DEL-BLR (via AMD)
SpiceJet - 0S215
Arr - BLR: 17:05
on board VT-SPD (737-800)
It was finally time to head back to BLR at the end of my vacation in Delhi. I'd booked Spicejet (0S) for myself, and IT
for wife & kids (booked tickets at separate times and hence chose the most economical at each time). I was flying 0S in the forenoon and wife was flying IT
On Sunday morning my Father-in-law agreed to drop me to the airport, which worked well for me (avoided having to get a cab). Check-in was quite quick - and my bags were luckily within the weight limit. 0S has a rather stringent charge of Rs 70/kilo of excess baggage. After check-in I still had a little time before boarding, so I found my way to the Welcomegroup Port Lounge on the first floor of the terminal. Unfortunately the windows there were really filthy (with dark sun-film as well), so taking pictures from there was ruled out. I enjoyed the complimentary snacks at the lounge (their paneer was excellent - and the snacks suddenly became my meal), and then went down to pass through security check and boarding. Security check was fast and professional, and boarding was announced almost immediately as I reached the area.
The aircraft was parked at a remote bay, and we had to take a bus to reach there. 0S had a non-aircon bus (I think some airlines have the fancy aircon buses in BOM?) and we reached soon there-after.
Some pictures on the drive to the aircraft:
At the start of the bus journey.
Folks on my bus
Our 0S aircraft parked in the distance
A view of our aircraft from the bus
The front of our aircraft - it was called "Chilli" - yummy!!
I boarded from the rear stairs - our a/c registration
A320 parked on the next bay
Our aircraft was soon 100% full, and the doors were closed and the stairs removed.
Lovely new tractor pulling the stairs away. There was controvery a few days ago about 0S not using their own ground handling equipment - so I was closely watching the ground equipment - trip trip had all 0S branded stuff!
Our tractor driver driving away with the stairs
Gates were shut at least 10-15 minutes before scheduled departure (a flight before time!), and we were soon rolling towards the runway. Our pilot started the taxi and then came to a sudden stop about 5 seconds later. I was wondering what happened, and then spotted this bird about a minute later.
The reason we stopped our taxi - the S2
a/c was already on the taxi-way heading towards the runway for takeoff.
Once the S2
a/c passed by, we re-started our taxi until we were holding short of the runway. We had to wait for the S2
to take off:
and then for a DN ATR to land:
Once the ATR landed we were on our way to runway 27:
Sign on our way to the runway.
We turned left onto the runway, and soon the pilot had started the roll.
Picture while waiting for the pilot to start the take off roll:
Take off was at 13:13 (per my camera).
Picture of the international terminal from the air:
Once near cruising altitude:
The pilot made quite an informative announcement telling us about the flying time, the cities on route, and welcomed us on board.
Soon we had the 2 stewardesses begin the service. Each person got a complimentary small bottle of water with a pack of peanuts (30g MRP of Rs.5). The person in front asked for a second pack of peanuts - which was refused (only a limited quantity on board). I asked for 2 bottles of water - which was given with a huge smile
. This is different from DN - where everything (including the water) is paid for. The other difference was that there was no option to buy anything else (like a sandwich or lunch or tea/coffee). In a sense it was good - as most of time on DN is spent with people deciding what they want to buy and then changing their minds, and then hunting for change to pay for the snacks.
The service run was over in like 20 minutes for the entire a/c with just 2 crew. It was a short flight to AMD - we had soon started our descent into AMD.
Some pictures on our way down to AMD:
A huge lake near AMD
A dry river bed snaking it's way through the countryside
Sorry - what's the name of the things that extend from the wings to increase drag and lift? picture of those extended
Houses in AMD just short of the runway
Heavy braking on touchdown in AMD. Touchdown at 14:23 per my camera.
The entire apron was empty when we landed, we made our way to one of the remote parking bays. More than half the folks deplaned at AMD (using both front and rear stairs), and soon the cabin-crew were around picking up the trash from the empty seats. There was also a quick headcount and security verification that there was no unclaimed hand-baggage (this seemed to be more of a formality - not very seriously done).
Soon we had company on our left - a Kingfisher (IT) a/c pulled in onto the next bay:
I love their tail - it's so colourful.
provides all ground handling and MX
I'd initially thought that the flight would have open seats on the second sector (AMD-BLR). But I was quite surprised to see the a/c fill up completely! The entire stop at AMD was really quick - not more than 30 minutes in total. We were soon on our way.
Picture of the AMD terminal building.
The sign marking our runway:
Entering Runway 05 for take off
Construction in progress at AMD - but not much activity visible (maybe because it was a Sunday afternoon). The lone KF
parked in the distance.
We were soon in the air after a short take off roll (both sectors had a take off of about 40 seconds). Takeoff was at 14:55 for a total of 32 times from touchdown to take off. I found the turnaround time really fast - but I don't know if this is the standard all airlines follow.
A man-made canal - going under ground to cross a natural river. I found this really interesting.
This sector followed exactly the same sequence of service, hence I won't repeat the details here. After about 1.5 hours, we started descent into BLR. Some pictures during our descent:
An office complex just before the runway - and my apartments visible in the distance on the right.
More pictures of my apartment complex - it's the set of buildings just behind the deep red building in the center of picture. I can almost make out my apartment in this picture
We soon landed on runway 09 - and turned left on taxiway E2 at the end of runway 09. On the way to the apron I passed by this Blue Dart 737 (VT-BDI) parked with some strange yellow covers over the engine. I'm sure Hawk21M will be able to explain what those are
We had a bit of a wait before Apron 1 as we needed to wait for an a/c to push back and taxi towards take off. But we were finally turning right to our bay (Bay 6). A picture after we turned right to approach bay 6 (via bay 9).
I was rather surprised that we'd been allotted bay 6 (normally used for international heavies as it has an aerobrigde).
The aerobridge on it's way to the aircraft!
In the baggage claim area it turned out that we'd been given the half sized belt - that's barely enough to accomodate about 20 bags at any time. But after a little bit of pushing, I managed to see my bag and make my way to it when it arrived. I was soon at the auto-rickshaw stand in BLR, and found a rick to take me the 2.5 kms to my home.
I was very impressed with 0S on multiple counts:
1. Their flights were all on time or before time (anyone who's flown DN in the past knows why this is so important)
2. Their in-flight service was a much better concept than DNs - kept things simple and fast
3. The turnaround at AMD was really quick
4. The flights were probably 100% full on all sectors.