March 07, 2016:
The elevator travelled two floors very quick, and dropped me on the second floor, which is the departures hall. [Read Part-1 here
] I landed right next to the SpiceJet counters. I did not have to go to the SpiceJet counter again - just walked past and headed to another round of security check. I cleared security by 0901hrs and just kept wandering around the terminal for sometime. For some reason, there seemed to be a lot of delays - the gates resembled a government bus station. All seats were filled, and a lot of people were squatting on the floor. I just walked around for some more time, and then decided to head to my gate - #G14 on the ground floor. While walking towards the gate, a flashing word on the FIDS attracted my attention - that was the word "Delayed". And, the flight was mine! It showed that my flight (SG3263) was rescheduled to 1040hrs - a 40 minute delay.
|The domestic departure at Chennai..|
|FIDS near the escalator that would take me to my gate - #G14|
|The boarding pass..|
I had a lot of time to spend now! I found out an empty seat a little away from the gate and settled down. For some reason, neither the airport WiFi, nor my mobile data connection worked at the place. A lot of flights were getting rescheduled - Madurai, Tuticorin, Hyderabad, etc. With nothing to do, I tried editing some pics on my laptop to pass time. I ended up even having some snacks from an outlet nearby - eating is a great way to spend time, you see! Sometime later, the flight was further rescheduled to depart at 1100hrs - "technical reasons" were cited for the delay. Passengers seemed to get restless quickly.
Date of Journey: April 07, 2016
SG 3263 || Seat:
Bombardier Dash Q-400 || Regn:
Sometime around 1025hrs, agents at the gate hang a board "Now Boarding - Kochi" and loudly call out for Kochi bound passengers. I was among the first to join the boarding queue - I was bored to the core sitting there. The first bus with passengers left the terminal a little past 1030hrs. We reached the aircraft by around 1037hrs. All the while, I had only one wish - let it be a new registration. And, my wish was granted - VT-SUJ was taking me to Kochi. Boarding commenced immediately, and I was at my seat (#19D) by 1040hrs. Boarding was completed by 1044hrs. There was some technical delay, which delayed our pushback for quite some time. The door was armed only at 1056hrs. Soon after the door was armed, the welcome announcements and safety demonstration commenced. In the deck was Capt Samanjeet Kaur (the same person who flew in on SG3302 as a passenger) and Capt Mohan Krishnan. Puneet and Priyanka took care of the cabin. We hadn't been pushed back even as the safety demo was completed.
|Getting into Dalchini, VT-SUJ..|
|Lifting off from Chennai..|
|Flying over the seas.. |
We were finally pushed back at 1103hrs. The entire aircraft shivered as the PW150As came to life. We started taxi at 1106hrs. We entered the primary runway directly from the apron, and headed towards the secondary runway through a series of taxiways. We reached the holding point of Rwy12 by 1112hrs. We had to wait for an IndiGo A320 to land. We moved on to the active runway by 1114hrs. We took off from Rwy12 at 1116hrs. We climbed straight to sea, and turned around very soon. The seatbelt sign was turned off by around 1123hrs. The on board service commenced immediately. Unlike my earlier segment, no preference was given to passengers with prebooked meals - they were served only as the cart reached them. I had prebooked a Grilled Vegetable Club Sandwich in Marble Bread
with Beverages. I was given a rather wide variety of options for beverages - I picked a Tropicana Apple Juice.
|The meal - Sandwich and Juice|
|Somewhere during the flight..|
|My boarding passes, with the SpiceJet on board menu - Bistro|
The sandwich was good - the filling was an assortment of grated vegetables in mayonnaise sauce. The bread was soft and at the right temperature. I love this sandwich compared to the routine Tomato-Cucumber salad that SpiceJet serves - its a different thing that both of them are far superior to what another low cost airline serves. The seatbelt sign was back on at 1208hrs. This was followed by a series of announcements - both from the cabin crew and the flight deck. We finally touched down on Rwy27 of Cochin airport by 1223hrs and docked at Stand #7 by 1225hrs. The same aircraft has to work an international sector (Male) from Cochin - and the aircraft was already delayed - about 10 minutes left for departure. The crew hurried a bit with deplaning - I was out of the aircraft by 1230hrs. A tarmac coach took us to the terminal - which was right opposite where the aircraft parked. I was out of the airport by 1233hrs.
|Preparing to land... |
Check-in: Not Applicable
Cleanliness: 5/5 (Aircraft was clean)
Punctuality: 3.5/5 (Over an hour late at both ends)
Crew: 5/5 (Nothing to complaint)
Catering: 5/5 (Awesome food!)
A back-to-back experience on the Q400, operated by the same operator. Unlike the earlier flight, this one was noisy and full of vibrations. The meal service was not on priority either. As with my earlier Q400 flights, the taxi, on this one too, was very very bouncy. The touch down in a Q400 is an experience of its own - the fun of watching the wheels come in contact with the runway and the smokes. There wasn't much to complaint about the flight as such - except the delay.