iFly to Mumbai: First flight with TW

My first journey with TW (The Wife) post our marriage. This trip was to attend our wedding reception at Mumbai. As the date for the event was fixed, and my leaves got approved, I got on with the process of booking tickets. We were traveling a day before our wedding reception, and  we decided to fly in the morning, so that we could get to my in-laws' place for lunch. Almost all the airlines were priced in the same price bracket, and my booking decision was based on the departure time from Bengaluru. We wanted a flight that did not leave too early, and not too late. We finally picked up an IndiGo flight that left Bengaluru past 0900hrs.

May 25, 2018:
The day started off early, with the alarm going off a little past 0500hrs. I was confused if I should drive to the airport and leave the vehicle at the long term parking, or take a cab to the airport. I was a little confused if the parking would be crowded, since that was the last weekend of the Summer vacations in India. I finally opted to hire a taxi instead - Uber and Ola apps were fired, and finally picked an Uber to the airport - the first available cab. The cab got us to the airport by 0730hrs. The airport was comparatively less crowded on the day - entry gates were empty, so were the check-in counters.

The airline agents forced passengers to use the self check-in kiosks to get their boarding passes, and then join the crowd to drop their bags. I still do not get how does it help by moving the crowd from one side to the other. I had checked in, but hadn't taken a print of the boarding pass - joined the regular check-in queue. We got out boarding passes by 0740hrs. We headed for security check later - this place was a little crowded, and we cleared security by 0753hrs. The next pit-stop was MTC Tiffin Express - for some podi idlis.
Boarding passes issued, stamped.. all set to go..
Take me on board: Time for some podi idlis from MTC Tiffin Express

Date of Journey: May 25, 2018
Airline: IndiGo
Flight No: 6E734 || Seat: 23B
Aircraft type: Airbus A320-232 || MSN: 4535 || Regn: VT-IGY
Sector: BLR-BOM
STD: 0920hrs, ATD: 0940hrs
STA: 1105hrs, ATA: 1135hrs

I remained glued to FlightRadar to track my incoming aircraft - VT-IGY was doing the honours on the day. The first boarding call was made by around 0855hrs. We were in the first boarding group, and we joined the queue soon later. We were inside the aircraft by about 0905hrs. Boarding was slow, and took a long time to complete. We were done only by 0929hrs. We had some tech issues, and pushback was delayed slightly. In the meantime, the crew finished their welcome announcements and completed all demonstrations. Capt Sanjay was in charge of the flight along with First Office Capt. Rahul. The captain came on the PA system a little before push back and updated that there were some tech inspections, and that delayed our departure. He updated about the cruising altitude, and some other details including the non-functional ILS at Mumbai, and possible delays due to the same.

Doors were armed by 0937, and we were pushed back by 0940hrs. We commenced our long taxi by 0944hrs, on our not-so-long way to Runway 27. We got to the holding point by 0949, and had to wait a while before we could takeoff. We were airborne by 0952hrs in the westerly direction, then turning north-west on our way to Mumbai. The seatbelt sign remained for a while - the captain announced that we'd encounter some turbulence on the way, and advised wearing the seatbelt all the time. Cabin service commenced soon later. I had prebooked meals for both of us.
Hardly any options out there..

The on-board sales menu wasn't very enticing - hardly any options - the hot options were very disappointing. We chose to stick to sandwiches - I picked a Paneer Tikka Sandwich along with Girnar Masala tea, while TW picked a Basil Pesto Tomato Sandwich along with a Camelia Southern Spice tea. The sandwiches were good - I enjoyed the Masala Tea, while the Southern Spice tea (black tea) was strictly average. Cabin clearance commenced soon afterwards. The captain updated that we had a long waiting queue for landing, and we should get to ground only past 1115hrs. We had entered a holding pattern by now, but didn't hold for long.
TW's meal: Basil Pesto Sandwich with Camelia Southern Spice tea.. 

My meal: Paneer Tikka Sandwich with Girnar Masala tea.. 

We were soon on our landing approach. We touched down by 1128hrs, on Runway 27. We had a long taxi after that to get to our parking stand, a remote stand near Terminal 1. We got there by 1135hrs - there was some delay before deplaning commenced. We were out of the aircraft only by 1142hrs. It was then a very long bus ride to Terminal 1 - my first visit there in over a decade. The bus got us to the terminal by 1153hrs. The baggage claim area was chocked - the area was too small for an airport at a city like Mumbai. Our baggage came in soon - not much of a delay. We had to wait for a while at the airport, since my brother-in-law and family were arriving by a later flight. The terminal appeared to be used only by IndiGo and Go - predominantly only IndiGo. The arrivals hall got deserted in no time - then fills as soon as a flight lands - the cycle repeated a few times. We were out of the airport around 1300hrs.
On the finals.. 

Thank you VT-IGY for getting us to Mumbai....

The crowded luggage reclaim at Mumbai.. 

Ratings:
Boarding: 5/5 (Very organised)
Cleanliness: 5/5 (Very Clean)
Punctuality: 4.5/5 (Delays due to congestion at BOM)
Crew: 5/5 (no-nonsense service)
Catering: 3.5/5 (Too few options, but the food served was great)
Overall: 4.5/5 (A good flight!)
Tracking from FR24..

Summary:
This was my 12th flight with IndiGo - on the whole a very special flight for me. I was flying IndiGo after more than a year, as well. A lot of things happened at IndiGo in the 15 months since my last flight with IndiGo, but the overall level of service seemed unchanged. The crew were good, efficient and swift, as usual. The bird was well kept - VT-IGY was about 7.5 years old on the day of my flight - she was well kept, and looked young. I liked the flight on the whole - just hope they added some more options to the on board menu. 

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