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! 

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