Saturday, October 25, 2008

Flight delay confusion

It is the Diwali break and we are at the Pune airport waiting to board our Kingfisher flight departing to Chennai at 3:15 PM. My flight which was scheduled to leave tomorrow got canceled and I had to reschedule it to today, a working day. I took half a day leave from office considering that we had to report 1.5 hours before departure. So here I was at the boarding gate waiting for the call to board the plane. Then comes the announcement of a delay of 1 hour 45 minutes due to the closure of the runway as it was being used by the Indian airforce. The airforce base is very close to the Loheghad airport and the runway is shared for civilian and military use. I found this fishy because such closures are scheduled well in advance and I suspected other reasons for the delay. To kill time, I go get myself a chicken sandwich, at the only counter selling any food, for a whooping Rs.80. A coffee costed Rs.40. Rip offs! Just when I finished my sandwich, I hear another announcement to collect snack boxes for Kingfisher passengers. Jeez, they could have announced earlier! To kill some more time, I go and get their snacks. Eating food to kill time is a dangerous leisure activity. Amateurs, do not even try! Then to my utter surprise, I see Indigo passengers proceeding to board their flight followed by a prompt announcement from Kingfisher. The flight is delayed by another hour and this time because it is stuck in Mumbai due to of ATC (Air Traffic Controller) reasons! I see a sudden rush of passengers towards the Kingfisher counters seeking answers. There are many who need to catch connecting flights from Chennai. The staff were totally in the blue and could not help them. It was almost 6:30 PM and after departures of two latter Kingfisher flights, we got our boarding call. Releived to be in the flight we hear the Captain apologizing for the delay. He attributed the delay to a tire burst on the Pune runway of some prior flight which led to the diversion of this flight to Mumbai. Three different stories and we were glad to be off the plane in Chennai.

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