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July 8th, CCU-BOM; [w/ a pic]

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  • July 8th, CCU-BOM; [w/ a pic]

    **Note: All times are local**

    We had a pretty good stay in Kolkata, and I got to see all the famous landmarks like the Victoria Memorial and other places of interest. Well, we got both our bags loaded in an Ambassador taxi (you Indians on this board would know exactly what I’m talking about ). Once you see an Ambassador, you would recognize it from a mile away. The ride to the airport took us about an hour, and we got off at the domestic terminal. Airlines in this terminal are Air Sahara, Jet Airways, Indian Airlines and Alliance Air. We went through the first security check. For some reason, we were held for about 10 minutes while someone’s luggage was being checked. Then, we put the bags through the screening machine, and headed off to the ticket counters.

    Date: July 8th
    Flight: Jet Airways 204
    SDT: 3:30p.m.
    ADT: 3:24p.m.
    SAT: 6:10p.m.
    AAT: 5:35p.m.
    Seats: 21DF
    Equip: B737-700
    Reg: VT-JNF
    Dep. weather: Partly cloudy and humid. 35C, humidity 62%. Southerly winds at 10mph. Towering cumulus observed.
    Arr. weather: Much more pleasant, comparatively speaking. 31C, 57% humidity. Westerly winds at 10-15mph. Towering cumulus observed.


    Check-in was pretty quick. After that, we went to a bookshop in the departure waiting area and got a few magazines and books. It was 1:55p.m. by this time, so I decided to try our luck and see if we could get to the gate, but of no avail. The security guard at the entrance to the carry-on security check area said we couldn’t until the status on the departure board said “security check” for our flight. So, the next 35 mins were spent looking at the departure boards. The AAI has installed new FIDS flat-screens in the terminals of all major Indian airports. There were not a ot of flights going out. An Alliance Air 732 headed out to Imphal, and an S2 73G was headed out to Guwahati at the same time as ours was. Finally, the guard summoned us for the carry-on check at 2:35p.m. (the status on the dep. board had still not been changed to “security check.” ) Anyway, we went inside to the carry-on checking area. All carry-ons were being checked manually. After that, we went through the door-frame metal detector for the wand-waving. By this time, the flight’s sec. chk had been announced, and we were headed to gate 4, up in the departure area.Wow, I’ve never seen an airport terminal with windows so painfully tinted. If it hadn’t been for the sun, I doubt I would’ve been able to recognize the aircraft registration so easily. There wasn’t much going on outside. At gate 5 next to ours was the S2 73G being readied for the Guwahati departure. We didn’t have to wait that long, and at 3:05, boarding was started. There were no announcements, just one guy signalling. Boarding was completed by 3:10p.m, and the F/A welcomed us aboard. It’s interesting to note that “flight-attendant” still hasn’t made inroads into the Indian vocabulary, “air-hostess” is still the status identifier of choice, most likely since it is a more out of respect. She was also careful to mention that photography was only allowed from the terminals at Indian airports, and not over Indian airspace. Bummer. The usual spiel was done in Hindi and then in English. An IC 320 wa parked right next to us with the “50 years of flying” titles. Some distance from the terminal on the remote stands were an Alliance Air 732 and another IC 320.


    [An IC 320, with the "50 years of Flying" titles. Pardon the quality.]

    On the ramp right behind us was an ex-Alliance Air 732 which had been re-painted in the IC c/s. This is part of IC’s effort to restore the flying public’s confidence in flying the old machines (good luck in doing that!) after the crash in Patna. It’s gonna get rid of them anyway, why is it wasting time and money in getting those re-painted? Hmm. Anyway, the doors had been closed now and the S2 –700 had been pushed back for departure. It headed out to 19L for departure and immediately afterwards, we were pushed back for engine start-up and taxi. All departures and arrivals were on 19L this day, instead of 19R, since repainting work was being done on the latter. On the way to the end of the active, the S2 73G took off and we got on the runway and backtracked for a good 1000 feet or so. During backtrack, I saw people working at the side of the runway, very close to its edge, just about where a 737 would get airborne. That’s a very common sight at Indian airports. Well, we were soon on the runway’s arrow-extension (my phrase for the portion of the runway which is the extension and where arrows are drawn in place of the centerline). This part had expansion joints which weren’t smoothed out and as a result had periodic bumps. The pilot took the aircraft to the side and began the 180. A little thrust was added for the very tight turn. The nose was almost on the centerline when the engines were spooled up a little. Once lined up for t/o, the throttles were pushed all the way to t/o power. Smooth push forward. As is the case with a G, the acceleration was great. T/o roll took us a quick 25 seconds. Once airborne, the captain started immediaately banking the ‘craft to the right. I got a great view of the terminals and runways. Then we passed through some towering Q and it was a smooth flight for a while. The F/A’s came around and started the meal service. Of course, no airline meal would be complete w/o a side of turbulence! We had the Indian vegetarian meal:

    Appetiser: Vegtable Cutlet-a dough of carrots, peas, potatoes rolled up in bread crumbs, then shallow-fried and cooked golden brown. (Not bad, but a little sour to taste)

    Entrée: Lucchi and Aloor Dum-Lucchi is similar to the Indian “Puri” but made with rice flour. Rice flour dough shaped into balls, then flattened and then deep-fried. The flattened dough puffs up into a big air-filled creation. Aloor Dum-baby potatoes boiled, then cooked in a spicy gravy. (Both were great)

    Dessert: Chocolate cake-Chocolate cake served on a layer of chocolate sauce on the bottom. (The cake was dry, period. I’m guessing that’s why the chocolate sauce was present, but I’d much rather have a moist chocolate cake w/o any sauce)

    Aftermint-Same as the one I had on the S2 flights. Pretty good.

    After the meal, I read the Jetwings magazine. It always a has a bunch of interesting stories and the usuals, which are the airline’s fleet, the routemap, the flight schedule, etc. Not surprisingly, Jet’s busiest hub is BOM, with 73 daily departures (as of July 8th). The turbulence had subsided for a while, but returned at about the time everyone finished their meals. Since it was gonna be like this (off and on turbulence) pretty much for the rest of the flight, the F/A came on the PA and said that the hot beverage service would not be conducted. Drat. After a few minutes, the turbulence had subsided and two of the F/A’s came with the coffe/tea cart, hoping to make a dash for it, but soon it returned, and with greater intensity. Well, that was the first and last time we saw the hot beverage cart. It was like this for the next 30-45 minutes of the flight, as we dodged t-storms and monsoon rain cores.

    The first officer came on the PA and expalined what course we had taken so far, and what we were taking later on. Cruising altiude was 39,000 feet. After a remaining boring flight, descent started at 5:10p.m. On the way down, we passed by a few more Q towers, but as was evident, it was partly cloudy over this region. Approaching the city from the NE, we took a slow right turn till we were heading N. Yep. Holding pattern. I saw the aircraft’s shadow and halo on a cloud patch below. But we were soon cleared for the 5-mile final on the 3-degree glide slope to RWY 27. Landing was the two-thump deal (with 2 seconds from the time the gear touched down, went back up in the air, and came back down again), and a little noisy at that. Also included was an amazing flare angle, and the nose wheel was in the air for a good part down the runway. As a result, almost no r/t was used. There wasn’t a lot of activity going on. A Jet 738 was heading out for t/o on RWY 27. At the international terminal, I saw a few AI 310’s and a Singapore 772ER. At 1B were the usuals, 9W and S2 7’s and 8’s. I was hoping to catch the -900, but no such luck. An S2 73G was getting pushed back for departure. I also saw an Emirates A330 come in on RWY 27. We got out of the plane and were bussed to the terminal. The bus we were in was, uh, beginning to show its age. The A/C was pretty loud and the windows had leak marks on them. I was a bit surprised, last time I rode one of Jet’s buses, it was a quiet and smooth ride. Anyway, it was quite nice in Mumbai, especially when comapared to Kolkata’s weather! I snatched a cart (gotta love the handle-release brakes) and collected both bags, which showed up pretty quickly. We went outside, grabbed a cab, put the bags in and headed off home. On the way out of the airport area, I saw the S2 73G that had been pushed back earlier head on out.

    Overall, it was another good experience flying Jet. Hope you enjoyed the review. My next one will review the flights on the way back, and will be in parts, as I’m gonna include a ton of photos

    Any comments/suggestions are welcome.

    Happy Flying!

  • #2
    No blended winglets? Thats a pretty awsome report there. Airplanes to you!
    -Kevin

    Comment


    • #3
      an Ambassador taxi (you Indians on this board would know exactly what I’m talking about ).
      Hehheh...they are quite a sight if seen for the first time or after a while...though they aren't that uncommon in India...every 'neta' has one .

      Sucks about the tea coffee service, but good to know Jet is as good as usual. I flew them this August and they were excellent.
      "The Director also sets the record straight on what would happen if oxygen masks were to drop from the ceiling: The passengers freak out with abandon, instead of continuing to chat amiably, as though lunch were being served, like they do on those in-flight safety videos."

      -- The LA Times, in a review of 'Flightplan'

      Comment


      • #4
        Re:

        Originally posted by ACman
        No blended winglets? Thats a pretty awsome report there. Airplanes to you!
        Thanks man! Yeah, unless Jet/Air Sahara decide to use some of their G's for flights to the middle-east or ASEAN destinations, we won't be seeing any blended winglet operators in India. Oh well, let's hope they do! haha, wishful thinking for now...


        Originally posted by indianairlines
        Quote: an Ambassador taxi (you Indians on this board would know exactly what I’m talking about ).


        Hehheh...they are quite a sight if seen for the first time or after a while...though they aren't that uncommon in India...every 'neta' has one.

        Sucks about the tea coffee service, but good to know Jet is as good as usual. I flew them this August and they were excellent.
        Heh heh, righto about the netas having an Ambassador. But yes, Jet has never been dissapointing thus far. Keeps up the good work everytime!

        Thanks guys!

        Happy Flying!

        Comment


        • #5
          Good report! You have certainly flown alot within your trip. Question- when an american citizen flies an internationl-domestic flight, are they also required to check for the "interantional" part? As here in the US when we fly an intl flight we are required to chekc in earlier. even tho what u flew was a domestic flight, its intl to us american people. so are you required to check in earlier for that flight?

          Alex
          Stop Searching. Start Traveling. southwest.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Re:

            Originally posted by [email protected]
            Good report! You have certainly flown alot within your trip. Question- when an american citizen flies an internationl-domestic flight, are they also required to check for the "interantional" part? As here in the US when we fly an intl flight we are required to chekc in earlier. even tho what u flew was a domestic flight, its intl to us american people. so are you required to check in earlier for that flight?

            Alex
            Nope. I understand your confusion there. Even if you're a US citizen, you don't have to check in early, provided you're not headed onward on an international flight. It's a domestic flight for all passengers. Doesn't matter if you're an Indian citizen or not. Even if you're a foreigner in India, you can still check in an hour to an hour-and-a-half before departure, or even earlier if you wish. In India, they recommend that you check in atleast 1&1/2 hrs before departure for domestic flights. Basically, the same rules that are here apply there.

            Of course, if you're going to be flying onwards from an Indian gateway to a domestic airport or another international airport, you would have to check in a bit earlier for your flight when you start out say, in the U.S.

            The only difference is, if you're headed out on an international flight right from the start (e.g. from Mumbai's airport), you have to go through immigration. (I believe that is not required here). So if you fly from a domestic Indian airport to BOM, you have to go through security and immigration again because the terminals are not connected. Kind of like at ORD, where if you arrive at either T1, T2 or T3, and your international flight departs from T5, you have to go through security again. (There is a shuttle service though to go between the terminals).

            Thanks for the feedback!

            Happy Flying!

            Comment


            • #7
              nice report!
              - The baby will be back -

              Comment


              • #8
                Re:

                Thankyou babypurin!

                Happy Flying!

                Comment

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