The week after New Years, had to travel to MIA
on work and getting a last minute reservation proved to be a real task for my travel agent. My first choice 9W
was fully booked across all sectors and so were the *A flights out of BLR
. My agent finally came up with an itinerary that would route me from BLR
. Turns out all LH
flights to MIA
were also going full. The return coupla weeks later was a lot easier and I managed to get a one hop MIA
covers the BLR
leg and the domestic to international transfer experience at the new T3
. A few pics of the LH
flights are also included.
Flight : 9W
A/C - VT
Originally wasnt planning to write a TR
on this leg as I this has been covered umpteen times in multiple TRs. However as luck would have it, I manage to snag an upgrade at the gate, courtesy a solitary upgrade voucher that was expiring in a weeks time!!
Since the booking class I was originally booked on did not qualify for an upgrade using a voucher, I did not contact the Jet Privilege center for an upgrade. However I tried my luck at the check-in counter and the sweet lady there said she would try and took down my details. At the gate my boarding pass scan blinked red (you have no idea how happy that makes me!!) and the 9W
agent confirmed that the upgrade had indeed worked!! Soon I was in posession of a new Boarding Pass with Seat 1F on it and I proceeded to VT
-JGW, a 737-800 which was to be our bird tonite.
-JGW is part of the new revamped fleet of 9W
and its LCC brand 9W
-Konnect and has 8 J class seats and remaining Y.
Was greeted at the door by a smiling female F/A, while a male F/A , Karan, was serving welcome drinks to other guests in J. The loads were 100% in both Y and J.
While boarding was completed before time, a lady seated in 1C, misplaced her IPad in the boarding area and the crew had to arrange for the missing item to be located, which they managed to do successfully. The lady looked harried throughout the trip!!
Soon after take off, menu cards were distributed.
The Domestic J Class Menu Card
This months menu card highlighted Bidari Silverwork from the Indian State of Karnataka
The menu for todays flight
Dinner consisted of 4 main course options -
1- Mugh Chutneywala - Indian Chicken Curry
2-Chicken Manchurian - A typical "Chi-indian" dish!! A Chinese dish, cooked Indian style!!
3-Kofta Kalimirch - Vegetables and Cheese Dumplings in aromatic gravy with black pepper
4-Vegetable Manchurian - The veggie cousin of the earlier "Chi-indian" dish!!
This was accompanied by a Carrot and Corn soup, Veggie Salad , Choice of Indian (Sweet Rice pudding/Kheer) or Western (Chocolate Mousse) dessert and Coffee/Tea.
The main course - Indian Chicken Curry with Pulao Rice
Dessert - Chocolate Mousse
Rounding it off with a cuppa coffee
The main course was really good and filling. The soup was fine, the veggies not so much!! Dessert and coffee were in Chandler Bings words - perfection!!
The F/As were very attentive and given that the J cabin has been shrunk to just two rows on this flight, we got a pretty personalized service!! Karan the male F/A was especially outstanding interacting a lot with pax, even offering them both the dessert choices!!
Now to play with the seat
Little pull out for ur welcome drink
Tray table tucked in
The coat hanger, with the 9W
female crew's canary yellow overcoat
The mandatory knee shot. No complaints on leg room!!
After all the cutlery and trays were cleared, Karan brought in a bottle of water for each pax in J class
The rest of the flight was un-eventful. Caught up on some office work and a complete lack of IFE saved me from any distractions
Soon we were descending into DEL
. The crew came around with towels (dont remember if they were hot or cold!!). Had a smooth landing into DEL
and soon we were on our way to dock in @ T3
This was my second time at T3
and it still gives me a very eerie feeling. For the size and volume of the terminal, the airport is strangely deserted!! A few 9W
birds spread here and there!!
Miles and Miles of empty gates..
Possibly a security office,underneath the housing for one of the jetbridges
Adieu to my throne for the last coupla hours!!
After thanking the crew, exited the a/c through the jet-bridges and onto the vastness of T3
. It was deja-vu all over again. Similar to my last trip into T3
, the long corridors of T3
are deserted and empty!! Maybe i take flights that land in at all the wrong times!!
Pax exiting from our flight
The Corridors are lovely,bright and long, But I have miles to go before people throng!! :P
Well posted signage to guide arriving pax
The Mudras - hand signs adorn the domestic arrival side also. On the international side, this where you would find immigration
ATMs at the baggage claim area. There are more in the arrival greeting area also.
The glass partition separating the international and domestic arrivals. The section in the middle where I was standing would soon turn into international in a coupla hours time.
This was the scene at the baggage carousel as passengers slowly trickled in. The baggage carousel goes all the way across and there is more than ample space for everybody to spread across. But very soon this spot, where u can see the spout for the bags to come through, was crowded 3-4 people deep!!
This side of the same belt completely empty
. Notice the other side
To further highlight this strange behavior of my countrymen, a chap approached me (on this isolated side) asking where the baggage would come out from. I said its the same belt, you can collect from anywhere. He responds - "Thats alright, but where will it first come out from?!!".I cudnt help chuckle as I pointed it out to him and he pushed his trolley to join the big fat crowd that had formed at that point of the carousel!!
Haldiram's Outlet (Indian Sweets) at the baggage claim area - last moment shopping for ur loved ones in Delhi!!
Beautiful Murals Adorning the Baggage Claim Area
Floor Cleaning equipment. The interiors of the terminal still look spanking new.
The huge airy baggage claim area
Gadget point at the arrival area, before you exit out into the greeting area
Greeting area, with a "mis-leading" sign for transfer check in
Following the sign above, I reached a deserted check in area, which had un-marked check in counters and nary a soul who had an airport pass!! I met abt 8-9 folks who had arrived by my flight and were connecting to other international flights on KL
. We decided to then trudge onward to the departure level, where the actual check in counters are located.
Gourmet Select - Chocs and Candies store at the arrival lounge.
There are two ways of going to the departure level. You could exit the terminal and take a inclined travelator to the 2nd level or use one of the lifts/elevators inside. We decide to use the lift hoping it would get us directly to the check in counter.
The lift we hoped would take us to the check in counter:
Posted at the exit of the lift at the departure level is a CISF guard, who would only let connecting pax with valid tickets through. But everytime he checked the a pax, the ones behind were stuck in the lift and if their fingers were not on the
"Open" button, they could enjoy a free return journey to the arrival section and back!! Wouldnt it make more sense to post him at the entrance to the lift!!
After all the checking, we find that we still cannot access the check in counters directly, we have to exit through Gate 8 and then re-enter through any of the other gates (after another round of ticket inspection!!). This lift actually opens out into visitors gallery at the departure gate.
To add to my woes since, my LH
flight was not open, the CISF guard would not let me enter the check in area and I had to wait outside till it opened.
Exiting out of Gate 8. Looks empty, read on and you will know why!!
To keep and eye on my flights check in, i had to locate a FIDS and given the vastness of the airport, the number of such displays in the departure area is very limited. I had to cross 3 gates to locate one.
The elusive FIDS
Passengers waiting for check in to open
The visitor lounge is where one exits the elevator from the departure level.
The inclined people-mover, that connects the arrival and departure level
You see the crowd building up?!
Well as at the baggage claim, even at the departure level, the crowd thronged the nearest entrance from the parking lot, while the farther ones were near empty. So a quick tip, if u are in DEL
and in a hurry, try entering through Gates 6/7 or 1/2!!
Once the status of my flight on the display turned to Open, I headed to the entrance and gave my tkt again for scrutiny. The CISF officer started with.. "I dont think this flight..." and I told him the status just changed to open.
He didnt ask anything further and let me in.
The check in area is quite well done. Looked pretty bright and airy.
This Elephant and Kiddo statue turned out to be a popular photo-opp spot
Check In Counters. Love those motifs.
Way onward to security and immigration, with last of the AA
pax checkin in.
While the entire check in hall is pretty wide and spacious, the checkin counters themselves seemed quite cramped and badly designed. By the time i finished check in, the Y class queue at the LH
counter snaked its way beyond the LH
area. Also one of the J class counters was hidden behind a giant pillar, causing a lot of confusion, with two lines formed on either side.
check in area, with the giant pillar in front of a J class check in counter
My Frequent Traveller status on LH
, meant I could check in at the Business Class counter, which made life a lot smoother for me. But the fact tht LH
doesnt offer lounge facility to its silver members @ DEL
was a big put down. Smething about not having their own lounge!!
After check in proceeded to immigration and security. The line at security and immigration was decent and did not take much time. However at security, the air conditioning in the roof had sprung a leak and there was an array of buckets,pots n pans placed around the floor to collect the leaking water!! Not good for a 4 month old airport!!
Entering the shopping plaza post security
Merc on display. Unfortunately not part of a lucky draw!!
, pax @ T3
are taken through all the duty free shopping areas before they can reach their gates.
The perfumes and cosmetics section
The Duty Free Area. The mezanine level if where all the lounges and the food court is situated
Luv the lights in the ceiling. Cafe at the far end
View of the duty free centrum from the mezanine floor. Also visible are the premier lounge and the food court
The food court on the mezanine level, including McD, Dominoes, Sandwiches, Juice n Shakes and an Indian and Chinese outlet. Also on this level is a cafe and pub which have separate seating.
Grabbed some dinner here, waited for my colleagues who were flying in from Bangalore on a later IT
flight to join me and soon we headed for our boarding gate which was going to be Gate 15.
flight to FRA
boarding at Gate 15
Gate 15 is the first gate that you encounter as you leave the duty free plaza. We were amongst the last few to board.
Probably one of the most recognizable icons of T3
, the Sun God.
Sleeping Pods!! Did not check this out this time, but this should be a welcome relief for pax with long transit!!
Overall the transit/transfer at DEL T3
is a lot less painful than wht one had to endure earlier. However its still not smooth as silk (copyright to TG
). There are some sore spots that the DEL
folks could iron out and a few awareness campaigns that they need to run (Lesson 1 - spread out!!). But pax on international transit should have an easy time and the facilities at T3
will ensure a pleasant time!!
A few pics of the LH
Had a hectic few nights before this travel and was completely wasted (in a non-alcoholic way!!) by the time I boarded the LH
flight. Hence this part is not a full fledged TR
, but a few snaps only.
Breakfast on the DEL
sector. No menu cards distributed so no idea what the white mushy thing is. Not best of ways to wake up!!
Serves me right for gloating over the one in 9W
Y cabin in the LH
744 arriving from SFO
. Taken from the business lounge at gate C15
A view of the business lounge at gate C15 FRA
Ramp view - taken from the LH
744 headed to ORD
744 from adjacent gate headed to MIA
. Wish I had seat on tht!!
Skyteam and Oneworld taken from *A flight
Tight seat pitch on the LH
Rows 58-60 towards the rear provide u some stretching space against the fuselage
Ramp Action - controlling some spillage
The flight from FRA
was very bumpy and turbulent. FAs had to go back to their seat and the seat belt sign was not turned off until we left the Scottish coast.
Following our shadow, this is at crusing altitude (FL 390 if i remember rt)
Delayed Lunch Service
Snacks before landing - was very dry and brittle
Landed into a snowy ORD
and parked rt next to a AI
777 which flew non-stop from , u guessed it rt , DEL T3
Flown IC , 9W , SQ , SV , GF , S2 , LX , IT , LH , OS , DN , AC , MH , 6E , MI , AA , TG , EK , QR , SG , TK , KW, UA ,