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Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:19 pm

This is my final trip report which includes my flights to Goa, India and a trip that was designed in Hell for me. Please bear with me as this might be a longer trip report than usual. Hope you all enjoy it. and as usual, feedback will be very much appreciated...

Trip To India (CMH-JFK-LHR) Part 1 (pics)

Trip To India (LHR-BOM) Part 2 (pics)

Trip To India (BOM-BLR-DEL-BOM) Part 3 (Pics)

At the end of my part 3, I had arrived back in BOM very tired from the longest journey ever. I got home at around 3 am and then I didn't sleep until 6 am, which meant that I was almost awake for 24 hours. It was crazy. My friend and I were just chatting and how time flew by we didn't know. I woke up fresh by 3 pm and had a nice shower and a nice lunch to make myself normal again. It was good to be back to my friend's place which was like my home. The next week was spent going out with friends at various popular places in BOM. If someone goes there and is looking for a nice time, I would suggest going to Poison (a club near Bandra), Enigma (another club at the JW Marriot in Juhu). Saturday night was my friend's dad's birthday so we all went to dinner at the Grand Maratha Sheraton. We went to the restaurant that serves North Indian cuisine (sorry I forget the name now. If someone knows, please help). The food was DELICIOUS so that is another place one must check out for good quality North Indian food. Being from Punjab myself, I love traditional punjabi food and this restaurant was one of the best i'd had. anyways, I completed the shopping list that was given to me by my family and was ready to go to Goa, where I would spend my new year's. This would be my first trip to Goa and I was very excited about it.

December 29, 2006
Spicejet Airlines B737
Exit Row Seats

Sorry I don't have the exact flight number or the registration of the flight. But my friend had managed to book this entire thing via his travel agent and I didn't know I was flying Spicejet until the night before when he gave me my ticket. Our plan was to take the flight, land in Goa at around 2:20, check-in to our hotel and then head to the beach. Little did we know that our plans were going down the drain. Our flight was to depart at 1:15. We left the house at around 11 am as one of the friends had to stop and purchase some "wife beaters". He took about 20 minutes to buy his stuff and we were off to the airport. Now if you from Mumbai, then you know getting from Juhu to the domestic airport in Santa Cruz can take you anywhere from 15 mins to an hour depending on the traffic and you guessed it, it was our lucky day. Traffic was insane at this hour and at around 12, we were still at the border of Juhu and Santa Cruz. My friend's driver decided to take some inner roads and with his creative driving, we made it to the airport by 12:30 pm and were ready to be told that we weren't going to make it.

So we made it to the check-in counter and there was a queue and it took another 15 min-utes for our turn. We thought, we are definitely screwed. Well, to our surprise, the lady told us that our flight had been delayed an hour so we were in good shape and suggested that we check in our bags (which our carry-on size). Two of us decided to check in our bags and had to go back to the x-ray area to get our bags screened. After our bags were screened, we had to stand in the queue again (don't know why) to obtain our boarding passes (when the lady could have just handed them to us). Thinking that we have an hour to kill, we decided to go to the Cafe Coffee day and grab some lunch. I ordered the Chicka Tikka Kababs and my friend ordered Chicken Biryani. The kababs were pretty good but the Biryani was just mediocre. So after about 45 minutes at Cafe Coffee Day, we decided to go through security because we thought we would be boarding right now. We clear security and are waiting in the line to board when they announce that the flight to Goa has been delayed another hour. Reason was not given. 5 minutes later, they an-nounce that due to runway closure at BOM, the flight has now been delayed 3 hours. So instead of departing at 2:15, the flight would now depart at 5:15. Spending a day at the airport was not we had planned, but we decided to go back to Cafe Coffee Day and the three of us just took a nap as we were still kind of recovering from the night before 

A little weird thing at the airport though, coming back the security guard tore up our boarding passes and told us to obtain new ones before clearing security again the second time. This was a little weird I thought, but I guess they do it because they have to stamp the boarding passes. I didn't mind, but they should have told us. We went back to secu-rity with our old boarding passes and the guy tears it up and tells us to get new ones. So we stand in the queue again to get new boarding passes. We clear security and wait for boarding. 5:15 comes and goes and no announcement is made. At around 6 pm, they finally announce that the flight is ready to depart to Goa and everyone standing in that line clapped and shouted like it was new year's already  Everyone was happy that they were heading to Goa. We sat in the shuttle and it took us to our aircraft. We sat and fi-nally after about 15 minutes, the doors were closed and the A/C pushed back. Due to congestion at the airport, our flight didn't depart till 6:45 pm. This was insane. The flight time was mere 50 mins so we made it to Goa by 7:40 pm. We got out of the airport by 8:20 pm and got a cab to take us to the hotel which was another hour and 10 mins ride. We stayed at the Taj Village hotel and the experience was superb. I'd definitely recom-mend this hotel or the Fort Aguada Beach Resort which is right next door.

Picture Time

The Three of us at the BOM airport

Calangute Beach

Sunset at Calangute Beach

Hotel Taj Village (their coffee shop)


The next nights just consisted of eating the finest prawns, drinking, and partying all over Goa. It was the best time I had as three more friends from DEL joined us for this trip. It was a great trip for me and I hope to go there every other year.

More pictures

Havana (Club near Calangute)

Three friends again (I'm in the middle)

Baga Beach

Baga Beach

Taj Village Bar Area

Taj Village Bar Area

On Jan 2nd, the 6 of us had flights back to our homes. We all knew that the flight to DEL had been delayed due to fog and upon checking it was informed to us that our flight to BOM had also been delayed. Reason was not given to us. So at around 7:30 pm, we started for the airport. This was the best ride ever. We had listened to Goa Trance and Trance so much that when the taxi driver played some bollywood music, all of us started singing and enjoying. An hour later, we were at the airport and this is where the hell part begins. Our flights were supposed to depart at 9:30 pm. One for DEL and the other for BOM. The DEL flight left on time; however we were informed that the flight to BOM was canceled and again, NO REASON given. We asked for a re-booking and there was no flight available until 3 days later and apparently, Spicejet doesn't have a policy of ac-commodating passengers if the flights are canceled. So the only option we had was to take a refund and try to find a flight for the next morning as there would be nothing for this night. This is where I got really pissed off with Spicejet. They told us that we had an option of getting a refund and they weren't really willing to give us a refund. They were looking for ways to keep our money. After about 30 mins of bickering etc, we were able to get our refunds.

The next thing was to look for flights to BOM the next day. We inquired every airline and nothing was available. We went to IT, and we were able to find 1 seat in Kingfisher First. My friend suggested me to take the seat so I could make it back to BOM as on Jan 4 at 7 am, I was to take a flight back for the US. By the time we decided that we would take that seat, it was gone. The guy suggested to come as standby the next morning and he said that there was a 90% chance that both of us would get seats in First the next morning. At this point, we didn't really care which class we would be flying as both of us just wanted to get home. The other option was to hire a cab and drive to BOM. We de-cided that we would do that. We went inside the airport and tried looking for a place to book a taxi. We spotted some more students that had reserved a mini-bus to BOM and they had room for 2 more. So instead of trying our chances for the next morning, we decided to just go with them to BOM. This was the worst road trip on earth as we both were on the last seat of the bus that didn't recline and the ride was roughly 14 hours. This was not how I wanted to start my journey back to the US. At 3:30 pm the next day, we made it close to BOM. We couldn't stand the bus anymore so we called up my friend to pick us up at a point. We made it home by 4 pm and I still had to finish up packing.

My flight was at 7 am and I was to go to DEL to take my flight to US. I was booked on Indian Airlines, so I thought, I'll double check my flight time. I called and was informed that since I didn't reconfirm my flight, my booking was canceled. Explaining to him that I didn't know, he put a booking in my name again. My friend's girlfriend who had also come from the US was flying AI and her flight also departed at 7 am. So we left for the airport at around 3:45 am so we could be at the International Terminal by 4 am. Since there was no traffic, we made it to the international terminal in no time. we dropped her off and it was time for me to go to the Domestic Terminal. My friend dropped me off at the terminal and I went to the check-in desk of Indian Airlines. I go to check in and the guy tells me to go outside to the ticketing agent and speak with him. I go outside and the lady (who obviously didn't want to be there) was rude and tells me that this was a time sensitive booking and I owed her Rs. 10400 for the ticket. My friend had already left and I had no way of speaking to Orbitz (my travel agent) about this or Virgin Atlantic (their offices wouldn't open until later in the day. and I wouldn't be let into the International Terminal because my ticket is from DEL). I didn't know what to do so I checked with other airlines (as I didn't want to miss my flight in DEL) and found Kingfisher to have the cheapest fare of Rs. 8750. I paid with my credit card and was checked in through DEL.

Jan. 4, 2007
IT 301 Airbus A321
STD: 7:15 am ATD: 7:15 am
STA: 9:15 am STA: 9:10 am
Seat: 20A

I grabbed a coffee and sat in the waiting area right before security. 20 odd minutes later, I cleared security with a breeze and then proceeded to the assigned gate. This time the flight was on time and we boarded through the Jetway. While waiting for the boarding call, I spotted some lounge chairs where a person could literally sleep and next to them was a cell phone charging station. I found my phone¡¦s connector and took the opportu-nity to add some juice to my phone. Glad I did that as I would require it later on ƒº The flight departed at exactly 7:15 am. The flight was fairly full and the flight time this morning was approx. 2 hours. After takeoff, a drink service came and I took water as I was really tired and thirsty. Plus carrying two 32kg bags is no fun   This time, the en-tertainment system of the flight was on. I tried to get some sleep; however due to another crying baby sitting right behind me, I was forced to stay awake. I managed to put on my headphones and try out the entertainment system. It offered 5 video channels, 5 audio channels and the flight map. I flipped through the 5 channels and the music stations and finally got to see something interesting in ¡§Nach Baliye¡¨ on Star Plus. This was an epi-sode I hadn¡¦t scene to I watched it. This would be an hour long episode so it would keep me occupied for sometime. Meanwhile, after about 10 minutes, the breakfast service came. I selected the North Indian vegetarian food as the only non-vegetarian option was an omelet with bread. I did not feel like eating that. I requested the North Indian veg and the FA gave food to everyone else in my row but me. She then disappeared. I thought, wow she probably forgot about me.

But later, she came back and apologized for the delay. Apparently they didn¡¦t have the North Indian option left anymore, so she went to the First Class section and got me the North Indian option from there. It consisted of Aaloo Paratha with Yogurt, pickles, and some other stuff that I do not remember right now. To my surprise, the food was excel-lent. It was piping hot and I actually burnt my tongue on the first bite. Another water bottle was given as a drink; however I requested a mango drink and it was given to me without any questions asked. Our routing actually took us over Jaipur and I tried to look for something familiar; however due to smog etc., I couldn¡¦t really see anything. It was time for landing and the crew asked us to do the usual. The entertainment system was turned off and my eyes were then glued to the window for landing. We touched down quite early and arrived at our remote stand at around 9:10 am. I was happy as my next flight was to depart at 12:30 (or so I thought ƒº ).

I grabbed the shuttle, came to arrivals, grabbed my bags and stood in line for the pre-paid taxi service. There is absolutely no shuttle service that takes passengers from the domes-tic terminal to the international terminal. If there is, apparently none of the airport work-ers know about it. I head outside and try to get into one of those taxis. But none of them were ready to take me because the destination was so close. A taxi driver suggested say-ing that I wanted to go to ¡§Gurgaon¡¨ and they would automatically take you. So this is what I did. I sat in the taxi, and once it got going, the driver asks me where to go. I hand him the slip and he¡¦s pissed off. He stops the car and starts to stare at me. At this point I¡¦m think, oh god, I¡¦m either gonna get mugged, or this guy is going to take this receipt and just let me off. The guy says he will go if I agree to pay him an extra Rs. 20 for the lifting of the bags. I agreed even though I could have technically filed a complaint against him with the Delhi Traffic Police. Not wanting to get involved with any sort of situation with the police, I decided to just fark out the Rs. 20 (it was 50 cents) and get to the International Airport.

I got in and got straight into the British Airways baggage screening line. At DEL, BA has a separate baggage screening line. So after about 10 minutes, my bags get weighed. One is 31 kg and the other is 34 kg. Max allowed is 32kg per bag. Not only that, my carry on was filled to be about 17 kg itself. So you could tell that I had A LOT OF WEIGHT, which I was actually ready to pay extra for. I knew I would have to in the USA anyways. So, I took some stuff out of the heavy one and put it in the light one and got rid of some other old clothes. Weighed again, and both were exactly 32 each. Per-fect. Now comes the hand bag. It would not fit into the little container devised for the hand luggage. So I take some stuff out of there and throw it and it¡¦s barely fitting. The guy looks at me and says, ¡§Sir, have a good flight with BA.¡¨


Waiting area right before security check at BOM

Waiting area before boarding at BOM

Cell Phone Charger Station with chairs in the background

January 4, 2007
BA 256 B747-400
STD: 12:30 pm ATD: 2:35 pm
STA: 4:40 pm ATD: 7:30 pm
Seat: 19A (World Traveler Plus)

This was one flight I was really looking forward to. One, I would get to sleep and two; I would get to compare the Premium Economy product of BA and VS. After getting ap-proval from the BA employee that my bags were OK, I proceeded to the never ending queue of BA check-in. First of all when I joined the line, the flight time said 1:30 pm. I thought, Great. I¡¦m getting used to delays as it seems like almost every flight I take ends up delaying for an hour at least. Since the departure time was about 1:30 and it was only about 11:00 am, the BA counter employees thought of chilling out, talking amongst em¡¦ and attend one customer with utmost attention and chatter. It was taking them about 5 minutes to get one customer checked in. After about 40 minutes standing in this line, I decided to take a seat on my bags in the cart. I would just roll with my feet slowly as the line moved. So finally when my phone¡¦s clock hit noon, it was my turn to get checked in. Hooray. But wait, there was more wait. As the lady who called me over to her desk soon disappeared by saying, ¡§I¡¦ll be right back sir.¡¨ It wasn¡¦t really ¡§right back¡¨ as it took her 10 minutes to come back. So she¡¦s checking me in and informs me that I will miss my connection at LHR so she took the liberty of re-booking me on another BA flight. I thought awesome; I¡¦ll get to experience the economy product of BA as well.

I was handed my boarding passes and I was instructed to pass through security. The boarding pass read the boarding time of 13:20. I cleared security and the guy looking at my papers looked like he did not want to be there. There was no smile, not a single word out of his mouth while he checked my papers and passport. After checking everything he gave it all back to me again w/o anything coming out of his mouth. I cleared security again and was asked to open my carry on luggage. After opening it up, I was asked if I was carrying any spices or masalas in my carry on. I showed him every edible thing I was carrying with me and once satisfied that I wasn¡¦t carrying anything illegal, he stamped my boarding pass and let me go. I found a seat in the crowded boarding area waiting for the boarding call. I think I might have dozed off as I woke up, it was about 1:45 pm and there was a huge line at the boarding gate. Boarding had started and as usual everyone got up from their seats and started to form lines. Boarding was just an-nounced for passengers with special assistance and young children traveling alone, and then the first class and club world passengers and so on. I decided to close my eyes for another 10 minutes as I figured that it would take them that much time anyways. I opened my eyes and the line looked pretty much same except it had different people. So I waited some more. I was getting hungry but I had no Indian currency left and couldn¡¦t wait to get on the plane and get some food. Once the line was down to about 5 people, I decided to get up and board.

I found my seat and an older man was already at my window seat. I was polite and asked him if he was in the right seat as my boarding pass said 19A. Turns out, a couple behind the row had 2 seats, but they were 19B and 20A. So they must have requested this man to switch seats. So this guy got pissed of at the couple because they probably told him something wrong. Turns out this guy had a window seat as well and the couple actually had 2 aisle seats. So this guy after saying stuff to the couple decided to take the aisle seat. I made myself comfortable in my window seat and the man started talking to me. Interesting conversation took place between me and him.

Guy: So, where do you live in London?
Me: im from the US. I dont live in London.
Guy: Why are you traveling on British Airways then? Why dont you take one of those non-stop flights to India?
Me: Im not a big fan of sitting in a plane for that long continuously, therefore I prefer to take a break somewhere to stretch and roam around. Plus I get to see new airports and travel on different aircraft types
Guy: Whats so special on traveling on different aircraft types? They are all the same. They take-off, you¡¦re in the air for an amount of time, and then you land.
Me: I dont know how I can explain this to you.
Guy: Well, we got 9 hours
Me: Well, I study materials science & engineering and part of my research is jet engines. Different airlines use different types of engines. I like to experience the power that the different engines generate as well as take their pictures. To sum it up, Im an aviation enthusiast.
Guy: Wow, thats interesting.

Seemed like he either ran out of questions or just decided to shut up, but he did and I was glad. I could glue my eyes to the window, take some pictures and enjoy the take-off. We were given pre take off drinks. I decided to take water and orange juice. Finally at 2:35 pm, we pushed back and the FA¡¦s went around spraying the disinfectant stuff. I so far like the premium economy in BA, partly because the storage space one gets from sitting on the window seat. It was pretty good. We taxied a long way and passed close to the domestic airport and finally arrived at the runway. The engines took on from here and then after about 42 seconds, we were airborne.

Taxiing to the runway

View of the Domestic Apron

BA IFE Screen

View of the BA World Traveler Plus Section

SpiceJet Jet being prepared for departure

Kingfisher Airlines

Kingfisher Airlines

View from my seat (you can sorta see the space between the seat and the window)

A line of IT Jets waiting to take off after us

After take-off

After take-off, when the seat belt signs went off, the FAs came with the drink service. I took a beer and then waited for lunch. I was really hungry at this point. About 20 min-utes later, the lunch service started. I chose the non-vegetarian option. I believe the only two options were non-veg or veg. There was no Indian food as an option unless of course it was special. The non-veg consisted of pasta with chicken. It was decent amount and it was hot and tasty. So I didn¡¦t mind it at all. Along with the dinner I had red wine and instead of getting a small glass of red wine like VS gives, I got a small bottle of red wine. It was very good and definitely helped me get some much needed sleep. I reclined my chair, put on the socks provided by the amenity kit, put on my Ipod (as I had a EM Power charger I plugged it in), played my ¡§Sleeptime¡¨ playlist, put on the eye-mask and then passed out in no time.

I must have gotten a decent amount of sleep as I woke up to the smell of bread being warmed up. It was probably for the business class and first class people as the breakfast we got, we had room temperature bread with cold butter. After finishing breakfast, the captain announced that we would begin our descent into LHR. It was dark so I couldn¡¦t take many pictures. We landed and then began our taxi to T4. I don¡¦t know which run-way we landed at but I do remember that we had to cross another runway to get to T4. I got to the flight connections and the guy tells me that there is no way I¡¦m making this flight. He then looks at my ticket and says, wow, you¡¦re not supposed to be traveling on BA anyways. He said that VS is supposed to reaccommodate me. So he punches some-thing on the computer and tried to get me on the flight to EWR. I tell him that I have a connecting flight to Columbus from JFK, which I will miss. So since I chose not to fly to EWR, the guy says I can give you a flight tomorrow; however I will have to arrange my own housing and I would have to collect my bags again and check them again the next day. So I cleared immigration without any problems, called my friend and he was very happy that I missed my flight and immediately told me to come down. I proceeded to collect my bags and after waiting for about 40 odd minutes, my bags didn¡¦t arrive. So I went to the BA counter and they tell me that my bags will remain at LHR in a secure area and will be loaded onto the flight I depart the next day. I was relieved that I wouldn¡¦t have to haul all those bags on the tube. I got my tube pass and headed towards my friend¡¦s place on Vauxhaul Street next to the Pimlico tube station.

He was really happy to see me and I freshened up a little bit and right after that, we were out to go to a pub. I had a great time with him and we called it a night when the pub closed. He had to go to work the next morning so I kinda felt bad for him. But I lay on the bed and I pretty much woke up when my alarm went off the next morning. The sleep was excellent and I felt regenerated. I took a shower and then grabbed a slice of the left-over pizza from the night before and made my way to pimlico station to get myself to Heathrow airport. I made it to T3 and stood in line to check-in when the agent checking passports for security told me that I was in the wrong line and I needed to go re-validate my ticket from another counter. But he told me to find him afterwards and he would take me to the check-in agent and wouldn¡¦t have to stand in line again. That was a nice ges-ture I thought. After checking that everything was in order and I was indeed supposed to be on this flight, he issued the ticket and then told me to proceed to check-in.

January 5, 2007
VS 045 B747-400
STD: 2:00 pm ATD: 4:00 pm
STA: 4:40 pm ATA: 6:50 pm
Seat: 41C (Cattle Class)

I found that guy and he told me to go to this one lady and she was happy to see me. She was all smiles and took my ticket and then issued me a boarding pass with an aisle seat. She asked me to put my carry on to weigh it and then told me that it was 32lbs and had to be checked in. So I checked in my carry on bag and asked her if she has routed the bags to this VS flight and she said yes, they will be on the same flight to JFK. I was happy. I proceeded through security and started roaming around the duty free shop at T3. I have a tendency of checking time with my cell phone so after about 15 minutes when I wanted to check the time; I realized that I didn¡¦t have my phone. I realized that I must have left it at the security area and rushed back over there. I was glad to know that the lost & found had my phone and after making sure that it was mine, they released it to me. I killed some more time roaming around T3. I had some pizza, bought some Ministry of Sound CDs and then headed to the gate after boarding was announced. I get to the gate and there was a secondary screening going on. But after they let few of us board, the lady announced that there will not be any more boarding as the pilots have just found out that Engine No. 2 has some faults. She said it will be a minimum of 45 minutes; however if it takes longer they will keep us updated. She advised us to go back to the departure lounge and wait. I took this opportunity to roam around T3 and do some spotting of my own. Here are some pictures that I took.

Air India B747

Air Jamaica A343

A collection of tails at T3

VS A340

More Tails

So after about another hour and a half of delays, we were informed that the problem in engine No. 2 has been fixed and we are ready to board again. So we proceeded through the gate, only to be packed into shuttles like sardines. The good part was that it took us to a remote stand in front of the new T5. So that was good as I got to see T5 up close. I took a picture of our bird which was ¡§Tinker Belle¡¨ today and would take us to JFK.

My ride to JFK

I boarded on this flight and was ready to sleep again. I have already had a miserable on that car ride to BOM and really was in search of my home bed. Little did I know that there was another surprise? After boarding, the pilot came on and said that they were waiting on ATC clearance for take-off and it will be another 30 odd minutes. So we waited 30 more minutes and finally the pilot tells the crew to prepare for departure and we finally pushback. A long taxi to the runway was up next and then we turned towards the runway. The jets showed their power and we were airborne soon. I knew exactly what to expect this time so wasn¡¦t really looking forward to VS¡¦s service. The first drink service came and I asked for a beer and later on with dinner I had another beer. The din-ner was ordinary as it was pasta with chicken. The portion was smaller than that of BA but at least it was hot.

V:port was turned out quite early this time; however title coordination was totally off. If you chose to play MI:3 it would play some other movie so to fix it, they tried rebooting. It didn¡¦t work so they just let it on. The pilot came on and apologized and told us that it wasn¡¦t something they can fix mid-air. They would have to land and then the whole software would have to be updated. So we just watched anyways. I managed to watch You, Me and Dupree and while watching this movie, a snack service came. The choice was brownie or shortbread cookies. I took the shortbread cookies and they were delight-ful. I managed to get about an hour of sleep as the ladies next to me had to go to bath-room every hour or so. So I also managed to get up, go to the galley and get myself some water. I came back to my seat and the ice-cream service came. They brought ice-cream while we were busy watching movies. Was this good service due to the delay? I¡¦m not sure as this Y product seemed a whole lot different that the one I experienced on the JFK-LHR flight¡K I spent the rest of the flight watching movies until we landed at JFK. I cleared immigration easily and waited for my bags. I wouldn¡¦t see my bags and then I heard my name over the PA system and I was informed that my bags didn¡¦t make it to New York but would come over the next flight.

I gave them my home address and then proceeded to the United Terminal to check if I could get on my flight (that I missed a day before). I had booked a one-way ticket from LGA to CMH via ORD and was gonna see if there was any possible way I could get the same flights as I had used my one-way upgrade coupons to travel in First Class on a do-mestic flight. I was given a flight to CMH via ORD the next day but had to reconfirm first class upgrades at the airport the next day. I had to find a place to stay. Luckily I have a couple friends that live in the Jersey City area. I called them up. Both wanted me to stay at their place but I stuck to the one who would be easier for me to reach to. So I got directions from him and headed to his house. I took a cab ride to 33rd and 6th and then took the PATH train to Jersey area. Again my friend was happy to see me and I went to put my stuff in his house. We called our other friend and the three of us went out to a pub to grab a few drinks. A night was called when we closed down the bar again we headed back to the house. I would get close to 4 hours of sleep as I had to wake up and make it to LGA to make it to my 11:55 flight. My friend suggested leaving the house by 8 am because traffic in NYC is very unpredictable.

I made it to LGA well in time and was only given the first class upgrade on my flight from LGA to ORD. I was happy. Still kinda hung over I had to get something to eat. So I proceeded to the food court and grabbed some nasty and expensive breakfast. I cleared security and proceeded towards my gate and then decided to sleep until boarding call.

January 6, 2007
UA 679 B737-800
STD: 11:55 am ATD: 11:50 am
STA: 1:33 pm ATA: 1:27 pm
Seat 2D

I was one of the first to board as boarding was announced for the First Class passengers. A pre-departure drink was offered and I selected Orange Juice. It was nice and chilled. The load was light so we closed the doors early and pushback was also about 5 minutes early. There were about 4 people in First Class and Economy was about 60% full. After take-off a beverage service came and I selected Ginger Ale. This is my favorite drink now. After the drink service, the lunch service came. I selected chicken salad and it was filling and light at the same time. I definitely enjoyed the warm chocolate chip cookie after finishing the lunch. I slept for the rest of the flight and was woken up by the FA when were going to land. So I took some pictures while she brought me some water. Overall a great flight and I could feel being closer to home¡K

My ride to ORD

Apron picture from LGA

View of a runway at LGA

Welcome to New York

View after take-off

Approaching ORD (over Lake Michigan)

Descending into ORD (an airport visible on the top left hand corner, anyone know which one that is???)

January 6, 2007
UA 496 B737-400
STD: 2:30 pm ATD: 2:33 pm
STA: 4:44 pm ATA: 4:35 pm
Seat 19F

I went and got some ice-cream and then proceeded to my boarding gate. Boarding started as soon as I got comfortable in a chair. It was all good as I was heading home and would be there in about 45 minutes. We boarded and the load was really really light. It was less than 50%. I had the entire back section of the plane to myself. We closed the doors early and pushed back early as well. There was a long taxiing towards the runway. It was cool as I got to see some heavies. Maybe someone can help out and let us know which run-way we took off from looking at the pictures. We took off and the entire flight was pretty uneventful. Nothing really happened. There was a drink service along with pretzels. I took another ginger ale and enjoyed the full can. Pretty soon we were descending into CMH and I tried to spot my own house cause I could see we were descending over New Albany and then turning from Blacklick into Gahanna. I live in Blacklick so I wanted to try and spot my house. I did manage to see Les Wexner¡¦s house. Les Wexner is the owner of the limited brands and houses in New Albany, OH. Landing was nothing spe-cial and while taxiing I spotted an ATA B757. I got off the plane to go to baggage claim and all I see is Scarlet & Grey. All buckeyes are going to Phoenix to see us play in the National Championship. A quick O-H shout and an I-O reply, and I knew I was home. I got down to the baggage arrival and due to the priority tag; my bag was the first one to come out. I had already called my parents and by the time I got out with my bag, they were already there to pick me up. I couldn¡¦t be happier to get back home ƒº

ORD Concourse B

ORD Concourse B

Some heavies at ORD (BA 777, AZ 767, SAS A330, BD A330, UA 777 & 747)

After takeoff from ORD

Over clouds en-route to CMH

Les Wexner¡¦s House (Owner of the Limited Brands)

ATA B757 (First 757 I¡¦ve seen at CMH)

Overall, it was a trip from hell with all the delays and missed connections. The service in all flights was pretty good and I didn¡¦t appreciate BA/VS losing my bags. In a way it worked out as I didn¡¦t have to pay extra for heavy bags. But after periodic calling and bugging the heck out of both BA/VS, I received my bags two weeks later. Luckily every-thing was there; however one of the decoration pieces I bought from India had broken. Oh well. Hope you guys enjoyed reading this trip report. I try to read other trip reports and then improve on mine.

Go Bucks

[Edited 2007-02-13 08:25:53]
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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:31 pm

Great report!...nice to see such a variety of pics Big grin
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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:38 pm

Great report and pics, how long did it take you to write it?

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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:28 am

Good report man. However, UA doesn't have 737-400s or 800s. Just saw you had those listed and wanted to let u know that was incorrect. take it easy.
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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:21 am

Quoting BigTom (Reply 2):

It took me about a week with my work schedule, my class schedule and my udergrad research. But yesterday night, I forced myself to just finish it....

Quoting Slovacek747 (Reply 3):

Sorry and thanks for the corrections. Now I look back and checked the data and it was actually an airbus to ORD (Can't remember if it was the A320 or the A319) and B735 to CMH.
Thank you for the corrections

[Edited 2007-02-13 20:21:59]

[Edited 2007-02-13 20:24:01]
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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:26 pm

Nice report mate. I was in Goa in 05 Xmas. Loved it completely and want to go back again. Anyway, quite unfortunate that you had to suffer so many delays mate.
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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:01 pm

Great report, love UA as my American airline, BA I'm not so sure of though, I'd fly VS over them.

Thats quite some trip, India to CMH!
Keep Discovering
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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:38 pm

Great report & photos! It seems like you took all those delays & cancellations in stride. Much better than I would do if the same happened to me.  banghead 

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
Descending into ORD (an airport visible on the top left hand corner, anyone know which one that is???)

From your photos showing your approach into ORD came from over the lake (east to west), I assume that airport was to the north of your position, so I'd guess it's the Chicago Executive Airport, formerly know as Palwaukee Municipal (PWK). I could be wrong, though.
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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:57 am

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
View from my seat (you can sorta see the space between the seat and the window)

That space between the seat and the window is awful!! I would never like to travel in a plane like that.....  worried 
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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:53 pm

WOW! What a heavy trip report! I enjoyed alot reading it and going thru the pictures. It's too bad that you had to go thru so many delays, I just can't believe you had the patience to do so. I would have totally go crazy about it.

And the 14 hour ride to BOM was just too much! The only thing you did in days was just going into long hauls airplane and bus wise lol!

Good Job

KLM- The Best Airline in the World!
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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:34 pm

Nice report, got your bags two weeks later, wow. Where the hell did they go?
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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:19 pm

OMG - great report, but terrible trip. Having to make so many changes and last minute bookings etc. - must be a nightmare. I get stressed even if there's a simple change, but with so many - WOW!

Was VS on the return sector any better than the outbound sector?
Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:00 am

First of all great report mate cograts on a job well done, but My GOD after having the highs of GOA , the hell you went through in terms of delayed flights and the chaos thereafter with missed connections.

Why dint you just take the BA flight from BOM which departs at the same time.

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
We went to the restaurant that serves North Indian cuisine (sorry I forget the name now. If someone knows, please help).

Peshawari--it is simply excellent go there atleast twice a month myself.

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
grabbed the shuttle, came to arrivals, grabbed my bags and stood in line for the pre-paid taxi service. There is absolutely no shuttle service that takes passengers from the domes-tic terminal to the international terminal. If there is, apparently none of the airport work-ers know about it. I

Well there actually is but it is so pathetically handeled that the buses are scheduled to leave after every hour and never show up on time--i also had taken a prepaid taxi the last time we transited from Domestic to International in DEL.

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Thread starter):
anuary 6, 2007
UA 679 B737-800

Mate your aircraft looks like a A320 or A319---UA does not operate 737-800s

One more question why so many international airlines

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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:30 am

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 12):
Why dint you just take the BA flight from BOM which departs at the same time.

This whole shabang was due to BD cancelling their LHR-BOM route. I was originally booked on BD going to and from LHR-BOM. But when they cancelled the route, I had to be rebooked. I was put on VS from LHR-BOM, but on the return leg, they didn't have any seats from BOM, therefore they re-routed me via DEL. If I had the choice, I would have definitely selected the flight from BOM.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 12):
Peshawari--it is simply excellent go there atleast twice a month myself.

Delightful food. Simply amazing. and might I suggest, if you are in the mood for some wine, try "Sula" Red Wine. It's an indian wine and it was definitely good. thank you for the name. I will now remember it...

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 12):
Mate your aircraft looks like a A320 or A319---UA does not operate 737-800s

Thank you for the correction. It was indeed an airbus. I tried editing the post but it won't let me.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 12):
One more question why so many international airlines

Again, my original itinerary was much simple. CMH-JFK B6; JFK-LHR VS; LHR-BOM BD; BOM-LHR BD; LHR-JFK VS; LGA-ORD-CMH UA...

It truly was a trip back to the US from hell; however it worked out as I got to meet up with some friends that I had planned to meet sometime anyways. and yes, not lifting those huge bags again definitely helped.

Quoting Pilotfox (Reply 10):
Nice report, got your bags two weeks later, wow. Where the hell did they go?

well according to VS, they made it to JFK airport on Jan. 7 and they kept leaving messages to BA to deliver them. BA didn't even know about the bags until I called them. So after 2 weeks of calling both of them, I finally got my bags.

Quoting Nimish (Reply 11):
Was VS on the return sector any better than the outbound sector?

It was definitely better than the outbound sector. After the JFK-LHR flight, I had decided I will probably not fly VS again; But the LHR-BOM flight and the return leg restored my faith and I wouldn't actually mind flying them again.
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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:22 pm

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Reply 13):
Delightful food. Simply amazing. and might I suggest, if you are in the mood for some wine, try "Sula" Red Wine. It's an indian wine and it was definitely good. thank you for the name. I will now remember it...

hey thanks for the suggestion but i dont drink alcohol mate, anyways i do know on a personal basis some of their sales/market department heads as they come to the same gym as i do, but next time you in town we can definitly go to Peshawari for a meal.

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RE: Trip To India (Back To The US) Part 4 W/ Pics

Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:54 am

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 14):

That would be awesome  Smile

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