Friday, January 23, 2009

To the edge of the world and back

I'm no expert. But after spending close to 24 hours in the air and finally sleeping off jet lag, I thought it would be helpful to share a near travel-disaster which could be helpful to keep in mind.

My bags were packed I was ready to go, my dad was standing at the door, telling me if I didn't hurry up I would miss the plane. We all loaded into the car after polishing off a cake that read, "Bon Voyage Ayesha" and decided to make a trip of it to the Bengluru International Airport. I love the airport.

Once my luggage was loaded on to a trolley, I waved goodbye and headed to the check-in counter inside. There I was told that my booking could not be retreived, that I had a "fictitious" ticket and that I didn't exist as a passenger at all! The nerve...

It meant I had to come home all over again and wait until the local airline office opened the next morning before I could sort out the matter. I finally did and managed to get on the plane, after I had been delayed by 24 hours though. But I learned the whole routine was totally avoidable if I had done the following:

CALL THE AIRLINE 72 HOURS AHEAD OF A FLIGHT TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING'S IN ORDER.

Doesn't seem like rocket scince now, does it?

Do the above even if you have a ticket that's booked all the way through. In other words, despite how "complete" your booking may be, do the above anyway.

Once on the phone with the airline representative, be polite no matter how annoyed you might be. It really helps when you don't have to pay a delay/rebooking fee. Believe me you'll be glad you kept you cool and saved some money rather than giving them a mouthful which may not tilt the scales as favorably.

Being in four airports in the span of a day reminded me how much I love the places. It's fascinating how many different people there are in the world. Airports force you to step outside your bubble where you begin to think everyone is just like you. I especially love how you can never tell whether it's day or night in an airport. The bright lights allow travelers to believe that the time is whatever they want it to be. And the moment, the clock strikes midnight, the staff behind the food and sotre counters in the duty-free lounge greet you with a, "Good morning" although you know it really is still the middle of the night. Somehow, that makes me smile.

The Discovery Channel got it right with their latest ad campaign. The World is Awesome!

2 comments:

Ying said...

Hi, Ayesha, welcome back! I miss you! I wish we could meet again in class. It's very sweet of your family to make such a cake, and for them your delay means more time stay with you! BTW, my flight was also canceled in Chicago because of the weather... anyways, it's good to be back. See you soon!

Babushka said...

:) Yes traveling, airports, the people around - the entire environment of that travel experience is laden with so much... :)