Adventures of BIAL

This post was written in 2008 and I had posted this in another blog I'd thought I'd maintain along with this :) As expected, that didnt work so here come all the posts from there.

Dated: May 29, 2008

I had planned a trip to Madurai last week. Deccan flies to Madurai twice a day , once in the morning around 6.55and another in the evening at 5.30. I had booked tickets by the morning flight on Saturday to Madurai and for the return from Madurai I had chosen the morning flight from madurai at 9 am.
I booked my tickets on the auspicious day of May 23rd, no knowing that all flights from Bangalore would depart from the new Bangalore International Airport(BIAL) from that night around 1 am onwards. Once I booked I got an sms saying your flight will depart from Devanahalli airport at 6.55 am tomorrow. What???????!!!! Not from HAL, I thought this BIAL thing came into existence post May only!!
Then started the saga. I had a long Friday and retired home around 10pm from office. Had’nt packed anything so packed a small bag of my stuff and went to bed! I set the alarm for 3.30am! I was scared by my friends and family that this BIAL existed in a place around 35 kms from the city. That means from city limits, and I live somewhere towards the south of the city – so guess how many kms that would be!! All set for the journey on bike, I dozed off to sleep.
Tring.. Alarm sounded, as usual snoozed it and dozed. It rang agani in the next 5 minutes and then I realised the hectic travel I had to experiment in the next half hour. So woke up, brushed and thought for a moment about a bath. Oh come on I’m gonna be in Madurai in the next few hours and I can have a long bath at my fav.bathroom at home. Dressed up, grabbed that Jerkin and scarf to protect me.
Woke him(the person who has been lucky enough to marry me) up and said lets go. He took a while to get dressed up and we left home at 4.15 sharp. The journey on the bike at this wee hour we were discussing. We were wrong, it wasnt that wee in Bangalore, saw a lot of people returning from their BPO shifts and some early takers for bus services all our way.
Successfully reached Devanahalli – bid a big bye to him and said – Drive safe – you are going back alone (as if I am the biggest guardian around). Then checked in and sat in the waiting hall before the deccan counter. I saw the schedule IPTV display, bad – it indicated all flight till 6.25 am only. I thought it might be a list and will have refresh soon. But it never did- another way to alarm me – lady its not gonna work out as u planned.
I hadnt picked up any book to read in the hurry, so went to a bookstand(Crossword I guess). The salesman gave me the stupidest smile ever saying “Ma’am you can see the books on display, but the billing counter hasnt started operation” . I wanted to ask him few questions but kept my cool and walked to the coffee day next.
They had a breakfast menu – Idlis!! 80- bucks for 2 idlis,some cold coconut chutney(so many C’s). Darn.. But okay – t’would help me as this Godforsaken Deccan doesnt serve decent breakfast on board. So breakfast at 6.30am!! 20 bucks for water. Swish 100 bucks gone in a jiffy. I decided not to have my morning coffee here. Let me land in Madurai and help myself with the caffeine!!
7am they called for boarding! Happily I walked to the terminal..

Boarded the bus that takes passengers to the aircraft. Once we reached the hanger where the ATR crafts were kept(or can I say parked ??), we were asked to stay in the bus itself for the next 40 mts, stating that our baggages havent arrived from the airport So people got down stood next to those noisy ATR aircrafts and took pictures!! Please… I picked a snap of an Indigo ATR craft standing next to the Kingfisher -Deccan flight I was supposed to board. I felt humiliated when my son asked me to show him the picture of the “helicopter” again when I showed him the snap, later that day!! :O
Finally the baggages arrived, and we were bound to Madurai by 8.45 after the long wait for our sequence to take off!! Landed in Madurai, went home, and had a good sleep for an hour – made it up for having woken up so early that day. Happy saturday and Sunday.
Monday Morning!! Yuck!! How I hate a day when I have to return from Madurai to the daily grind of office & home in Bangalore. Wish I was little and stayed with mom and dad all life !! Anyways, coming to the point, I left home around 6.40 to board the flight at 8 am.
When I was there for check in the “deccan” girl at the counter gave me a smile and said ,” I’m afraid its gonna take more time ma’am.. ” NO!! Not again.. I had breakfast, finished that month’s issue of Goodhousekeeping, the weekly India today and got bored and picked up Paulo’s Brida at the airport bookstore. Pages were moved, time was flying -no news of boarding. It was 10 am , I got up and asked “how much will you refund me if I am cancelling my ticket now??” to the same girl. She smiled and said 100%. I said go ahead and cancel. She took 20 mts to do that and I lost patience and asked her “how much more time do u need for a simple cancellation?” She smiled again (God only knows why??? )”Ma’am your flight has landed, it will be ready for departure in 10 mts”. I asked her “so u cancelled my ticket?” she said “No!” – God Bless!! Then I quickly boarded and reached bangalore at 12 noon.
Now comes the worst part, how do i get home and then go to office? Its more the 55 kms from my home!!!!! Gave my manager a call and explained the sitn in brief. Someone had sent me an email talking of airport to city – shuttle. I enquired and quickly boarded a volvo bus with a whopping 150 bucks taken away. Hey u guys build an airport so far away , why should I pay so much for the conveyance man, isnt all this included in that nasty airfare??? The bus started at 1 and by the time it reached my place it was 3 pm. Only God can save people from Bangalore traffic. The worst in the world I’d proudly say.
I called up office, said I’m on leave and went to sleep.
So total expenses that day was :
Airfare -2700
Airport expenses(snacks,books) – 500
Volvo bus ticket – 150
Thats a total of 3350 bucks !!!!!
If I had taken the train/bus the previous night i would have reached bangalore latest by 7 am and would have headed to office at 9 as usual.. This is my last venture with Deccan – That I can promise. And for BIAL – unless its for a trip abroad – I am never visiting you again !!!

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