far the exception in the larger, more organized world.

Thanks for the interesting trip report. I feel like a lot of your experiences could have been avoided had the trip just been planned better. If I understand correctly, the staff was trying to give priority to passengers who had immediate international connections. While connecting at BOM, I find it easier to rent a room at one of the nearby hotels, rather than braving the bus journey.

Every now and then, I have people tell me that they would like to visit India and my advice is that you should prepare for the unexpected. Everything does not work the way it does in the west, but with an open mind and a little patience, it's easy to work things out. People in India are generally eager to help. I hope you have a better experience the next time you visit.


User currently offlineUSFlyer MSP From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 13175 times:

WOW, CX's J class seats look quite poor! I pity the fat person who buys CX J thinking they will have some extra room! I would almost rather have 2-seats to myself in Y.

User currently offlineaa61hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 13055 times:

Another nice report!

Oddly before I go to DPS, I am going to HKG for a few days. And oddly enough I am also staying at the Intercontinental. I swear I'm not following you, Henkybaby  



Go big or go home
User currently offlinemah4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32623 posts, RR: 72
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 12886 times:

Quoting USFlyer MSP (Reply 10):
WOW, CX's J class seats look quite poor! I pity the fat person who buys CX J thinking they will have some extra room! I would almost rather have 2-seats to myself in Y.

J seats are about a comfortable seat, not an abundance of personal space.

CX J product is among the better regarded ones. If you think CX is poor, what do you think of the others?



a.
User currently offlinehenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 12839 times:

Quoting aa61hvy (Reply 11):
Oddly before I go to DPS, I am going to HKG for a few days. And oddly enough I am also staying at the Intercontinental.

You could do worse but remember that Kowloon hotels are all about the view and the better shopping is done across the harbor. If you want to save a bundle on ICH hotels (they have some excellent ones on Bali as well!) check out this thread on FlyerTalk: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hotel...tels-friends-family-promotion.html

Have fun! If you have the chance and are willing to carry the extra load to Bali have some suits made in Hong Kong. They are Saville Row quality at Filene's Basement prices.



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlinehenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days ago) and read 12805 times:

Quoting cakentennis (Reply 9):
Thanks for the interesting trip report. I feel like a lot of your experiences could have been avoided had the trip just been planned better.

I had little choice. I was tied in to a OneWorld Explorer ticket and these flights were the only possibility.

Quoting cakentennis (Reply 9):
While connecting at BOM, I find it easier to rent a room at one of the nearby hotels, rather than braving the bus journey.

Well, hotel rooms in Mumbai (the acceptable ones) are pretty darn expensive. At least the ones I like. That would noty be a problem but my connection would have allowed me to use it for 4 hours each way. With regards to transportation, it may save you the (not all that annoying) bus trip but it adds two equally if not more annoying taxi rides.

Quoting cakentennis (Reply 9):
Every now and then, I have people tell me that they would like to visit India and my advice is that you should prepare for the unexpected.

I have spend about 12 months in India over the last 4 years so I knew what I was facing. I also knew that the chances of me getting what I wanted were good since I know how to play the system. The reason I described it so extensively is so that it may help people less experienced.

However, I do agree. India is not for the fainthearted or unprepared.



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8508 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 12224 times:
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Hi Henkybaby,

Another good read, thanks for posting.

Does seem you had quite a chore trying to deal with Indian bearucracy, does seem they have a few too many rules about things, not great for us who are used to the way thiungs are done in the rest of the world.

There have been numerous reports about the new CX J product, none of them make me like it or the look of it and to be honest, I'd actually now avoid CX when travelling in J as I just don't like the layout and the apparent lack of feeling of space.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineUSFlyer MSP From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 12104 times:

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 12):
J seats are about a comfortable seat, not an abundance of personal space.

CX J product is among the better regarded ones. If you think CX is poor, what do you think of the others?

I would tend to disagree with you about the purpose of buying a J-class seat. To me, a J-class seat is more comfortable precisely because it offers more personal space. From what I have read, the consensus seems to be that CX's J-class seats are poor...while the seats are great for privacy, the overall design is too narrow and claustrophobic, makes it impossible to watch a movie and eat at the same time, and (like most herringbone designs) is poorly suited for non-solo travelers. I would say that the J-class seats of most other reputable Asian carriers such as SQ blow the current CX-product away.


User currently offlineaa61hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 57
Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 11826 times:

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 13):
You could do worse but remember that Kowloon hotels are all about the view and the better shopping is done across the harbor. If you want to save a bundle on ICH hotels (they have some excellent ones on Bali as well!) check out this thread on FlyerTalk: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hotel...tels-friends-family-promotion.html

Have fun! If you have the chance and are willing to carry the extra load to Bali have some suits made in Hong Kong. They are Saville Row quality at Filene's Basement prices.

I've been to Kowloon once before just a block off the Harbor and LOVED the view. This time around, I have an in with the GM of the IC  

And I am with you on the suits, I plan on getting a few.

Thanks again!!



Go big or go home
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1091 posts, RR: 31
Reply 18, posted (4 years 5 months 15 hours ago) and read 11429 times:

to comment on;

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 3):
I find it frustrating that there are so many ambivalent and seemingly arbitrary rules in India.

I highly agree with this =, and the fact that you can steer and talk your way around these rules re-enforces the fact that they are arbitary - if it was a true matter of security, it would be more black and white.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 3):
Indian bureaucracy and I indeed celibate any victory over it.

Because it can seem like such a fight to do the simplest of things, a fight with bureaucracy that is, often you either loose or win... I understand this viewpoint.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 3):
Exclusively by the army types

I believe they command quite a level on seniority these guys, but can be extraordinarily rude, stubborn and unhelpful.

I'd like to cite an example, incase I am accused of mindless ignorance and extrapolation;
My friend and I arrived at CCU airport before flying out to Port Blair early next morning... connections were tricky and this was the only option. The army person at the entrance dismissed us immediately, and said come back in 6 hours. The airport was open but he was being picky. I appealed once more, and admittedly my temper frayed, though I maintained politeness. Needless to say, my friend once again appealed in an hour, and we were let in. Its got no consistency... Once in the airport all was fine, however in a toilet break I dropped my passport. Somehow a couple found us and said they'de handed it in. Instead of simply giving it back, I was taken for twenty minutes of questioning from the airport MANAGER to ensure Pakistani's had not set me up to doing it to test security. It would have taken 2 minutes to assertain this was a genuine mistake but instead I was subject to this palava.

Second example; Port Blair. My friend had left an item of luggage. The army official was SO unbelievably rude and condescending and would nto help whatsoever. Utterly insulting.

Third example; In BOM, our e-ticket had only one of our names on it. A horrid army official was vehemntly denying us access. Fair enough - only one name. A passing Jet Airways staff member ( we were flying IT) shook his head in annoyance at the army official, picked up the flights manifest and within 30 seconds pointed out our names.

Safe to say, as soon as your in, Indian hospitality thrives again and all is well. But it is such an issue so often. I don't disregard security and fully respect India's position on National security. But in almsot all these cases, it seems more a case of making the passengers experience a real trial.

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinecakentennis From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 5 months 12 hours ago) and read 11264 times:

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 18):
I believe they command quite a level on seniority these guys, but can be extraordinarily rude, stubborn and unhelpful.

I'd like to cite an example, incase I am accused of mindless ignorance and extrapolation;
My friend and I arrived at CCU airport before flying out to Port Blair early next morning... connections were tricky and this was the only option. The army person at the entrance dismissed us immediately, and said come back in 6 hours. The airport was open but he was being picky. I appealed once more, and admittedly my temper frayed, though I maintained politeness. Needless to say, my friend once again appealed in an hour, and we were let in. Its got no consistency... Once in the airport all was fine, however in a toilet break I dropped my passport. Somehow a couple found us and said they'de handed it in. Instead of simply giving it back, I was taken for twenty minutes of questioning from the airport MANAGER to ensure Pakistani's had not set me up to doing it to test security. It would have taken 2 minutes to assertain this was a genuine mistake but instead I was subject to this palava.

IMHO, you could have been more careful with your passport in a country that has a significantly greater terrorist threat than any western country. Really, 20 minutes of questioning is no inconvenience compared to some of the security procedures regular passengers have to go through in western countries to ensure that they are not 'terrorists'.

Also, in India you are not allowed to enter the airport unless you hold a valid ticket and within ~4 hours of your flight. This is necessary in India as often an entourage of people will arrive to drop off just one person at the airport. The rules are there for a reason and even though it doesn't make sense from our perspective, it is a given that you will have to deal with idiosyncratic rules when you travel abroad.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 7):
They are by far the exception in the larger, more organized world.

There's no reason to create such a dichotomy between India and Western world. There are people who find certain rules and procedures on either side to be equally dubious.


User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1091 posts, RR: 31
Reply 20, posted (4 years 5 months 12 hours ago) and read 11227 times:

Oh hello Cakentennis - I hoped my comment would evoke strong reactions and they are not to offend but...

Quoting cakentennis (Reply 19):
IMHO, you could have been more careful with your passport in a country that has a significantly greater terrorist threat than any western country.

Buddy, if you drop a passport, you drop a passport. It isn't through carelesness or complaicancy. It doesn't matter whether its Baghdad or Bristol, if something falls out a pocket it can't be helped. Next time I go to a ''terrorist threat'' country I'll stick it to my forehead.

Quoting cakentennis (Reply 19):
Also, in India you are not allowed to enter the airport unless you hold a valid ticket and within ~4 hours of your flight. This is necessary in India as often an entourage of people will arrive to drop off just one person at the airport. The rules are there for a reason

Yes, and I'd agree with this. My main point is that it just isn't consistently upheld. I'm all for security - but where its properly instigated. And in any case the army let us into the terminal WITHOUT an e-ticket and 8 hours before our check-in would open... Security it tight in India, and thats the way it should remain, I just think some policies and procedures require a good old review



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4751 posts, RR: 26
Reply 21, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 10929 times:

Sorry Henk if I sound off the mark. Just reading through your series of reports, it seems to me you are taking what you are used to back home to apply to your travels and experiences. While I am envious of your sabbatical (not many of us can afford to do it), your imperialistic imposition on how things should be run just doesn't cut it.

"When in Rome" comes to mind. A little understanding and humility won't hurt especially when you are dealing with different cultures.

From your victory march about how you overcame Indian security at the airports to pretty much everything else, I think you need to just take a moment to realise that not all things are run like in Europe. Accept it as the way things are and move on.



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 22, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 10869 times:

Hi Henkybaby,

A very amusing read on the often kafkaesque Indian bureaucracy. I'm pretty sure most of these security "rules" are not really any rules (as in "government or authority regulations") but are just thought up on the spot by the folks enforcing them to make their life easier (or to increase their chances for some bonus money).

Thanks for this, you got me hooked up on your other reports as well!


User currently offlinehenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10837 times:

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 21):
Sorry Henk if I sound off the mark. Just reading through your series of reports, it seems to me you are taking what you are used to back home to apply to your travels and experiences. While I am envious of your sabbatical (not many of us can afford to do it), your imperialistic imposition on how things should be run just doesn't cut it.

Given your username I can imagine you are willing to put up with a lot while traveling. 

Let me assure you that I know India pretty well. I have worked there for 12 months out of the last 4 years. My 'battle against the system' is indeed a mere copy of how my Indian colleagues describe their outlook on life and how they react to their own society (and the government in particular). In fact 'fighting the system' explains a lot of what makes India India.

So there is no 'imperialistic vision' at all. There is a shared frustration between me and a large part of the Indian population about useless bureaucrazy (pun intended) and a shared hatred of the totalitarian behavior of Indian army/officials/anybody with power. Me and the Romans are in agreement.

[Edited 2010-03-05 01:01:21]


Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 10761 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
kafkaesque Indian bureaucracy

Spot on... Kafka is the word.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 23):
Let me assure you that I know India pretty well. I have worked there for 12 months out of the last 4 years. My 'battle against the system' is indeed a mere copy of how my Indian colleagues describe their outlook on life and how they react to their own society (and the government in particular). In fact 'fighting the system' explains a lot of what makes India India.

So there is no 'imperialistic vision' at all. There is a shared frustration between me and a large part of the Indian population about useless bureaucrazy (pun intended) and a shared hatred of the totalitarian behavior of Indian army/officials/anybody with power. Me and the Romans are in agreement.

Having been to BOM numerous times, I can feel your pain. I have no issues with the 300+ security points (ok ok, only 10 the last time I counted) from the point you enter the immigration area to the time you step into the aircraft... these are security measures which I have no problems enduring.

What bewilders me are some of those measures that you mentioned above. It is as if the security agencies and airport authorities sat down together one fine evening after a couple of bottles of whiskey to play a game of lets-see-who-can-come-up-with-the-most-ridiculous-rules-to-inconvenience-a-passenger. Mind you, some of these rules are logic-defying even to Indians themselves, much less a foreigner. I would consider myself a very patient person 99% of the time. I lost that 1% when I was at an airport in India recently.

Having said that, I would have to recommend BOM as one of the nicer airports to transit in... that is if you managed to get into the air-side.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 21):
From your victory march about how you overcame Indian security at the airports to pretty much everything else, I think you need to just take a moment to realise that not all things are run like in Europe. Accept it as the way things are and move on.

Sigh... It's easy to write all that you've written above and sound like a very enlightened being when you haven't set foot into India before.

I think many of us accept that things work in interesting ways in India. Some people may question, some challenge, and some accept...that's how things are. I don't think the OP was trying to be "Imperialistic" in any way...

As much as I have had some unpleasant experiences in India over the years, I must say that I am still fascinated with the country. I love the food, the sights, and the people - almost every Indian who doesn't work as a security agent or enforcer at the airport is exceptionally friendly and hospitable...



There's always a better way to fly...
25 henkybaby : Could not agree more. It is a love/hate relationship but a steady one.
26 Post contains images abrelosojos : = And I have been to India probably more times than you have and I find their security guys to be actually super nice and helpful. Perhaps it is the
27 henkybaby : Well, a lot of assumptions. However I did read some reactions here that seem to support my experiences. My Indian frame of reference consist of my 45
28 abrelosojos : = I apologize then. I guess I could not find all these Indians on the board who apparently share your point of view. Of course, I do not know the 4,5
29 henkybaby : I edited the post you quoted from to explain why I agree with your observations about Indian airports and that for me it is also part of the fun to '
30 Post contains images abrelosojos : = You are giving me too much credit. I have no culture and no understanding of any either . Saludos, A.
31 Post contains images henkybaby : Now you're just being passive-aggressive again. You have traveled a lot (and certainly more than I had at your age) and are an interesting frame of r
32 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Do not confuse my comments to not keep on engaging in a banter which will have no ending with being passive-aggresive. As you said, tone and intona
33 Post contains images henkybaby : If I have offended you I apologize. I enjoy a good argument every once in a while but I prefer it to be about something, not someone. If you read anyt
34 Post contains images ojas : Thanks for sharing your TR. As a disclaimer, I do not intend to offend you personally. What is the use of arguing? When the security apparatus/ beurea
35 kiramakora : Ojas. Exactly why most of us have kept away from commenting on this report. There are a few users on A.Net from Europe who keep on bringing these sam
36 lukeyboy95 : Alex - you called me a Colonialist once on another TR comment part and I have to say I was completely offended by this. You never had the decency to
37 Post contains images abrelosojos : = Please let me know where I have refered to you. I am glad you are not a colonialist . Saludos, A[Edited 2010-03-05 17:01:05]
38 Ryanair!!! : There's nothing to be "enlightened" about in what I observed or the way I wrote. It is just basic human courtesy to behave yourself when you are in o
39 henkybaby : I appreciate the reply by two people from India. It is funny how different people read different things into the same text. I have asked several of my
40 abrelosojos : = Oh my God, I have agreed with you again. Must be the air in HKG. Saludos, A.
41 lukeyboy95 : No I'm not- way off the mark! - so was duelly offended! I'll PM you the link at some point - its on one of Roni's reports - you said my comment was c
42 kiramakora : One thing I will not understand is simple. You asked the question of transferring on FT and was strongly adviced against what you just did. Moreover,
43 ronerone : Hi Lukeboy95, I remember exactly where this came from. Sorry this had to happen on my TR, and i believe it was totally uncalled for. While we all hav
44 cakentennis : While I agree that it's rather silly to label certain comments and criticisms from western A.net members as 'imperialist', it's the language that you
45 henkybaby : For the life of me I cannot understand what people read into my text... If you really want to believe that I am a racist imperialist that thinks any c
46 Post contains links and images henkybaby : The point was to provide some more insight into the aspects of India I have a hard time dealing with, considering that I have to work and live there
47 Post contains images justbala : Its not what is criticized, it more of how you do it. What Alex described was the way it happened and did not extrapolate it to include 1.2 Billion I
48 henkybaby : Once again offensive and once again you attack the player instead of playing the ball. I have not made it a secret that India and I do not get along.
49 lukeyboy95 : Hmmm I hate to revert to anger management techniques but it may be time in this post for members to take a step back, a deep breath and take stock of
50 5Rivers : Henkybaby: great report and I completely understand your points about India. I'm of Indian origin myself and the things you mention piss me off greatl
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