In one of my earlier trip reports
, I had hoped that 9W
wud start a evening flight frm TRV to BLR
. That wish however was first fulfilled by DN who have a twice faily flight between the two cities and by IT
who started operations on this sector 2 weeks ago!!
service came in without much fanfare. Most of the trip sites did not even mention it. I was pleasantly surprised when www.cleartip.com
, listed a direct IT
flight between the two cities and for a price cheaper than what DN was offering!! Initially i thot it was a data glitch and decided to check on the IT
site and lo n behold there it was .. twice daily ATR flights to TRV!! Immediately booked to and fro tickets for the long weekend. Was a bit apprehensive as there was an * next to the schedule , which stated pending DGCA approval!! Crossed my fingers hoping there wud be no glitches!!
The initial departure times was 1830 hrs, but 3 days after booking my tickets I got a call from the IT
customer care, informing that the flight to TRV has been advanced by 45 minutes and would now leave @ 1745 hrs. Perfect!!
While booking the tickets at the IT
site, I was not able to choose my seats as the seat map was not avlbl for this flight. As I had to pick up a fren at the airport coupla days prior to my flight I decided to select the seat at the IT
counter there. Approached the lady at the reservation counter and informed her that i wanted to pre select a seat. she took my e-ticket , looked it up in her system and gave me a worried look back..
Lady at Reservation Counter : " Sir, may i know who booked this ticket for you?"
Uh-Oh.. alarm bells ringing...
Me : " Well, i did it myself on the IT
site. Is there a problem?"
LaRC: " I am sorry sir the seat map does not show up on the system"
Me : "Is the flight still valid? I got a call frm ur customer care saying tht the timings hv changed."
LaRC:" Lemme check sir" .. and she walks inside..
Alarm bells ringing loud and clear now!!! The lady comes back with a smile.. OK
so things are not tht bad..
LaRC: "Sir, its a new flight tht has been introduced this week sir. The seat map for the same has not been loaded in yet sir. Sorry for the inconvenience sir. But you can go ahead and do a tele check in on the day of your flight"
A sigh of relief.. tht was a close call!!
Now for the actaul trip report..
Sector : BLR
- TRV (Trivandrum)
Carrier : IT
Flight No. : IT
Aircraft : ATR-72-500
Registration : VT
Seat : 6A
Got a cab booked for the airport and reached at 4:35 pm for a 5:45 pm departure. As expected the departure section was jam packed with almost every airline having departures around that time!!
Baggage Screening Queue for IT
passengers. The queue for 9W
is inside the terminal, but with no signs to guide them lot of 9W
passengers wasted their time in this line!!
Check in was quick and efficient. Got a window seat 6A
. Didnt want to waste time this side, so decided to go airside for some views of the tarmac. An IT
chap guided me to the security line on the IC
side as that was shorter.
The crowded waiting area @ BLR
during peak evening hours
The waiting area both airside and landside was jampacked. The tarmac however was deserted barring a lone IT
ATR. Most of the flights were boarding from the extended remote bays.
Deserted tarmac @ BLR
. Most of the flights were boading at the remote bays.
A poignant reminder of BLR
airport's chronic woes.. overflowing bins in the waiting area!!
As I waited the EK
flight frm DXB
rolled in and as did a SG
737-800 , Chilli, which was to fly onward to CCU
. Other airlines tht had flights out at tht point were IC
, DN to COK, TRV , CJB and sm other destiniation and I7 (Paramount) to MAA
and IXM. IT
had one flight to BOM
apart from the TRV flight
Waiting to board at Gate 1. Notice the pleathora of airlines tht now crowd the Indian skies.
Boarding which was supposed to take place at 1515 was not announced even @ 1525. Interestingly the departure display also did not hv this flight listed. Caught up with the IT
lady making the announcements, and she said she wud get back to me. Finally baording starting at around 1800 hrs. The TRV passengers were bussed in the impressive IT
first class buses. Pretty cool ones, with comfortable couches instead of the normal chairs..
The KingFisher First bus.. impressive
A320 to DEL
320 ready to depart to BOM
737 Fennel to HYD
There were two IT
ATRs on the tarmac and this got the driver confused and he went around them twice.. giving me some good photo ops..
Our bird to TRV.. VT
-KAB waiting for pax..
The setting sun peeking behind the ATR tail..
-KAA scheduled to fly to MAA
. On the right side, u can see a Minister from the Kerala govt. alighting from a special Kingfisher car. He was on our flight
Was greeted by a friendly FA
and I trodded up the aisle to my seat, 6A
. Since IT
employs only female FAs, u can always be assured of them in ur flight (unlike 9W
which quite often puts only male FAs on the TRV sector..)
Kingfisher logo on the seat belt buckle
The safety instruction was pre-recorded, with one of the F/As doing the motions. Somehow tht felt very odd.. either automate the entire thing with PTVs or do it manually...
Welcome drinks (Apple juice) was served and everybody got their complimentary Kingfisher pouch (albeit w/o the head phones as there is no IFE on board the ATR flights)
The load was exteremly low. Counted 24 heads in the 70 seater!! The captain welcomed us onboard and aplogized for the delay and appreciated "our business"!! Tht was abt all tht we heard from the flight deck. The IT
pilots are not as chatty as the ones on 9W
Immediately after take off , snacks was served and this was a big big let down..:-(
The non veg option had a chicken snadwich which was absolutely in-edible , a muffin and choc. mousse which was equally sad. the coffee was also of very low quality. I think 9W
when it comes to in flight catering..
The rest of the flight was uneventful. The F/As distributed feedback cards to every one and I made it a point to register my dissatisfaction with the food.
We landed at TRV abt 30 mins delayed onto an empty tarmac , save an IX
flight which was departing.
The view of the cabin after landing
We were bussed in an Air Sahara bus to the arrival section (IT does not have its own equipment at TRV yet)
The arrival hall was deserted as the only other flight to arrive , a DN flight frm BLR
was as usual delayed by more than an hour. The baggage came in quick.
Baggage claim at TRV.
service is good. However the quality of food and the service of F/As is far behind 9W
standards. Given a chance I wud still prefer 9W
any day. Still hoping they start an evening flight from BLR
Thanks to Blrsea and HAWK21M for guiding me to imageshack!!
Flown IC , 9W , SQ , SV , GF , S2 , LX , IT , LH , OS , DN , AC , MH , 6E , MI , AA , TG , EK , QR , SG , TK , KW, UA ,