Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bangalore to Thrissur - Kerala RTC Volvo B9R

A four day weekend in October - coinciding with Gandhi Jayanti - was an indication for yet another trip home. I had decided to book on either of the KSRTCs for my trip. KaSRTC opened tickets one month in advance - the tickets in regular buses itself were overpriced on the opening day itself. I did not feel like booking an overpriced ticket knowing very well that they'd not stick to the schedule. So the next option was Kerala RTC. I decided to stay awake at night and book a ticket on the opening day. But my experience during opening day for Onam sent shivers down my spine - I had two back-to-back failed transactions that time. I did not want a repeat of that. I checked for tickets at 00:00hrs on 11-September-2014. The site did not open at all - forget booking a ticket. Since the next day was working, I set an alarm for 5.30am and slept off. Woke up in the morning, and found 4 unsold seats in the 2000hrs Ernakulam Multi-axle. I tried booking one of them, but continuously got an error message saying the seat was "already selected" by someone else. Knowing how the system works, I got ready quickly and rushed to the nearest reservation counter - at Majestic BS. The friendly counter person quickly verified the seats and issued Seat #23 to me. So I had "won" a ticket for the long weekend, in a government multi-axle bus at normal rates!

October 01, 2014:
I had to leave office exactly at 1700hrs in-order to reach home on time, pack my baggage and leave home in time to catch my bus. Although the scheduled pick-up time at Bommanahalli (my pick-up point) was 2025hrs, the bus would in no-way reach before 2100hrs. Sometime around 2030hrs, I called up the conductor on the new official number - I was told that they were yet to reach Shantinagar then. I left home around 2100hrs, and my brother dropped me at Bommanahalli around 2120hrs. Just after reaching there, I called up the conductor once again - now the bus had just departed from Shantinagar BS! That meant I had a lot of time to spend on the road side!!

In the meantime, my friend Gokul called up - he was on board the 1930hrs Thrissur Super Deluxe - and they were just leaving Madiwala. His bus turned up at Bommanahalli around 2145hrs - we exchanged a hi. In the meantime, a lot of Kerala bound passengers started turning up at Bommanahalli - they were for the Deluxe buses to Palakkad (2100hrs) and Thrissur (2200hrs). A couple of Karnataka RTC Airavats passed by as well. My bus turned up at Bommanahalli at 2224hrs - I was the only one to board from here. Mr Sandeep was the conductor and he welcome me with a very warm smile - he was the very same person who worked the inaugural trip of the same service. Interestingly, it was the same bus - RS782 - as well! This was my third trip in the same bus!
The bus: RS782 (An old image)
The bus left Bommanahalli in under a minute - since I was the only one to board. The bus was almost full already - my co-passenger was also seated. I got into my seat - #23, and settled down quick. In the meantime, the conductor came around and checked if I got my blanket. A movie was being played on TV. By now, roads got emptier and this helped us reach Electronic city at 2234 - all the seats filled up here, and we got moving at 2235hrs. We overtook the Thrissur bound Airavat Club Class here (2111hrs from Shantinagar). Attibele toll gate was a mess as usual - we took about 8 minutes to pass this toll gate (passed at 2258hrs). Thankfully, there was no traffic block at the Zuzuwadi checkpost and we could pass Hosur by 2307hrs.

The bus pulled in for dinner at the dreaded Hotel Uthaiya (now Hotel Nandhini) at 2342hrs - this is a messy place with overpriced food. Almost every item sold at the stalls here are overpriced. This place is a favourite for almost every bus driver - thanks to the free food they are served. Since I had already taken my dinner from home, I had nothing to do but roam around. We started off after the break at 0013hrs. The conductor was professional in approach - he did a headcount before starting. He came around and checked if anyone had any request as well. Once the bus was back on the highway, the driver liberally used the cruise control - the engine sounded really calm and relaxed. Since the bus kept constant pace, it aided in a very nice sleep. I slept from Krishnagiri toll upto Coimbatore Athupalam toll - I woke up when the bus was passing through this toll gate (approximately 0425hrs).

I slept again, and was woken only when the bus stopped at Palakkad Bus Station, and the conductor called out for passengers alighting there - the time was 0528hrs. The bus started towards Ernakulam at 0529hrs itself - they did not waste time trying for getting passengers from there. I tried sleeping again - but the rough road after Palakkad made the bus sway a lot and it disturbed my sleep. I slept on-and-off through the stretch. We stopped at Vadakkencherry (0607) and Pattikkad (0630) to drop passengers. The driver actually felt "at home" on two-lane stretches, since he was calculating his overtakes perfectly well, and did not make any rash or dangerous cuts anywhere in this stretch.

We finally passed Mannuthy at 0640hrs. I did not get off at Sakthan stand (as is my norm usually), but continued to the KSRTC bus station. We reached there at 0650hrs. We were perfectly on schedule even though the bus left quite delayed from Bangalore. The travelling time from Bommanahalli to Thrissur turned out to 8h26m including a 31 minute dinner break. The bus did not overspeed anywhere - the driving was absolutely sleep friendly as well. What surprised me was that the Bangalore-Trivandrum Special bus (Multi-axle) which left Bangalore at 1800hrs, was still standing at Thrissur!! This clearly meant that our bus had performed excellently that night.

End Notes: The bus was RS782, KL-15-A-280, of Ernakulam Depot. I did not check the odometer reading, but it should've clocked somewhere around 90K kms. The bus was in excellent condition - inside out. The interiors were clean and smelt fresh. Blankets were neatly folded and kept on the overhead rack, instead of keeping them on seats. The conductor checked if all the passengers got blankets as well. The driving was absolutely sleep friendly - no honking, rash cuts or hard brakes anywhere. The driver did not waste time on unnecessary tea breaks either - which is often a norm with Airavats. Overall, that was one Garuda Multi-Axle journey that I'd cherish forever.

Amenities:
Blanket: Yes
Water: No
Snacks: No
Charging Point: Yes (On throughout)
Entertainment: Yes (A movie played)

Ratings:
Maintenance: 5/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Driving: 5/5
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Punctuality: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

Will I take this service again? Absolutely! Its a bit expensive compared to Airavat Club Classes - but its perfect on timings. Hasn't disappointed me yet.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

COK to BLR by JetKonnect ATR72

After getting a cheap ticket to fly to Kochi, I was on the hunt for the return ticket. I checked various reservation websites, and also different airline sites. On one portal, I found a JetKonnect flight for 1400-odd. I quickly checked with the official website which had fares slightly higher than the other portal. Since low fares often do not last long, I quickly booked the ticket with the 3rd party portal. Applied a coupon code and saved a little more money on the booking.

September 21, 2014:
The flight was to depart at 2215hrs. Sometime in the morning, I remembered about the web-check-in option, and checked in using the Jet Airways website. I used the mBoarding pass option, and got an image file on my phone. One needs to print the boarding pass at the self check-in counters in the Airport. I left home around 8pm - my dad was dropping me at the airport. I reached the airport around 9pm. The domestic terminal was quite deserted at the time - a few passengers were at the check-in counters. I headed to a self check-in counter and printed my boarding pass. From there I headed for security check - I was quite surprised to see that there were no passengers there! I was the lone passenger passing through check - passed through in under 3 minutes.

The terminal area wasn't very empty though - about 3 departures (including mine) were scheduled around the time. Two were to Chennai, and their boarding was on. Cochin airport looks very 'out-dated' compared to the swanky terminals of the newer greenfield airports. Wooden sofa-sets were lined in the seating area - the official capacity of the domestic terminal is only 400 pax! The two aircrafts to Chennai left one behind the other (an Indigo and a SpiceJet). In the meantime, I noticed my flight arriving at the airport. My flight was S2-3614 (9W-2614).

Boarding was announced at 2130hrs. They called passengers by the seat numbers - they initially called for the first 6 rows and then so on. I was in 3F - so quickly joined the queue. The agent at the gate quickly checked seat numbers and let passengers into the bus waiting outside. It was an old Ashok Leyland Avion. They called only as much passengers as they could seat in the bus. The aircraft was parked near the arrival gate - the ride to the aircraft was very short. The aircraft was VT-JCQ, an ATR72-500 commissioned in 2008. This was my first experience in a turbo-prop aircraft, and I was a bit curious of how it goes about. The Purser, or the chief flight attendant was at the aircraft door verifying the boarding passes and directing passengers to their seats. There were two flight attendants. In the meantime, the crew came in - a Lady captain was at command along a male First Officer. Boarding completed at 2155.
The aircraft: VT-JCQ (Photo courtesy: Arjun Sarup @ Airliners.net)
The aircraft was pushed back at 2158. The safety demo was conducted quickly as we prepared to taxi. Taxiing staring at 2202 and we were cleared for take-off without having to wait. We quickly aligned for take-off from Runway 09, and took off at 2205hrs. Turbo-prop aircrafts are too noisy. The seatbelt signs weren't switched off for some time. After about 5 minutes of take-off, the on board service - named "SkyCafe" started off. The attendant came around with the food trolley - I had taken a heavy dinner from home, and all I wanted was some water. After the service was over, the attendant came around once again with drinking water.

The first office (Mr. Nilesh) came on-line and announced that we were starting out descent. He announced that Capt. Vandana was in charge, and we were flying at 17K feet. Landing was finally announced at 2257hrs. In the meantime, I was busy trying to figure out where we were. We finally landed on Runway 27 at 2306hrs. We had a long run to the remote stand afterwards. The craft finally parked for the day, and deboarding started at 2312hrs. Two buses were waiting for us - I got into the second one. The bus ride was quite long. Getting out of the airport was quick - especially since I had only hand baggage with me. Once out of the airport, I headed straight to the BMTC bus station there - I enquired at the enquiry office if there were buses to Bannerghatta road - the guy there said there is KIAS-12, but suggested I get into KIAS-5 (which goes to JP Nagar).

I quickly took a seat in the KIAS-5 bus standing there - that bus was not to leave before 0000hrs! So another long wait there. The bus started exactly at 0000hrs - the bus was full. No standees though. The fare was Rs. 230 to JP Nagar. The ride took exactly an hour - I was dropped in JP Nagar at 0100hrs. The 6km auto ride from there to home set me poorer by Rs. 250 though!

This was another cheap flight trip - the actual end-to-end traveling time worked out to around 5:30hrs - including the waiting at the airports. This flight was a bit late for comfort - but still saves a lot of time! 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

BLR to COK by SpiceJet B738

One night in the last week of August. Quite a lot of advertisements on newspapers about cheap airtickets made me a bit curious. The last time I flew was in the pre-recession period - back in 2008. I was curious if the fares advertised was all-inclusive or the old trick of announcing only the base fares. I got busy browsing some prominent travel portals. To test how cheap flying could be, I checked tickets for Onam - with a September 05 departure from Bangalore. Bus fares for the same date were in the 1.8~2.6K range. The air fares were in the 2.0~2.4K range! I was a bit surprised, and toyed with the idea of booking a ticket if I could get tickets for my return. I put off the idea and decided to fly two weeks later, and managed to get tickets for Rs. 1430 on an evening departure of SpiceJet to Kochi. Then the hunt for the return ticket began, and managed a cheap ticket on JetKonnect.

September 19, 2014:
I left my office in the after lunch. I was taking a bus to the airport for the first time. I reached Hebbal Bus stop around 1430hrs - there was more than 2hrs to go for my flight. There was no boards indicating the bus stop for Airport buses at Hebbal - there were people standing around the entrance to the Subway, and I also joined them. A bus on KIA-9 turned up at around 1445hrs - the bus was almost full. The ticket made my purse lighter by Rs. 180. I initially took a seat in the rear half of the bus - but later shifted to the seat right behind the driver. Unlike the harsh sounds the city Volvos make, this bus sounded very calm and relaxed. The driver was maintaining constant pace on the highway, and used light signals before lane changes. I was dropped at the airport by around 1505hrs - my flight was close to 2 hours away now! I made a visit to Subway before entering the terminal. The security guys at the entrance gave me a weird face when I walked in at 1530 for a 1655hrs flight!

I had checked in through the website the previous night and hence directly proceeded to security check. Being in an airport after a good 6 years, I was a bit confused about the procedure. Security check was quick and I was in the waiting area by around 1600hrs. As I walked into the terminal, I noticed that my flight's departure gate had already been announced - and the gate was at the lower level. After a quick visit to the washroom, I headed towards the assigned gate (gate 6 IIRC). The boarding gate was already open, and boarding was on - I joined the queue, and got into the bus that was waiting to ferry us to the aircraft. It was a Cobus3000 doing the honours. About 15 minutes was spent in filling the bus itself - we were dropped near the aircraft at 1635hrs. It was VT-SPK "Fennel" doing the honours for this trip - a Boeing 737-800 commissioned in 2006.
The Aircraft: VT-SPK "Fennel" of SpiceJet. (Photo Courtesy: Vishal Jolapara @ Airliners.net)
Since my seat was closer to the rear exit, I headed straight to the rear gate. The ground agent welcome with a warm smile, cut out the counterfoil of my boarding pass and let me into the aircraft. The first thing that caught my attention was the tight seating - there was absolutely no leg space. The seating was perfect for a maximum flying time of an hour. It was just impossible for anyone on the window seat or the middle seat to get to the gangway without the others in the row getting off their seats. We were having 100% loads, and it looked like most of them were flying for the first time. Boarding completed in about 5 minutes, and the aircraft was pushed back at 1650hrs. We started the taxi roll soon afterwards. There were 4 attendant - 1 female and 3 male. All of them wore T-shirts and a denim pant. Even as the safety demonstration commenced, many passengers were busy taking group photos and selfies - the crew had a tough time asking passengers to settle down. We did not have to queue up, and we directly put on the runway. We took off at 1656hrs - perfectly on time. The aircraft climbed quite steep. The seatbelt sign was switched off in about 10 minutes and the in-flight service began.

I had a nice sub before takeoff, and hence preferred only a serving of water. The flying time in this sector is too short for elaborate in-flight service. After the service was over, the attendant came for a round of clearing - they collected the trash. This was my first experience in the sector and hence I spent most of the time trying to identifying things I saw below. I could see Coimbatore airport and the umpteen windmills around the Pollachi area. Soon the terrain changed and got greener - hills appeared in sight, and I could see a couple of damns across the horizon. The captain came on line and announced landing at 1722hrs. We were over Kerala by now for sure - since it was green all around. Cochin Airport was visible - The aircraft flew past the airport, and then turned around and aligned for landing. It took about 10 minutes from the time the Airport was first spotted to Landing. We finally touched down at 1743hrs.

As soon as the aircraft vacated the runway, passengers were busy getting off their seats and collecting their overhead baggage. The captain announced our before-time arrival and gave away information about outside temperature and thanked all passengers for flying SpiceJet. The gangway had a long queue and was crowded by the time the aircraft arrived at the terminal. I remained in my seat till most of the crowd got off. I was out of the airport by 1755 - all thanks to having only hand baggage. A KSRTC Volvo parked right outside the arrival terminal took me to Aluva later. I was at home by 1930hrs!

Long back Air Deccan had introduced a lot of Indians to flying - the fare war that followed bled almost all the airlines, and some of them do not exist anymore. But the breed of LCC which were born then still fly, and SpiceJet is one of them. This was my second flight with Spice Jet - and I truly enjoyed it. With Flights getting cheaper than buses, I wonder why would people want to spend 8-10hrs in a bus, when you can fly down in an hour? With this journey, my preferences slowly moved to flying, and I am busy searching for cheap flights for my upcoming trips as well!

Note: I am not an aviation freak - so pardon wrong terms or the too simple writing.

Trivandrum to Mysore by Airavat Club Class

There are very few options from Trivandrum to Mysore - and taking a decision was fairly simple. Once I got into the booking process, it turned to be not so simple as thought to be. There were three options - one Kerala RTC Multi-Axle, one Karnataka RTC Airavat Club Class and one Kallada Multi-Axle, arranged in the order of increasing costs. I wanted to try the Kerala RTC bus, but it was already sold out. The next was the Airavat Club Class - it had two rows available at the back, and I quickly bought a seat on this bus. I got seat #44.

September 14, 2014:
I checked out my room and slowly walked out of the hotel around 6pm. It was drizzling a bit then. As I walked, the rain slowly strengthened. By the time I reached the KSRTC bus station, it turned into a downpour - I got a bit wet by the time I entered the terminal building. This was my first visit to the new terminal building after it was opened. The terminal building seemed incomplete - no shops were opened yet. While I was waiting there, a super deluxe to Kannur turned up. My bus, KA-09-F-4920 turned up right after the Kannur deluxe left. The bus did not seem to be in great shape - boarding commenced immediately. I got into the bus only after the crowd subsided. Interiors were clean and appeared well kept. The first thing that caught my attention was the lack of the rear LCD screen - so there was just one TV for the 49 passengers in the bus - it was impossible for the passengers at the back to watch the sole tv.
The bus: KA-09-F-4920 (Image from Archives)
The crew called up the remaining passengers on the phone, and ensured that all the passengers who had advance reservation were on board. We started off at 1845hrs - a full five minutes before time. Quite a lot of seats were yet to be taken - but I understood that Karnataka RTC offers a lot of pick-up points along the highway. The bus directly headed to Chackai and then turned towards Kazhakkoottam. We started from Kazhakkoottam at 1922hrs after picking up a couple of passengers. By now they had started playing a Hindi movie on the sole TV upfront - I couldn't see what was happening, but from the audio understood it was a record breaking bollywood SRK-Kajol starrer. I spent my time fiddling with my phone. It rained a bit and the bus wasn't able to keep great speeds due to the traffic.

The next pick-up was at Kallambalam (2002) and then Parippally (2013). The bus pulled into Kollam Bus Station at 2052hrs - more than 2 hours after we left from Trivandrum. A few passengers got in, and we continued our journey at 2053hrs. By now I was desperately hungry and was wondering why were did not pull in for dinner yet. Our Dinner break was at a hotel near Krishnapuram (before Kayamkulam) at 2139hrs - the crew announced a 20 minute break and walked out. The restaurant was very lousy - they took a lot of time to serve food. By the time my bill came, the driver was already honking to call back passengers. I rushed to the bus after paying for food - we started at 2209hrs - exactly 30 minutes lost for break. I was tired and sleepy by now. We stopped for a pick-up at Kayamkulam (2211hrs) - the bus did not enter into the bus station, but stopped by at Ananda Travels on the highway.

I had a very nice sleep after this. I woke up briefly when my co-passenger got in (I later realised that that was at Ernakulam). True to the name, the driving was very sleep friendly, and I truely slept "like a baby". I woke up sometime around 0500hrs when the bus was climbing the Wayanad Ghats (aka Thamarassery pass). I continued sleeping, and woke up only when the bus stopped at Kalpetta to drop a passenger (0539hrs). I continued sleeping again, and woke up when the bus was just passing the Karnataka forest checkpost just past the Bandipur forest stretch. We passed Gundlupet at 0722hrs. The driver was showing signs of hurry now. Although the ticket claimed we had a tea break at Gundlupet, I prayed we did not waste time for tea - as if my prayers were answered, the driver skipped the break and continued towards Mysore. We passed Nanjangud at 0756hrs. It generally takes an hour from Nanjangud to Mysore, and by now I was sure we'd reach at the scheduled time.

We stopped by at the Outer Ring road jn before Mysore at 0822, and a lot of passengers got off. We overtook the 1630hrs Trivandrum-Mysore Airavat just before the palace - this bus is supposed to reach Mysore at 0430 hrs - but doesn't have a forest pass. Its high time KSRTC updated its website with the actual arrival time. We finally pulled in to Mysore Bus Station at 0835hrs - about 20 minutes before scheduled time.

End Notes: The bus was KA-09-F-4920, of Mysore Rural Depot-2. The bus had about 3.2 Lakh kms on the odo. The maintenance wasn't really great - the body had a lot of damages. Although the interiors were clean, the interior lights were not working at the rear half and the rear LCD panel was missing. The driving was good - he did lug at times. Being on one of the last rows, I had to bear with the lugging at time. As usual, Mysore crew have a sense of time, and this driver was no different - he managed time really well and did not waste time anywhere. The running time of 13h50m was good for the distance, considering the fact that its mostly a two-lane road with a ghat in between. What shocked me really was that the Kerala RTC Multiaxle reached only at 0930 - even after departing a good 1h45m before us!

Amenities:
Blanket: Yes
Water: Yes
Snacks: No
Charging Point: Yes
Entertainment: Yes

Ratings:
Maintenance: 3.5/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Driving: 5/5
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Punctuality: 5/5

Overall: 4/5

Will I take this service again? Its a good option for the route - a bit pricey though.

Monday, October 06, 2014

On Kallada G4, Bangalore to Trivandrum via Nagercoil

A message on Whatsapp on a normal Friday evening. An invitation for a new bus launch even in Trivandrum. That was an invitation I couldn't refuse. I was in a quandry - I was supposed to attend a training program in Mysore starting that Monday. However, I wasn't yet confirmed for the Mysore event. On Saturday, I received a confirmation that I should be going to Mysore for the program. Soon after the confirmation came, I called up Friends Travels Madiwala and asked for the status of Trivandrum buses that evening - I was told that all of them were available. I did not block a seat and decided to walk in to Friends travels that evening.

September 13, 2014:
The paperwork for the training program that I had to attend in Mysore was taking up a lot of time - it was almost 1730hrs by the time I left home. I had to hurry once I was at home - packed my baggage, got fresh and had my dinner. My brother dropped me at Madiwala - I was in Madiwala to board a bus after a really long time. The last time I took a bus from Madiwala was in February! I had been either driving down since, or had been taking government buses. Boarding in Madiwala has turned messy ever since the defunct fuel station in Madiwala was demolished and the site closed for construction. All the buses spill over to the road and traffic becomes a mess. Its high time they build a dedicated bus station for private operators. I headed straight to Friends and got a ticket in the first Kallada G4 via Nagercoil -2045hrs was told as the scheduled departure time.

In the meantime, the SRM B9R to Trivandrum left. I spent some time chatting with friends in Madiwala, visited the ATM and came back to Friends. By now my bus was parked on the roadside - the ever familiar Sabu was the cleaner for my bus! I got in to the bus and occupied my seat - #I4. I always prefer seats towards the back - for some reason love hearing the grunt of the 9 litre engine. The bus was getting loaded with luggage, and passengers were taking their sweet time to turn up. Unlike the past, there was no sign of the bus departing at the scheduled time - quite unusual for Friends Travels who were known for punctual departures. The bus finally started at 2110hrs. A movie was played soon after the bus took off. The driver was sane - he did not push the bus at all. We took a U-turn at St. Johns signal and continued towards Hosur. Even on the BETL, the bus was keeping sane speeds. Off late, I heard that G4 has been focusing on safer driving and they often end up reaching late.
The bus: KA-01-AA-7723 (Image from Archives)
We stopped at Bommasandra for a pick-up - at 2135hrs. It took some time, and we left only at 2138hrs. I concentrated on the movie for sometime. There was no traffic at Attibele, and we reached Hosur at 2200hrs itself - we lost quite some time here in loading luggage and started again only at 2207hrs. I watched the movie till it got over. As soon as the movie got over, the cleaner came around and closed the rear screen. I slept off sometime around midnight. The driver was maintaining constant speed - the engine sounded very calm and relaxed. I had a fairly nice sleep. I vaguely remember seeing the bus running through a town somewhere in TN - but I was too sleepy to realise where we were.

The bus stopped for a loo break somewhere on Madurai bypass at around 0335 - it was a short break lasting a couple of minutes. I slept off soon after we started from there. I slept quite well, and woke up only when the bus was approaching Nagercoil. We stopped outside the bus station in Vadassery, Nagercoil, at 0639. A couple of people got off, and a whole lot of luggage was unloaded - we started off again at 0640. I was a bit afaid if we'd make it to Trivandrum before 9, given the fact that its a high traffic two-lane road ahead. The bus stopped at Marthandam (0723) and Parassala (0738) to drop passengers and luggage. Once into Kerala, the road were surprisingly empty. Another video was being played on the TV now - it was a recent comedy skit. As we neared Trivandrum, we overtook the SRM B9R which left more than 30 minutes before us from Bangalore. I was finally dropped at Thampanoor, at 0823, just a little over 11 hours after we started from Bangalore!

End notes: The bus was KA-01-AA-7723, from the first pair of Multi-Axles owned by Kallada G4. This yellow coloured bus had about 7.27 Lakh kms on the odo. The maintenance was above average - there were rattles from the suspension and the body did not seem well kept. The driving was great - no rash cuts or overspeeding - infact, the bus kept constant pace most of the time. The crew were well behaved and they did not show signs of hurry. Although the bus left late from Bangalore, we still reached Trivandrum in just 11h13m - reinforcing why a lot of passengers to Trivandrum have moved over to this route from the conventional route via Palakkad.

Amenities:
Blanket: Yes
Water: No
Snacks: No
Charging Point: Yes
Entertainment: Yes. Two movies played.

Ratings:
Maintenance: 3.5/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Driving: 5/5
Crew behaviour: 5/5
Punctuality: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

Will I take this service again? Certainly! I'd love travelling by them again if I'd have to travel on this route again!