The following is the ordeal that i faced in the recent trip to india.
Nov 1st (Pittsburgh): Called up the Expedia to shift my travel dates from 1st Jan to 26th Dec.
25th Dec (Pittsurgh): Packed my bags (although i had nothing but chocolates!!!believe me… it took up two large luggages ). Booked Shuttle to pick me up.
My itinerary was Pittsburgh – Dallas – Dubai – Chennai. I was to leave on 26th and reach Chennai on 27th 8PM. Only my Dad and my friends knew about this.
26th Dec 4 AM (Pittsburgh): Waiting in line to check in the bags and gets boarding pass at the Ammerican Airlines counter.
4.30AM: Lady in the mid 50ies announces Dallas airport is closed due to snow storm. I called up the to change my flight see if i could get any other flight. Lady on the other end of the phone puts me on hold to check the same.
5.30am: still on hold
5.45am: She comebacks asking if i can get to the gate in 15 minutes. (Airport was swarmed with people leaving back after christmas) so no. she couldnt get any other flight that day as the all the flights were booked cause of christmas.
6.30 pm: Next flight was on 27th. itinerary got changed. Pitt – Chicago – London – Chennai. Flight now leaves at 3.10 pm on 27th and i was to arrive in chennai on 29th 1am. informed dad, came back home and slept.
27 dec 1.30 pm(Pittsburgh): Checked my bags in ….flight not cancelled..happy…Cleared security…had lunch…Started reading Gone girl by Gillian Flynn. As excited as i was, there was a part of me that was scared and hoped i would reach chennai on time
2.30 pm : flight on time
3.pm : flight ontime
3.10 pm: flight delayed by two hours. my layover in chicago is 1.45 hours. there was no way i was going to catch chicago – london flight. Asked the people in the gate. A new lady checked up and said no other flight was possible today. So she put me on the same itinerary on the next day and told me that i would have to come in early next day so as uncheck and confirm the new flights.
4 pm : informed dad…collected my check in luggage…came back home.
7 pm: called up the call center to verify the info…She said she was having problem with the london- Chennai flight . so now she changed the itinerary again…pitt-Chi-Lon- Dubai-Chennai….Since there was around 6 hour waiting in Lon i asked if she could put me on someother flight to london so that even if the flight from pitt is delayed i would be able to catch the london bound flight. I would reach Chennai 30th 8 pm
28th 11.am (Pittsburgh): Arrived so much early so that i would be able to get all this sorted out. The same lady that announced that dallas was closed was at the ticketing counter. She wasnt first listening to me. She was first trying to cancel and book a new iterniary all together. i wouldn’t blam her she was staning there from 4am without breakfast or lunch..
1.30 pm:finally got her to listen to the itinerary that was fixed. Now she was booking the flight in an order that made no sense. She had my london-dubai flight after dubai-chennai..I went to counter got it fixed..Now my flight details was fixed…but wait more problem
2.pm (1.1 hour to flight) : checking my luggage…luggage tag was printing only till London…I have to get a transit visa for London…..get my bag…recheck it in emirates and board my flight in 2 hours if my flight is on time. She was trying to do her best to get it to chennai..she couldn’t ….
2.30 pm(40 mins to flight):.she told that then probably you can get luggage inside the terminal itself….cleared security…called emirates on the way in…..they told me not possible but I have to get the proper baggage tag other wise luggage will be stuck in London…
2.50 pm(20 mins to flight): left gate….I would have time to go get this sorted and come back and board flight…..I called up dad..said the problem on the way back to the ticketing counter and also told him that if it was problem today I am going to cancel the trip.
3.00 pm(10 mins to flight): reached the ticket counter and told a new guy to remove the checked in bags from my flight….he first ordered to get the bags and than asked my problem…intelligent guys…told him.
He fixed it…fixed it within 2 mins….told me to go to the gate and get the boarding pass for the other flights….he printed two luggage tags but it would take time for it to tag and send it back so he informed that the bags not to brought up but to be retaged again and at the gate….told me to hurry to the gate….
Looked up at my watch..3.10 …..sir but the flight is at 3.10…..he laughed and said lucky day for you….flight delayed by 10 mins…oh My god….ran…..got through security quickly cause I had already gone through security …..reached the gate just in time….they retaged my checked in luggage and then gave the boarding pass for Chicago to London…..not for the rest of the flights…
Reached London….went to emirates to get the boarding pass for the rest of the flights…..he asked if I had checked in 4 bags ….what 4? And then it struck me…..two at the ticket counter and two at the gate….ok no problems……reached Chennai…..dad was waiting at the immigration…
Funny story….I made mistake in the immigration form….so at the immigration counter…I took and new form and filled cleared checkpoint which took more time than other passengers…so my dad thought i missed the flight
My moms reaction on seeing me was worth all this trouble and sleepless flight travel….welcomed home with chicken curry and idli for breakfast and chicken Briyani for lunch
I would talk later on the time in India…
15 jan (Chennai): In all this confusion they had done something to my return flight………my Chennai to Dubai flight was missing in the itinerary ……so now I had Dubai-new York – Pitt……..how am I supposed to reach Dubai now……called American Airlines they were saying all tickets booked and confirmed…but emirates said only from Dubai is what they have…..
Nice lady from emirates helped me and got this sorted….and got to flight on time and reached Pitt.
Survived another day in sub zero temperature to write about this.