Check out my latest Itinerary

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by SeatBackForward, Dec 20, 2006.

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  1. SeatBackForward

    SeatBackForward Established Member

    Jun 20, 2006
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    This is a for a family wedding that I must attend:

    Outward Journey
    Then there's a two hour car trip to get to the village (yes its a village - as in they only recently got electricity)

    Kingfisher Airlines is getting some good wraps in India. Its owner is the guy that Owns Kingfisher beers - probably the most well known Indian beer. Apparently all the FA's are models. I'm contemplating upgrading this to the Preimum class fare.

    Anyone know what to do with a six and half hour transit at Delhi Airport? Last time I was there was in December and the flight was delayed by 12hrs because of fog. So hopefully it wont quite be a six hour wait.

    Jet airways is a partner airline with QF. So I'll earn a pithy 950 points for this flight (if any) and Jet aren't oneworld, so no lounge or any chance of an upgrade. But that said, Jet airways is by far the best domestic airline to use in India. Excellent service and the flights are generally on-time or they make an effort to compensate if not - which is in complete contrast to....

    Air India..The stories I have to tell about them! but the most recent one being - they didn't put any baggage tags on my check in baggage. Luckily I had four hours to kill at Mumbai airport, and I was so bored I started reading about the Warsaw treaty on the back of the ticket. When I realised - hey there's no baggage stickers. Following it up, i was eventually escorted to the baggage sorting area (the sterile parts of the airport) and there was my bag, sitting solitarily in the corner, waiting for the next most corrupt airport official to take it home that night.

    So my advice to everyone AVOID AIR INDIA LIKE THE PLAGUE!


    Unfortunately they are one of the few airlines that flies into HKG airport early in the morning to start a fresh day at work. So I've taken the luxury of going in Business class to
    A) Ensure I'm somewhat fresh in the office
    B) Hopefully treated decently by Air India.

    I'll prepare a trip report when its all over. I'm certainly looking forward to it!
    SB
     

  2. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    Kingfisher, Jet Airways and Air India!

    Enjoy your trip to the village wedding Santo and looking forward to the trip report. :)

    I hope you are settling in smoothly in HKG.
     
  3. SeatBackForward

    SeatBackForward Established Member

    Jun 20, 2006
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    Kingfisher is unchartered territory - but hey, the Chairman of the company apparently interviews each and every single staff member of the company, and they've been getting good reports from various sources I have, so I have some high expectations of them.

    Jet Airways - I've flown a couple of times, and truth be said, I don't have a bad thing to say about them at all, in fact I thought they did a better job than QF does on a typical domestic flight.

    Air India..well I'm prepared to hold my breath until I'm in a seat and the plane has taken off. And only resume normal breathing till im at my destination and off the steel bird.

    HKG is going well, I'm in a serviced apartment that works paying for so thats good. The city looks very nice all lit up for christmas, heres a photo (a combined panorama shot) I took tonight from across the harbour:

    [​IMG]
    Link to my gallery on this website for a photo


    Off to BKK this weekend for a couple of days of Christmas leisure, hoping to get some good deals in Pantip Plaza.

    I miss Aussie TV - Why is CNN hosted by two Australians?
     
  4. SeatBackForward

    SeatBackForward Established Member

    Jun 20, 2006
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    Returned yesterday, need rest! will complete a report within a week.
     
  5. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    I look forward to your report.
     
  6. Shano

    Shano Established Member

    Aug 17, 2006
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    Me too. Part of our growth strategy for this year involves investigating India as a potential market, so will find myself travelling through there later in the year. Any tips / insights for travel on the subcontinent would be appreciated.
     
  7. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    My number 1 tip is patience. Travel does not go as smoothly as other places you may be more used to.
     
  8. Shano

    Shano Established Member

    Aug 17, 2006
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    I suspected as much. I have always adopted a pretty laid back approach to travelling, particularly in countries where I don't speak the native language, so this will no doubt help.
     
  9. SeatBackForward

    SeatBackForward Established Member

    Jun 20, 2006
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    The domestic airlines are very good (except the government owned Indian Airlines). The market is booming for domestic travel, there are quite a few privatised players and the levels of service are very good.

    The problem is with the Airports - they need to improve many many aspects of airports and their facilities. It is happening, slowly, but legacies of the past still weigh heavily.

    Some quick points for example:

    1) Every man and his dog at the airport asks to check your ticket/boarding pass and passport. Literally you will walk past one person who checks and the person standing immediately next to them will check the same thing.

    2) Staff from the airlines are generally helpful, but airport staff such as security or airport management are generally hopeless. In typical Indian mentality the way they try to improve things is by adding more supervisors. Don't be surprised to see one person doing their job while five people stand watching that person - meanwhile queuing up will be scores of people. Don't expect the supersivors to actually do anything though.

    3) Forget any concept of personal space or courtesy (please/thank you/excuse me) whilst in India. Its not that they do it on purpose, but its just not a required part of the society there as it is in Australia.

    I'll try to make more once I start putting together the report.

    Editted to add: I should also note that my experiences may be skewed (I'm of Indian origin, so initially get treated as a local, I can't speak Hindi and so apart from appearance I may as well be a foreigner)
     
  10. QF WP

    Moderator

    Jun 20, 2002
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    Shano, you might want to read Gregory David Robert's Shantaram. A great expose of some of Indian life (both the seedier/slums/crime and the way of life).
     
  11. Shano

    Shano Established Member

    Aug 17, 2006
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    Thanks guys, I appreciate this information.
     
  12. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
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    Depends on your definition of "smoothly".

    It usually goes quite smoothly according to local standards (and if you are flying business class it isn't too bad).

    Just learn to say "no" a lot.

    PS, I am not of Indian background, but quite observant and a good learner, so maybe I can be quite objective also.
     
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