Showing posts from January, 2016

Alhind Scania: Thrissur to Bangalore

As my travel to Kerala came closer, there was more pressure to book a ticket. Airfares were quite high, and bus fares seemed to compete with airlines. Given the change in my working hours, I had to be in Bangalore very early in the morning. Buses leaving later in the night was not an option at all. I had to take a bus leaving in the afternoon, or early evening. Alhind fit my requirements to the T, and without much thoughts I went ahead and booked a ticket on Alhind. I got a sweet deal on the Alhind website. The bus was mostly sold, I got a seat in the last-but-one row - a window seat on the right (#J1).

January 17, 2016:
I started preparing for the journey once the tracking message arrived - a link to track the bus, along with details of the bus was present in the message. I used the link to find where my bus was. This was really useful since it kept me updated where the bus exactly was. I left home sometime around 1630hrs. Unusually, I did not wait for a KSRTC bus from my place - I h…

To Kochi, on a rare B737-700 of SpiceJet!

It was a couple of months ago. A update on a WhatsApp group read that SpiceJet received two Boeing 737-700s. SpiceJet predominantly operates B737-800s, and a few B737-900s. SpiceJet is one airline that had almost gone down towards the end of 2014. I remember those nail-biting moments back in December 2014, when a Christmas trip seemed to get cancelled (read here). SpiceJet rose out of the ashes like a phoenix. They've been doing great for the past few months, topping the load factor charts for months in a row. Sometime in November, I realised that SG432 (BLR-COK) was moved to a B737-700, from the usual B738. I wanted to fly in a B737-700 quite badly, and looked out for that opportunity. I found SpiceJet to be cheapest for a flight in mid-January, and without second thoughts made a reservation. Based on my previous experiences, I don't book add-ons in the beginning. I added a meal to my book a couple of days back, and did a web check-in the previous day. I checked in using the…

Mangalore to Bangalore on the Smiling Plane: Air Pegasus 116

I had booked a ticket to travel from Mangalore to Bangalore on Air Pegasus during one of the many sales they had towards end of 2015. I pocketed a ticket for a small figure more than a Volvo bus ticket for the same route. I was eager to try Air Pegasus once again, and this seemed like a good opportunity for that. The flight was on a Sunday, just past noon, reaching Bangalore around 1300hrs. I tried adding a meal to my booking, but the website wouldn't let me make any additions to the itinerary. The website doesn't offer web check-in either.

January 10, 2016:
My day started quite early - I hadn't slept much the previous night since I was running a very high fever. After a light breakfast (just enough to take my meds), I left my accomodation along with a good old bus fan friend, Mr Kadri, for a tour of Mangalore. He drove me around the city, and showed a lot of points of interest. Sadly, with fever still on, I couldn't really enjoy the trip. We spent some time spotting b…

First time in a Non-AC Sleeper: Anand Travels, Bangalore to Manipal

Booking a ticket to Manipal was quite a confusing decision. The purpose of going to Manipal was to attend a two day conference there. My colleagues and some of my students were traveling along, and I had to take into account their convenience as well. While I was personally inclined to try a Volvo, they seemed to prefer a non-AC sleeper instead. This was my first opportunity to try one, as well. I got in touch with a old timer busfan friend, who suggested Anand Travels to me. I got tickets reserved through him as well. The bus, conveniently, had a pick-up point near my home as well.

January 07, 2016:
I reached home quite late from office, and I realised that my pick-up was at 2015hrs quite late. I had to rush with dressing and packing for the two day program. I received a call from the crew of the bus sometime around 2000hrs, informing that the bus wouldn't come to its normal pick-up point due to some road work, and I had to stand a little away from the pick-up place. I responded …

GoAir Christmas Special: Kochi to Bangalore

This very trip was planned by chance. I initially had no intentions of heading home for Christmas. The entire trip took shape when I found that Go Air was operating special flights. I initially thought it was an afternoon flight - but realised it was a late night flight a little later. I changed the date a bit and got a flight for Monday at a price that was cheaper that bus fares for that day!

December 27, 2015:
I reached the airport quite early for a 0215hrs flight - it was just 2245hrs as I got off the car and walked towards the terminal. Quite puzzled and sleepy, I wandered outside the terminal for sometime, before finally entering the terminal. The sleepy CISF cop at the entrance barely looked at the ticket and my ID card before letting me in. I was in for a surprise inside - the terminal was fairly crowded for the time. I found an empty seat in the waiting area and settled down - I had over three hours to go for my flight, and check-in would open only another hour and a half late…

A Christmas journey home: A mix of KPN and KSRTC

I had no plans to go home for Christmas until the beginning of December. As Christmas neared, I developed a desire to head home. By now, getting a ticket was already a herculean task. While casually browsing for airfares for return after Christmas, I found a special flight from GoAir on an OTA Portal. I booked that flight for my return, and then began my hunt for tickets to go home. The same special flight was listed the other way - but was already selling at high fares. The bus fares from Bangalore to Kerala were way higher than corresponding airfares (pun intended). I checked for bus fares to Coimbatore instead, and found that KPN had lots of empty seats, all at regular fares. I used their app to book a ticket on the first night service out of Bangalore to Coimbatore. This service was recently upgraded to Scania Metrolink. I got a seat towards the rear half of the bus.

December 23, 2015:
My bus was scheduled to reach the pickup point at Bommanahalli, at 2230hrs. The bus leaves Kalas…

Kalaburagi to Bangalore: NEKRTC Corona AC Sleeper

I did not think a lot before booking this ticket. I had a cursory glance at a couple of online bus ticketing portals and then headed to the KSRTC website to look for options. I found only one AC bus listed there - that was an AC Sleeper. A Corona Majestik Sleeper bus!! Its been a few years since I travelled in one, and did not think further - just went ahead and selected a single lower berth. I had to be content with Berth #10 - in the 4th cabin, somewhat around the rear axle. The booking process was simple, as usual, and the mTicket popped up in no time.

December 11, 2015:
I checked out of my hotel room well in advance for my bus, which would depart from Kalaburagi Central Bus Station at 1930hrs. I reached the bus station over an hour before the scheduled departure of my bus - the bus station was fairly big, and had lots of waiting area. The PA system was continuously announcing departures to various areas in and around Karnataka. I had some snacks and stocked up some water for the j…

Bangalore to Gulbarga: An overnight train journey after long!

Its been a very long time since I travelled by train This was the first thought I had in mind when I received the order to be present in Gulbarga (now called Kalaburagi) as external examiner for a practical examination. It was a 600-odd kilometre journey to reach Gulbarga from Bangalore. I had the option of taking a train or a bus. I decided to take a train one way and bus the other way. The Indian Railway website showed up a lot of options for my journey, with the average running time being above 12hours. I decided to take the last train out of Bangalore, so that I'd have sufficient buffer time to get to the railway station after office. I booked the ticket through the IRCTC website for 22134 Yeswantpur - Solapur Super Fast Express, which departs from Yeswantpur at 2050hrs, and is scheduled to arrive Gulbarga at 0625 - this train is also the fastest between the two places.

December 10, 2015:
I had to sit late in office, and thanked my stars for having booked on the last train for …