I have been away from home for so long and decided that it was about time I return to see all my loved ones. I planned my journey and applied for leave from work, booked flights and hotels.
My day started with a four hour coach journey to Heathrow Airport in London. The terminal I was scheduled to fly out from was a new terminal I have not been to, so when I got there it took me a while to figure it out. I eventually managed to negotiate my way to the new airport terminal and checked my baggage in, which meant a lighter load to carry around. My flight took off around 10 PM at night an hour later than an expected.
Arrived Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport in the morning obviously later than scheduled time due to delay in departing from London. On arrival I went to the Foreign passport check out where the Queue to every desk was snaking out the designated area. I wasn’t surprised to see why all the queues were so long as the two person desks were manned by just one but the annoying part of all this was that with this one person they had at least several staff sitting and watching. I thought of an argument I use to hear at work “how many people does it take to change the bulb” and this really brought home the message. I have never seen such a classic inefficient method of workforce. After several minutes we eventually got through to the front of the queue and to our horror and utter disbelief, one of the desks staff puts a sign saying Check in Desk closed and leaves. Frustration that I could see and feel on most of the faces in the queues. I got called and my passport checked for several minutes.
From there I thoughts that’s it at last that’s done now, I must dash to the luggage collection but to my amazement there were another two people sitting and checking again before letting passengers out. I thought to myself and screaming in my head with frustration WHY AGAIN! and is it really necessary and OK if so WHY only two people. After several minutes got through that too and finally to luggage collection areas.
I haven’t travelled for a while and didn’t check the board where to collect the luggage from as there were several points. So relying on my human ability to find someone with the ID badge to ask for help I went to the nearest luggage collection point and asked where I can go and collect luggage for flight from London. This is the answer he gave “I don’t know I only look after this” with “Sir” added at the end I guess to be polite. In the end I saw the electronic display board about 50 meters away and went over, read where I could collect the luggage. I had a flight scheduled for the afternoon the same day I arrived from London so went over to another staff to ask where I can go, showed my booking details and he told me to go upstairs for the domestic flights.
Finally got there after several minutes and only to be told by someone helpful staff that I was at the wrong airport for domestic flights and that I needed to get a taxi and ask to go to the Terminal 1. By then I was out of the airport and no sooner I got out of the door I got swamped by the taxi drivers. I negotiated the taxi fares and arrived at Terminal 1 with plenty of time to spare as my flight was scheduled for afternoon. I went into the check in area through several armed guards where they checked my flight tickets.
Once I was in I went to the self check in kiosk for boarding pass where I typed in my reference as suggested but nothing would come up. So I asked one of the staff nearby and she tried doing exactly what I had already completed. She said it might be due to being too early that self service kiosk for my flight might not be opened yet but I can get it done at manned check in desk. So I queue up for that which wasn’t bad as there were only few passengers. Finally when I got to the desk and showed my printed eticket which she typed on the computer and proceed to say my flight details weren’t coming up. She called her manager and they both checked and then told me that my flight was cancelled due to a bad weather and they did try to contact me. HOW I was in the air and my phone switched off. I got asked to speak with their line manager and after several minutes of waiting finally managed to speak to him. He said they tried to contact me and all they can do is reschedule my flight for next day which I had no choice but to go with it. I argued with them that they should put me up for the night as well as it wasn’t my fault. Unfortunately they were not able to provide what I had hoped but recommended few nearby cheap hotels and they put me on a taxi paid for by myself.
I was absolutely fuming by now and checked into this hotel as I wanted to be somewhere quiet and needed to calm down a bit. So called cheap hotel turn out to be a five star hotel by an Indian standard and got charged extortionate amount. I had given up arguing by then so just paid and went to the room. Apart from a short walk later outside of the hotel and dinner I stayed in until next day in my room hoping for the flight next day to depart as planned and the rest of the journey trouble free.