The Kingfisher Experience.
Part 1: Goa to BOM on IT
This report is part of a long trip from Goa to Denpassar (Bali). Because it became to lenghty to post as one I cut it into three parts. This is part 1.
Part 2 can be found here: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J (by henkybaby Mar 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
Part 3 can be found here: The CX Upper Deck Experience: HKG-DPS In J (by henkybaby Mar 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
After what can only be described as a challenging stay in Goa I was happy to start the next stage of my sabbatical trip: getting to my beloved Bali. This is a place I like to visit as often as possible and at least once a year. It is not too difficult to fit it into a OneWorld Explorer Round The World ticket and so I did. However, Kingfisher is not part of OneWorld yet, so this return trip was bought seperately.
I had included India in my plans with some trepedation. After having spend what is about one year in India now (over the last 4 years) it is no secret that India and I do not get along. Although I love the people individually and parts of it are simply stunning I cannot get over the way society is structured and the filth everywhere. As a collective India does not work, which is a problem to say the least. No doubt the future will prove me wrong though. That being said, I was glad to be leaving. Leaving India would turn out to be quite the hasttle...
Seat 14A (economy)
Load factor: 95% in Y, 10% in 'F'
Dep: 16:20 (actual 16:40)
Arr: 17:20 (actual 17:40)
I arrived at the airport after a 45 minute taxi ride. That meant I was there about 90 minutes ahead of departure. Goa airport, albeit small, can be quite confusing. Kingfisher is the only airline using Terminal 1 for check in and it took me a while to figure that one out. Of course there is the usual India chaos. It is a benefit that IT uses that terminal since the lines for security in the main domestic terminal building were extremely long and in T1 they were almost non-existent. Confused as I was I only managed a picture after security of the waiting area.
There were not too many people in the waiting area and it looked like our flight would have a light load. In India people tend to show up a little late however, so in the end it was almost full in Y. Luckily I managed to secure an exit seat this time providing the much appreciated extra legroom.
No inflight video on this flight.
The boarding process IT uses is very relaxed. They do not load the buses to capacity but rather depart every 5 minutes or so, even if the bus is half empty. This makes for a much smoother boarding process and a nicer ride!
This time the IT flight was not the last leg of a tiring itinerary so I was more able to enjoy it. I like the feel of the cabin.
We took off about 20 minutes late, but I was not worried since I had a very long transfer at BOM, but more about that later. We had a short taxi and bye bye Goa!
The flight would last exactly one hour the captain announced. It amazes me how much catering IT does in that time. They do one drinks run before take off (including clean up) and a full hot meal. I must say that this was one of the tastiest airline meals I ever had, J and F included.
Approaching Mumbai I was hoping for some nice picture of the city but - much like Bangalore - the view is completely ruined by air polution. It is a shame I cannot really show this with a picture but there really is a blanket of smog hanging over the city about 3 miles high.
We flew over the city and about 10 minutes inland before doing a 180 to line up for approach. This added 15 minutes or so to our flight time.
Turning back to BOM
Decent into BOM
I tried to take some pictures during taxiing but the airport was misty with smog, so they did not really turn out right.
While waiting to disembark I befriended a nice English chap from Australia who was on his way to SYD. He had made a detour on a business trip to visit his sister in Goa. Unbelievably his company let him do Australia to Europe and back in Y so I invited him to stick with me so I could guest him into the lounge. He had a 6 hour layover. He was also appreciative of the little guidance I could give him about dealing with Indian bureaucracy...
You can read how that turned out here: Escaping India - BOM-HKG On CX J (by henkybaby Mar 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
In conclusion I must say that I find IT a very good airline. The service and food is excellent and the bureacratic nonsense and general problems of India are not their fault. I would not hesistate to fly them again.
As always: feedback is very much appreciated if only to discover people actually read this stuff...
[Edited 2010-03-02 03:42:17]
[Edited 2010-03-02 03:44:15]