Hello everyone! This is a trip report from my travels to India on August 5th through August 21st 2006. We are a group of 16 (9 adopted kids, 7 adults) adopted people in which American parents adopted us. Most of the people are taking their first trip to India so this is a motherland tour to India, while my mom, sister and I have been to India several times, others haven’t.
Please feel free to click on the photos to see them in a better resolution.
I have also included 2 Emails from AA
as to why I put them in this trip report, you will find out at the end why.
August 5th 2006
ORD-DEL (Chicago O’Hare to Delhi)
1915 -> 2030 +1
N750AN (7BJ) Boeing 777-200 (Pacific)
Well folks, I woke up at 8am, and took a shower and went to work. During work, I was on the phone with some of the group who I would be meeting up with in Chicago. We were figuring out if their bags were checked straight to Delhi or to Chicago and their seat numbers. Some of our party flew up from Tampa and Baltimore.
2pm rolled around and I was so happy it finally came. I went home and took another shower and got ready to go to India. The taxi came around 3.50 and we got to O’Hare at 4.20. This guy went pretty slow and didn’t go the expected route as I thought he would take but oh well.
We met everyone and we checked in. Our seats are Row 20 C through J. We screwed around a little bit and then went through security and to the gate. I asked this lady who was checking ID
and tickets if she liked my passport photo. She said it’s nice. We then proceeded to gate K19. On our way to the gate, I saw a big Iberia jet. As I got closer and closer to the gate, I wondered which gate it departed out of.
I got to K19 and I saw that it was pushing back. Everyone else went to go get something to eat and I stayed at the gate. Iberia 6274 (EC-INO) an A346 pushed back from K19 and it was a beautiful sight.
Soon, I saw our aircraft come in; I noticed on the nose it said 7BJ. As the time to boarding quickly approached, I became more excited. Everyone played Uno on the floor while I enjoyed what was going on at the airport.
Soon we boarded as we were in Group 1 and sat down in our seats. My sister’s boyfriend, Steven thought the screen above him was a touch screen. I laughed and told him it wasn’t. A flight attendant came up to us kids and asked us if we wouldn’t mind switching with a mom and her baby and we kids said no, we want to stay together so she asked 2 of our moms if they would switch and they agreed. Luckily, the baby was really quiet during the flight.
We pushed back and taxied our way to 22L and on our way; the IFE didn’t work so they had to do the safety demonstration manually. We took off around 8pm after an Aer Lingus A330.
We took off and climbed to FL310 and experienced some light chop. After an hour of flight, dinner was served. Our flight plan today would take us over Northern Michigan, Canada and up through Greenland, Scandinavia, Estonia, Russia, the Stan countries, and finally India.
I decided to get some sleep with 12 hours left in the flight, 6,657mi and it only resulted in 2.5 hours of sleep. When I woke up, we had 9.5 hours left. We climbed to FL330 and passed the southern tip of Greenland. My sister Annie, asked for some water so I went over to the galley and got her water and I overheard that this was the first time one of the FA
’s was going to India so I gave her a few pointers on what to do.
I came back and Annie wondered what took so long and I told her. I told myself that I needed to get more sleep and so I did. When I woke up, we were over Stockholm and we climbed to FL
370. We passed Finland, Estonia and we passed just south of Moscow. We descended 500 feet as we passed Tula and I fell asleep again and when I woke up, we climbed to FL395.
Our new ETA into Delhi was 2007 and with 2 hours, 27 minutes left. The local time was 1729, just about 7am at home. I went back to the galley and I noticed that onboard there were 16F, 34C and 194Y passengers. I slept some more and woke up and we were at FL
We started our descent around 7.45p and then the pilot came on the PA system and said that the weather in Delhi was 82F, scattered clouds with light rain showers. On approach to Delhi, we circled and on the map it looked like we made a question mark.
292 landed on Runway 10 at 2029. 1 minute early. They made an announcement to keep cell phones turned off until we deboarded the aircraft but as soon as we landed, my mom called home and asked how everything was.
We docked at gate 44 (from the outside) an announcement was made. “American Airlines welcomes you to New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.” Anyone who needs folding chairs to please sit and wait for ground crew to get them.” They said the announcement in Hindi and English. We soon deboarded and went to Immigration. There was absolutely no line and so we cleared pretty quickly. We then waited for our bags which didn’t take too long to come out.
5 members of our party were coming off of AC878 from Zurich so we waited for them. While we waited, we changed our money. We found our 5 friends and to make a long story short, 3 bags never made it on the Boston to Zurich flight so their bags caught up with them 3 days later in Jodhpur, India.
This was the last message I received from American Airlines;
American Airlines Flight 292
Departing: Chicago, IL
Arriving: UNKNOWN AIRPORT
Arrival Time: 8:21 PM
Baggage Claim: N/A
This flight departed: 7:04 PM
We went to the hotel and checked in for a few hours before more traveling.
August 7th 2006
Indian Airlines 896
DEL-JAI (Delhi to Jaipur)
0600 –> 0640
Airbus A320 Double bogied gears
We woke up at 3.30 and we got ready for our flight to Jaipur. We went to the domestic terminal to get our tickets changed as Indian Airlines cancelled our Delhi -> Jaipur -> Jodhpur flight, so we got them changed to Delhi -> Jaipur. After they were changed, we then proceeded over to the International terminal as our flight was coming in from Dubai.
I looked up on the board and I noticed that our flight was already delayed until 6.30. Soon we went through security and didn’t need to present anything as we weren’t leaving the country. We were to depart out of Gate 7. After I passed security, I saw Ethiopian Airlines crew in their Forest Green uniforms. I also saw Kuwait Airways and Gulf Air crew too. I saw a China Eastern depart for Beijing and I saw a Star Airlines A330 arrive too.
from left to right: Prema, Steven, Annie, Nathan, I (Leo), Kori & Kamila (far right, not paying attention)
We boarded the plane and I saw an Air India A310 that was already pushed back and ready for departure. I also so an Air India 747 arrive. We had some nice looking flight attendants on this flight. Flight time of this flight is expected to be 30 minutes.
We pushed back and I saw British Airways 747 arrive into where we pushed back. The Safety demo was done. We took off around 7am and a shortly thereafter a snack was served. I didn’t want it because I wasn’t hungry and soon they came back to collect the snacks. I never even opened it and I told them it’s not opened and they still threw it away.
We descended through the clouds and Jaipur came into sight. We did some turns, passed Jaipur Sanganer Airport and then landed. By the time we landed, I really had to use the bathroom so I took a few photos and then went into the men’s room. Did what I needed to do, washed up and then went to go retrieve bags.
After we got our bags, we then took a 7 hour bus ride to Jodhpur.
August 12th 2006
BOM-BLR (Mumbai to Bangalore)
Indian Airlines 107
1730 -> 1900
Airbus A320 Double bogied gears
Well we got off our train in Bandra and one of our party members got really sick. She got gastroenteritis. She kept throwing up and was in lots of pain so we had our travel agent, who helped us out with everything for inside India, come meet us at the train station. We got to the bus when we heard Kamila threw up on the platform and my mom wanted to make this early flight to Bangalore.
We got to the airport around at 1240 after having a security official come on the bus and check our tickets. and had our bags banded and we then went to go see if we can catch this 1330 flight as it was delayed until 1400 to Bangalore but it was all sold out. So that would mean we’d spend the next 4 hours in Chhatrapati Shivaji. We had Kamila go lay down in the children’s area while a doctor took a look at her.
Us kids were able to go sit in the Indian Airline waiting lounge after some persuasion. I saw the Jet Airways A340 take off for London and it was then only that the one handbag rule came into effect. We got bored so we went to a shop and bought some food. Quite costly I might say.
My mom told me to go check my email as she was expecting an email. I got ripped off by paying 50Rs for less than 10 minutes of use on the computer. I was asked if I spoke Hindi because I said kitna. Kitna means how much. I said I don’t speak Hindi very well and they said for an Indian person I should know how to speak Hindi. Anyways, a friend of mine came with me because she knows Hindi much more than I do and asked how much and how many computers are open and stuff.
We talked with this guy about the US, India and stuff about us. We told him that we’d be less than 10 minutes and we were as we were only checking our emails. On our way out, he paid me 10Rs. Another party member got to pay 15Rs for only 15 minutes on the computer. I was not thrilled.
An Indian Airlines representative comes out and tells us about the new 1 handbag rule and we weren’t very happy. We heard of the terror plot that unfolded but not a lot. We saw some stuff in the news and some stuff in the newspapers. We especially kept our eye out on what we could/couldn’t take back to the US.
A few hours later, we found out that our flight was delayed 30 minutes. This is no big deal. I found out that our plane is inbound from Raipur. The flipping departure board said our flight was to depart at 1900 and the TV
said 1800 so I went to go seek a correction on which is right or wrong.
We went through security and Kamila got a wheelchair and after security, the sky got dark. After seeing some arrivals like Saudi Arabian and Emirates, the sky got even darker and then it started to pour. After security, Kamila threw up again and we weren’t thrilled. Her medicine was starting to wear off and it started raining again. The flight was delayed because of weather and technical. Technical could mean anything especially if your Indian Airlines. I was able to get a picture of Kori and I with the crew who would be operating the flight to Bangalore. I was surprised they let me with the new security measures that were going on.
We were given a boarding time 0f 1800 and it comes and an official comes out and says that 1830 is the new boarding time. Everyone left the windows and sat down. We were pissed. We shut up and sit down. 1830 comes around and the official comes out and says 5 more minutes. 5 more minutes means what? 1 person fixes the aircraft while 5 huddle around under an umbrella? Meanwhile we saw Kingfisher and Jet Airways depart. I didn’t see any Indian Airlines.
People started huddling over the official and badger him for more information and a passenger tells the guy “This is not Air Deccan. Give us a definite time on when we’ll depart.” The guy keeps saying 5 minutes but 5 minutes comes and goes and nothing happens. My mom jumps in and says “I have an extremely sick girl who I need to get to Bangalore for medical treatment. When will the aircraft be fixed? When will the aircraft be ready?” Of course my mom isn’t dumb she’s just trying to get more information out of him.
We keep telling the guy that we hear no announcements and any announcements are echoed to the point that you can’t hear them. The official says it’s the Airport Authority of India who is responsible for the announcements and goes on the radio stating that the passengers of IC107 demand for another announcement to be made.
Suddenly, a group gets together and starts to rush upstairs as they echoed the words of my mom who is a Caucasian skinned person. Just as they started to go, it was 1900 and they announced for boarding.
Kamila sat in her wheelchair and asked that she be boarded first. We board and then we see Kamila walking down the aisle even after we requested her to board with the wheelchair when she gets to her seat, in row 23 she asks “where’s the bathroom? I’m going to throw up.” Her sister takes her to the bathroom.
My mom told the flight attendant that we specifically asked for her to board first but they just looked at her and did nothing. I guess you can’t expect much from a government-run airline. I hear Kamila screaming in pain as the medicine has worn off and she’s just in so much pain. The flight attendant came back with as many sickbags as she found. Mom assisted her to the best of her ability while the cabin was boarding.
We took off at 1922 and after we took off, Kamila went to the bathroom but was forced to go sit down. She threw up again in a sick bag. I must say this flight is not a pleasant flight. I noticed that my mom started crying because all she wanted to do was to get her some medical attention and our flight was delayed and Kamila is in so much pain.
She kept saying to herself that we should have flown Jet Airways but the fares were too good. She got moral support from me, and 2 other moms. I told her it wasn’t her fault and that she should stop blaming herself. Not once did the flight attendants care or ask what’s wrong.
Dinner was served and I wasn’t too hungry, I was more concerned about Kamila. I ordered non veg and it was Chicken Tikka. Kamila was crying in pain and all I wanted to do was to get to Bangalore. My mom wanted to know if Indian Airlines would provide us with a wheelchair for her. Meanwhile, Annie came down with some throat infection and her tonsils swelled up like balloons which made it hard for her to breathe.
Soon the flight started to descend and we landed. We wanted to get Kamila off the plane as soon as possible. After we stopped, most of the passengers start staring at us and as the crowd thins out, the group is mainly onboard.
All of us deplaned except Kamila, my mom and my sister and Kamila’s mom and sister. As I looked to the right side of the aircraft, I saw one of those Wheelchair trucks and I knew it had to be for Kamila. We were pretty worried that night. As I got into the terminal, I saw our bags so I ran and pulled as many off as possible and of course I fell over as usual.
We got the bags and then proceeded to call my mom and see what she wanted us to do. The joy of having a global phone is like magic! My mom said just go on the bus and wait for more details.
We got on the bus and little did we know, the “sick group” were immediately rushed off to Manipal hospital, which my mom knows the creator of the hospital as we are part of the family and we went to the hotel and checked in.
Kamila was better with the medication the hospital gave her and with every day, she felt better. She’s fine and happy back at home and Annie, she’s fine.
August 17th 2006
BLR-CCU (Bangalore -> Kolkata)
Indian Airlines 772
0600 -> 0805
VT-EPG A320-200 Double bogied gears
Well after an experience in South India; it’s time to fly to my birth city, Kolkata. This is also the time in the trip report that the rest of the trip report will contain no photos. Why you ask? It got broken on a bus. On the way to Coorg via Mysore by bus, I fell asleep after lunch and my sister wanted to take a picture of Steven and me sleeping. ½ asleep, I gave the camera to my sister while it was dangling and she failed to catch it and then it fell. The LCD
stuff cracked and broke and that was the end of my camera. Now it’s going to cost me $121USD not covered by warranty to repair.
Anyways, back to the flight. After waking up at the ungodly hour of 3.30am, we packed our bags and went to HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited). Before we entered the terminal, we realised that we left a bag at the hotel so the travel agent in Bangalore, went back and got it but took 1.5 hours when it was to take 20 minutes. After we get our bags through security and it’s all banded, I look up and I see that our flight is delayed 30 minutes. As soon as everyone’s bags are banded and we’re waiting in line to check in, I notice another delay. We’re now due to depart at 7am.
I saw the British Airways 777 depart back to London Heathrow. We were still limited to 1 handbag.
We weren’t thrilled as this is the 3rd flight that is delayed and it’s the first flight of the day. We found out that the plane is coming in from Mumbai. We sit there and eat crackers and drink juice while we wait for my mom’s bag.
We all go through security minus 2 people as they are off to Bhubaneswar at a later time during the day. Nothing was confiscated from our bags. We made our way to gate 3 for boarding and by now everyone was feeling much better. No wheelchairs were needed! We boarded the plane through a jet way and I was in seat 11D which is an emergency exit.
Steven’s brother was also in an emergency exit but he couldn’t sit there as he was not 15. Since I am 19, I can sit there but I really don’t want to sit next to my mom. I was able to get 2 moms up where I and Steven’s brother sat and we sat in the back of the aircraft.
I was stuck in the middle seat and this Indian lady would not let me have the window seat. We pushed back and I saw a Gulf Air A320 arrive. We stood in line for some time before takeoff. We ended up taking off at 7.40am. Flight time today is 2 hours, 20 minutes. The lady who had the window seat basically slept the whole flight. It would have been nice if I had the window seat but that’s life.
Breakfast was served and I got non-veg which contained eggs. The breakfast did not look thrilling. I barely ate it. Steven’s brother, Nathan wanted some candy that Indian Airlines passed out and it was the coffee ones so he went up to go to the lavatory, and the flight attendant, Ashmeet gives him a really big bag of the coffee candies. When he comes back, I put all of the candies into a sickbag so they wouldn’t spill all over the place. The flight has been somewhat turbulent but not enough to warrant the seatbelt sign to be turned on again.
We started our descent at 9.20 and we had the turbulence that you feel when you’re on a rollercoaster. No announcement was made about us descending. I loved that so much! Annie begged me to ask the flight attendant for some chocolates earlier and got a very small bag compared to Nathan’s big bag.
We landed at 9.49 in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata. We taxied to the gate and parked right next to an Emirates A332.
August 20th 2006
CCU-DEL (Kolkata -> Delhi)
Indian Airlines 201
1700 -> 1905
VT-EYA Airbus A320-200 Single bogied gear
We left The Hindustan Hotel at 1.50 and got there 50 minutes later. We checked in as a group after people had any batteries and liquids confiscated. My very bad Hindi (shame on me) was good to a point where I told the guy that I had fragile bags and so I counted in Hindi.
We had orange group tags put on our bags and 24 suitcases were checked into Delhi. We went to the bathroom before going through security. They requested us to go through security early. We went through security after putting our stuff through the women’s X-Ray scanner and then going through the Men’s side of security. A quick wand over and some stamping and I’m through after waiting for 5 minutes.
People had hand sanitiser, perfume, prescription ointment for acne confiscated, eye cream, hand lotion and batteries. I threw a fit of the hand lotion and said to Steven “What am I going to do squirt it in their eyes?” He was pissed because his prescription acne cream was taken. But his mom checked the backpack so they wouldn’t keep it. Mom said that this plane was on time because this flight came in from Guwahati 3 hours ago.
I saw an Indian Airlines A319 push back and then soon it was time for boarding. We took a bus to somewhere far away to where I saw VT
-EYA standing. Everyone boarded through the front of the aircraft; I boarded through the back of the aircraft and said Namaskaar (hello).
I got stuck in another middle seat next to 2 big people. No room to move really and my arm rests were taken so I couldn’t read my newspaper properly. They shut the door and we heard a very loud whine that didn’t seem normal but I don’t know where it came from. It stopped then started again and it sounded like they had a hard time starting the engines up but the 3rd time they got it started up.
We pushed back and taxied to runway 19R via A, runway 1R. As we were taxiing, I saw 2 people walking on a taxiway near the runway. After we took off, and turned towards Delhi, the seatbelt sign turned off and I went to the lavatory to go change into my clothes that I would wear back to the US. I’d be wearing them for the next 20 hours or so.
Soon refreshments started and the seatbelt sign was turned on. We sure did experience some turbulence. The lights in the cabin were turned on and dinner was served. I got non-veg and it was chicken. It was a bit spicy for me. I heard this guy cough and saw this guy spit into his napkin. I quickly lost my appetite. I offered the food I didn’t eat to my seatmates as I told them I couldn’t have it. I struck up a conversation with my seat partner and we talked about lots of stuff as the time passed, we made our way into Delhi.
The pilot came on the PA system and gave us an update of the flight and what was to be expected at Delhi Airport. It was the first announcement that I’ve heard on all of my Indian Airlines flights. We were cruising at FL360, about 11kms high. We flew over Gaya, Varanasi, Lucknow, Jalalabad and then finally into Delhi. The weather in Delhi was moderately to cloudy, occasional mild turbulence, and it was 32C.
We landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport where I saw a JAL 777 taxi into the international terminal. We parked and deboarded the plane as I was happy that this was my last Indian Airlines flight and I was more than ready to go home. We took the bus to the arrivals section of the terminal and claimed our bags.
We said goodbye to Kamila and their family as they were off to the international terminal at a different time. We then went to the International Terminal.
August 21st 2006
American Airlines 293
DEL-ORD (Delhi -> Chicago O’Hare)
0015 -> 0530
Boeing 777-200 (Pacific)
We found our coach and then arrived at the International Terminal at 2030. We entered through one of the last doors and seeked out the American Airlines counter which was hidden next to the Air India counter. We got our bags banded and had the security sticker thrown on there even though we didn’t open our bags and broke the previous band. We were asked the usual boring questions about our bags and said nothing out of the ordinary.
Mom counted in Hindi and said that we had 9 bags going to Chicago but apparently she made a mistake and when the 6 bags that we checked we’re going to Chicago, he asked about the other 3 and she said there was 6. They wanted us to check our backpacks but we said no. The guy said that it was a security concern to only check 6 bags but have to have 3 empty luggage tags. She apologized and then waived it off warning her not to do it again.
We left everyone at the check in counter because my mom said that she wanted to sit down and was not feeling good so we went through, got our passports stamped and gave our departure slip and then proceeded to find a place to sit down. Everyone came and about 9.30, we were all requested to go through security as the longer we waited, the longer the line would be. There were 2 flights to Kathmandu that were severely late. Continental to Newark was running 1 hour, 20 minutes late as well.
We went through security and it was quite an experience. While I didn’t have anything confiscated yet, others did. This is the current AA
security restrictions. Yet while it may not be interesting to you, we had quite an experience and I shall tell you more about it.
“Items Prohibited In Carry-On Baggage To/From ALL
The following are examples of items restricted from passing the security checkpoint or entering an aircraft cabin. However, in general, all liquids, gels and aerosols of any kind are prohibited aboard aircraft and from entering airport sterile areas through security checkpoints.
• Toiletries - shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, perfume, shaving foam, aerosols
• Cosmetic products - perfume, hair spray, lip gloss, mascara, nail polish, makeup removers/cleansers, foundation
• Non-solid food items - soups, syrups, pressurized food containers (cheese or whipped cream), gelatin, pudding, yogurt
• Liquid soaps, sanitizers, bath oils, bubble bath
• Any pressurized containers
• Any creams, ointments or lotions
• All other liquids/gels not listed here
UK Carry-On Baggage Allowance
(see also Travel With A Connection In The U.K. Or Departing The U.K. below)
Each passenger departing from the U.K. is allowed one carry-on bag with maximum dimensions of 45cm long x 35cm wide x 16cm deep (17.7 inches x 13.7 inches x 6.2 inches) - including wheels, handles, side pockets - equivalent to a small laptop bag. All baggage will be screened by x-ray.
Items prohibited from cabin baggage are as follows: any cosmetics, any toiletries, including toothpaste, hair gel, lotions, perfume, deodorant, shaving foam, aerosols, any liquids, any drinks and any sharp objects.
All U.K. departing/transiting passengers are required to check carry-on baggage containing prohibited items regardless of origination. Passengers who have already departed the U.S. and will be connecting in the U.K. will not be allowed to use the transit area within U.K. airports and will be routed back to the ticket counters to check their carry-on luggage
Restrictions For Travel From Delhi, India
In addition to other restrictions detailed on this page, passengers traveling from Delhi, India must follow the same carry-on rules for the United Kingdom and should be aware of the following:
• Only personal items (a laptop bag, small bag pack, ladies purse etc.) will be allowed onboard - large baggage such as roller bags or hanging bags are prohibited
• Passengers will not be allowed to buy any liquids from the duty free
• All carry-on items will be physically searched by local airport security.”
People had all sorts of things confiscated, pretty much anything liquid. Batteries were a big thing. Indian Security confiscated batteries out of cameras, MP3 players, Game Boys, just about anything that used alkaline batteries.
My mom instructed me to pull out my prescription medicine and so I did to show to security. Now Indian Airlines didn’t have a problem with us carrying our prescription medicines with us. We (my mom and I) didn’t take the original pill bottles as it wasn’t convenient for us and a pill box that we could use and put different types in a box. American Airlines Delhi based employees told us that we’d get them back at boarding. We were told this is the Indian security’s rule.
We played a game of Uno on the floor of Indira Gandhi International Airport and we screwed around until boarding. This one person in our group really made us mad and she was on the phone with her dad in the US telling him to contact AA
in the States about the prescription meds being taken (Prema and her mom also had medicine taken away). I told her it’s not AA
’s rule it is the security of India so don’t waste your money calling him to find out what AA
would say. I told her the truth and she went to her mom.
We saw our flight arrive about an hour and ½ late. We saw Air France arrive and just as we were boarding, we saw KLM passengers file downstairs with their big See, Buy, Fly bags! (You can’t miss them!) We gave the agent our tickets and asked for our prescription medications back. They looked completely helpless and acted like they didn’t know anything. Mom started to throw a fit stating that she will not board the aircraft until we have them in our possession. A senior person from AA
came over and we told him what’s wrong.
He talked to us, we talked to him. He asked for our luggage tag receipts and we gave them and then he called down to the bag room he said something and then soon, something magically showed up in an envelope that was sealed and tagged to ORD
Inside the envelope were our prescription medicines. I was heavily not thrilled at this moment. However we got them back but only after being asked why we didn’t carry them in the original pill bottles. We gave him our answer stating that the rules changed when we were in India and there was nothing we could really do.
We then proceeded onto our 2nd security check. This time it was a more thorough check. I had a hidden 250ml unopened water bottle hidden at the bottom of my backpack. The guy opens my backpack and he asks me if I have any liquids in my backpack and I fail to respond while he opens up the compartment where I have water. He found my water and just left it on the table. So I thought to myself, I’m not letting this water going to waste, so I took it back and chugged the whole thing while Annie told me to stop. She asked me what I was doing and I said what do you think? I finished the water and then slammed the bottle down on his bench then gave him a big f*** you look and proceeded to board the aircraft.
I wanted to sit with my friends so I decided to sit in 42C instead of 34B. We pushed back at 1245 and the safety demo was played. It was played in English and Hindi. We took off at 1252 and the flight time announced was 14 hours 55 minutes but on the map it said about 15 hours, 10 minutes.
We flew up over the ‘Stans, Russia, Scandinavia, north of Iceland, Greenland, Canada and then down through Michigan and then into Chicago. I fell asleep off and on from the time we took off after Delhi and I woke up as we were passing Helsinki. We were at Fl360, 543mph, -61ºF and with an ETA of 5.06am. We climbed to FL380 and then descended to FL340.
We flew straight across Iceland. It was very bright outside in Iceland but the farther we went away, it became darker. My friend Kori (my prom date) got sick on the plane and so she asked for her mom to sit by her and her sister was sitting up in 34B when I asked my seatmate to ask this older Sikh guy to move up there so Kori’s sister can sit with us. The Sikh guy said no English so I had to find someone who spoke Hindi.
Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, I told Prema off on the plane. She wanted to start a fight so I gave her a piece of my mind in which I was waiting to do for the past week. It was a long time bonding with everyone but she was the one who made the trip even worse. Anyways back to the flight.
I was really hungry as my medication wore off so once it wears off, I’m really, really hungry. About 2 hours away from Chicago, they served a meal. I chose vegetarian. Inside was Chappati with cheese cubes. It was pretty good.
After climbing to FL400, we started our descent into Chicago. As we got closer and closer into Chicago, the lights started appearing. We descended and descended some more and soon we were on finals to Chicago. We flew past Navy Pier with Navy Pier on our left and landed on which I forget the runway number. (A little help please?) We taxied to the international terminal after passing Terminals 1, 2, 3 and soon we pull into Terminal 5, Gate M8
AMERICAN AIRLINES - Flight #293 FLIGHT STATUS - ARRIVED
Detailed Flight Information
Carrier City Date Time Terminal Gate Baggage
Claim Flight Status
Scheduled Estimated Actual
AMERICAN AIRLINES 293
Delhi, 08/21/2006 12:15 AM
Chicago, 08/21/2006 5:35 AM
5:18 AM T5 M8
An American Airlines agent comes onboard and welcomes us to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. After 10-15 minutes, we get off the aircraft thinking I was going to deboard from the back of the plane but I never did. It was through the front. We walked through Business class and First class. It looked like we walked through AA
’s Flagship Suite Class. Upon arrival, a Mexicana A320 from Morelia arrived too.
We go downstairs to Customs and Immigration and the line is slow. Only 3 people working the US Residents and Visitors line. I wanted to get home by now. Our bags can be claimed on belts 4 & 5. Eventually we got our bags, said goodbye to everyone and then called a cab. The cab came at 6.20 and we arrived home at 6.42am.
When I got home, AA
sent me an email about the new security rules which I don’t know why they didn’t call my mom’s cell phone and let us know as I couldn’t check my email until I got home but the day after I got home, I sent AA
an email about the way the prescription medicine was handled in New Delhi and I was not thrilled with the responses.
August 30, 2006
Dear Mr. Futia:
I regret that your experience with the passenger and baggage screening process at the New Delhi Airport was less than satisfactory. While the United States Transportation Security Administration has taken responsibility for security checkpoint activity for U.S. airports, security checkpoint procedures for international locations is the obligation of that country's government. Nevertheless, I've shared the details you provided with our General Manager in New Delhi. The airline industry, our government and international governments are working in mutual cooperation to ensure the safety and convenience of all airline passengers.
So I replied back asking for an apology letter from the GM
in New Delhi and if it wasn’t possible to be accredited with some bonus miles.
August 30, 2006
Dear Mr. Futia:
I've received your most recent letter and again, I'm sorry for what happened when you traveled with us on August 21. Our review of this situation with our Manager in New Delhi was intended for internal action only. We shared your comments to ensure that we might better handle a similar situation in the future. Since we responded to you on behalf of American Airlines, it was never intended that someone from New Delhi would contact you as well.
Also, while we are sympathetic to your dilemma, we cannot agree that American is liable for the difficulty you encountered and therefore will not comply with your request for compensation. No doubt my response is disappointing but I hope you can understand our decision not to assume responsibility in a situation where so many factors are beyond our control.
This concludes my trip report! Thanks for reading and please leave a comment!
[Edited 2006-09-03 06:36:02]