Mumbai to Bengaluru: IndiGo Airbus 320!

Finding that sweet deal on my credit card site was the beginning. I hadn't flown in over a year, and wanted to fly since long. I had sufficient points to fly straight from Shirdi to Bengaluru - but then that would actually empty out my entire loyalty point account. I looked at the alternatives - flying out of Pune was cheaper, while flying out of Mumbai was the cheapest! I had quite some alternatives to choose from, and finally booked on a flight departing right after midnight. I was flying again on IndiGo.

February 02, 2020:
I walked some distance after getting off the bus from Shirdi, towards the Ghatkopar bus station. I waited for a while to see if I'd be able to get a bus towards the Railway station, from where I could take a metro towards to the airport. It was a lot of hassle though, but I had lots of time to go anyways. After waiting for some time, I decided to hire a cab instead - an Uber turned up soon later. The driver got me to the airport by 2105hrs. There was a bit of crowd at the entrance - remember, it was a Sunday night. It took some to get into the airport - the security guys at the entrance were very particular about verifying identity proofs before letting in passengers. I had a plan to get my boarding card from a self-check-in kiosk, but the IndiGo check-in counters were absolutely deserted. The charm of a counter issued boarding card cannot be replicated by a kiosk printed one. I requested for a window seat - the agent at the counter smiled and replied, Its 10A sir! Wow! That was a seat in the forward section - I took the boarding card (2121hrs) and headed towards Security soon later.
My boarding card.

We were boarding from a contact gate, and hence the security check was also on the first level. Security check was a little slow, and the cops wanted people to remove all metallic objects including belts - quite a lot of people ended up having to pass through frisking twice, slowing down the entire process. I was expecting my bag to be pulled over for re-scanning since there were quite a lot of charging cables and similar stuff inside - but that didn't happen. I managed to get through Security by 2130hrs. I headed straight towards the gate from where my flight would be boarding - gate #22. Right opposite this gate was Travel Club Lounge & Bar. I needed to have my dinner, and I decided to try if my card offered access to this lounge. The reception at the lounge was a little slow - although they had about 6 devices to process cards, there were only 2 staffers and some people ahead of me were holding up the queue trying different cards.
Travel Club - Lounge & Bar!

My card was valid for accessing the lounge - a charge slip was printed, and I headed straight inside the lounge. My first impression about the lounge was that the place was a little crowded and congested. It wasn't very big, and the entire layout felt claustrophobic to me. There was a bar right at the entrance (payable on an à la carte basis), some recliners, sofas and chairs around the area to relax, and then a dining area with a buffet spread right next to it, located inside the lounge. Most of the seats in the dining area were occupied - the empty tables still had used plates lying around. I headed to the restrooms - a small place, with fairly clean cubicles (note, they were only fairly clean - not spotless or even dry, for that matter).

I returned for my dinner - the spread wasn't spectacular and didn't have too many options to choose from. There were about 2 main course dishes for vegetarians and 2 for the non-vegetarians. Fresh hot paranthas rolled out of the live counter, continuously. The salad spread wasn't very spectacular either. The dishes were delicious though. I went about my dinner quite slowly - I still had over two hours to go for my flight. The refrigerator at the lounge was well stocked with various canned juices (in 200ml tetrapaks), some flavoured sodas and plenty of water bottles. I moved to the resting area after food - the buffet had shrunken in size by now. I was not very impressed with the lounge. I left the lounge a little past 2330hrs. By now, boarding gate for my flight was changed - the flight would board from Gate #27 instead of #22 now. It was a fair walk from the lounge to this new gate.
While walking to my 'new' gate...

Date of Journey: February 03, 2020
Airline: IndiGo
Flight No: 6E848 || Seat: 10A
Aircraft type: Airbus A320-232 || MSN: 4645 || Regn: VT-IKI
Sector: BOM-BLR
STD: 0015hrs, ATD: 0019hrs
STA: 0150hrs, ATA: 0211hrs

A long queue had already formed at the gate by the time I got there. The incoming aircraft had already arrived, and passengers were deplaning now. Boarding for my sector commenced at 2353hrs. Boarding was initially disorganised - a little into the boarding process, they began calling out passengers by their row numbers. I was already in the queue - although my row wasn't boarding then. I was quite sleepy, and badly wanted to get to the seat and doze off! I was inside the aircraft by 0005hrs - boarding was quite swift. Infact, the boarding gate agents did gate check-in of most bigger bags and thereby ensured people had little bags in hand to stack in the overhead bins. It seems the flight was sold out, and the airline had sent out messages seeking volunteers to give up their reservation in this flight for a later flight - there was no mobile network inside the lounge and I hadn't received any of these messages. I could've taken a later flight, actually!
Boarding!

Boarding was complete by 0015hrs, and doors were armed by 0019hrs. Soon after the doors were closed, the captain came on the PA system to make a welcome address. Captain Apurva, along with First Officer Mayank was flying us to Bengaluru today - Aditi was the cabin crew lead. We were pushed back at 0027hrs. The safety demonstration commenced by now. We commenced taxi at 0034hrs - it is always a long taxi from the Terminal 1 apron to Runway 27. We got to the runway threshold by 0044hrs - interestingly, we did not have to hold at all. We entered the active runway soon later (there were a couple of landings while we were taxing to the hold), and commenced the take off roll. We were airborne at 0046hrs. I was already half asleep as we took off - I slept in no time after take off.

I did not realise when were the seat belt signs turned off. I slept quite well - I remember waking up in between as the on-board service was in progress. I did take a serving of water and continued sleeping. I woke up just as the landing announcement was made. The cabin crew were all around checking if the cabin was prepared for landing - I could spot familiar landmarks, and we were soon on short-finals. The captain made a 'crew to stations' call by now, and we flew over the highway soon later, and touched down on Rwy 09L at 0204hrs. It was a quick taxi towards the apron - we docked at stand 39, at 0211hrs. Interestingly, my cab driver called up soon after my phone was turned on again. I had reserved a cab using the Goibibo app - the driver coordinated my pick-up location quickly and precisely. I was out of the aircraft by 0217hrs.

A Veera built Tarmac coach took me from the aircraft to the terminal - I got to the terminal by 0226hrs. I had no check-in baggage, and managed to exit the airport terminal soon later. The taxi driver arrived at my pick-up point soon after I got there. A very cordial guy was at the wheels - who took my drop location, drove very decently, and dropped me home safely about an hour later.

Ratings:
Boarding: 5/5 (No flaws, No confusions)
Cleanliness: 5/5 (Typically IndiGo!)
Punctuality: 4.5/5 (Acceptable delays)
Crew: 5/5 (Great crew)
Catering: Not rated - I didn't use!
Overall: 4.95/5 (A good flight!)

Summary:
This was my 14th flight on IndiGo - the first flight in 2020, after a flightless 2019! This was a typical IndiGo flight - the crew were efficient as usual, and went about their job mechanically. Everything was well-coordinated. There were no delays - except the usual delays at the airport. The flight was comfortable - I managed to sleep quite comfortably through the flight. I flew in a 9 year old bird - like every IndiGo bird, this one was also really well cared for, and was in pristine shape. Another great flight with IndiGo - looking forward for more!

Comments

varadharajan said…
Hi

I always eager to read your trip reports. I am also love to travel a lot but unlike you, I am not noticing all the details like kms ran, other details like depot, .. etc.

Once again it was nice report and well written.

Wishes
Srinivas
Binai K Sankar said…
Thanks @Srinivas. I generally do include as much details are possible in reports - in certain cases i forget to note them down. Thanks for reading my report, hope you'd continue.

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