Flight from Bangalore to Mumbai...

December 30, 2007: I was all set to fly again after a long gap of more than two years! My last air journey was in May 2005! I was flying back to Mumbai alone from Bangalore, and my entire family was at the airport to see me off. We reached the airport at around 1030 for a 1140 departure. I just had cabin baggage with me. There were three check-in counters for my airline (IndiGo), and one was empty. I checked in a matter of a few minutes. They did check my identity before issuing a boarding pass. I had selected a seat at the time of reservation itself, and was allotted the same seat. The guy at the counter directed me to the security check, and asked me to proceed towards Gate 1.

There weren’t much people for the security check, and I finished the process in less than 5 minutes. I was at the waiting area at around 1040! One Kingfisher to Delhi was boarding then from Gate 1, and another one was at Gate 2. After the bird to Delhi went, another red bird (Kingfisher) docked, and this one was to Mumbai. The public announcements never switched off, and were in continuous flow all the time! A Jetlite bird was docked at Gate 3, and was bound to Coimbatore. The bird still had “Air Sahara” Colours, and not even a sticker announced her new identity! The ground staff and equipment however mentioned “Jetlite”. Paramount airlines kept announcing a 45 minute delay for their flight to Chennai/Madurai. The announcer however wasn’t very fluent in English. Kingfisher was repeatedly announcing departures of their flights to different locations. Meanwhile a Go Air bird to Mumbai went out. My aircraft reportedly arrived Bangalore at 1040 itself from Chennai. The Aircraft works a Chennai-Bangalore-Mumbai routing. Boarding was announced at 1100.

We were to board from Gate 1. An Indian Airlines (Air India) aircraft bound to Pune/Goa was parked there. An IndiGo staffer led in to a bus (A really old one from HAL) and we were off towards the aircraft. The bus was pretty full, and I remained near the door itself. The bus ride was bumpy. My aircraft was parked a bit away. The aircraft working my flight, 6E-275 to Mumbai, was Airbus A320 VT-INF. I was the first passenger to reach the aircraft. There were about 20-25 passengers already inside the 180-odd seater aircraft. I quickly reached my seat 9A. I took a few shots from the tarmac. The First officer came on the PA system and announced that the boarding was completed at around 1130. The doors were closed, and the aircraft was pushed back at around 1130 (As against the scheduled departure time of 1140).

The Flight “supervisor” came only and announced that the Captain was one Mr. Verma and the first officer was an expat (sorry! I don’t remember his name). She announced her name, and the names of the two other air-hostesses flying on that day! The crew thus was 5 in number, and the aircraft was full except for one seat – the one right next to me! Safety demos were done, and the aircraft started her roll towards the runway by around 1136. A Simplifly Deccan Aircraft (VT-DNW) landed first, and then an Air India A320 to Pune then took on the run way. Right behind us on the take off queue was Paramount’s Embraer 175 VT-PAF (bound to Chennai). We started our Take off roll by 1146. The take off was silk smooth (I love A320s for this!). The aircraft took off straight and then took a sharp turn to the left. While turning left, I saw the Paramount aircraft rolling on the run way.


The ascent was pretty steep. The seatbelt indicators were switched off at around 1150. IndiGo offers snacks on sale, and the service began at around 1200. The cart had Veg and Non-Veg sandwiches on offer along with cookies and cashewnuts. Carbonated drinks, and packaged juices too were available. The price was okay – the Veg sandwich costs about Rs. 100, while a 250ml bottle of lemonade costs Rs. 20. The sandwich was good enough. The flight was smooth. At around 1230, the flight supervisor announced to co-operate with the crew to maintain cleanliness in the aircraft. A cart was brought around, and empty bottles/packets were collected.

The first officer came online at around 1240 and announced that Mumbai was less than 160 nautical miles ahead, and was expected to land at around 1305. Landing was announced at 1250. The flight began its landing approach at around 1256. The aircraft crossed the Thane creek at around 1258, and we were now heading towards the airport. The aircraft was on the taxiway at 1300, and we stopped at a parking bay by 1302. Our neighbours at the tarmac were an IndiGo A320 (VT-INB), a Simplifly Deccan A320 (VT-DKX) and a Jetlite B737 (VT-SJD).

Alighting from the aircraft took a pretty long time. I got into their bus at around 1310, and I was out of the airport by around 1315. I then took an auto to Santacruz station, and then a bus back home! That was a quick hop from Bangalore – my first on an LCC!

Ratings:

Punctuality: 5/5 (The flight was before time at Mumbai!)
Cleanliness: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Variety of food: 4/5 (Could’ve been better!)

Overall: 5/5 (I’d surely recommend IndiGo to everyone!)

Images of this flight are here....Two videos that I had taken during the flight is getting ready- They'll be online very soon...

Comments

Anonymous said…
Nice report Binai. But please be careful about what you post. Airlines may not be as unconcerned about privacy issues as railways and roadways. So make sure you do not offend them or cross the limits.

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