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Bangalore-BOM. Air Sahara

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  • Bangalore-BOM. Air Sahara

    Date: 7/18/02
    Airline and flt no: Air Sahara flt S2 224
    Scheduled dep: 8:45p.m.
    Actual dep: pushback at 8:45p.m. and takeoff at 9:00p.m.
    Scheduled arr: 10:15p.m.
    Actual arr: 10:13p.m
    Aircraft: B737-400
    Dep weather: Cool and moist. 69 F; wind W at 5mph. Fair skies.
    Arr weather: Humid and warm. 79 F, wind W at 2 mph. Haze and partly cloudy.
    Registration: ???

    After a gr8 stay in Bangalore, it was time to head back home. Checked out of the hotel and took one of the Citytaxi vans to the airport. Bangalore's terminal does not have seperate arr and dep levels, so we went in through one of the doors and checked in at one of the several Jet Airways counters. After checking in, I wanted to go through security, but we couldn't go into the the dep area until 7:15p.m. since our flight was dep at 8:45p.m. Drat. Well, my mom and I decided to have a seat in the outside lobby, which was quite spacious. Looked at the dep monitor. A number flights headed out to other cities, which I will mention in a bit. Finally, after waiting for 30 minutes, we went through security and into the departure lounge. (For all you cricket fans, the second or third one day {I don't exactly remember which one it was} of the Natwest series between England, Sri Lanka and India was playing on the TV screens. ) Saw a Jet -700 and an Indian 320 parked outside at the gates. The Jet -700 was getting boarded for Mumbai and the Indian 320 for Abu Dhabi. A Jet 72-500 was parked on one of the stands near the terminal, getting ready for a Mangalore dep. In the next 30-45 minutes, saw some Indian 320s (one headed for Madras and the other for Delhi), some Jet -700s (headed for Cochin and Calcutta) and ATRs and an Air Sahara -700. Watched the cricket match from time to time. India was beating England to a pulp . Saw a Lufthansa Cargo M11 outside taxiing to the cargo pad. Finally, our flight was ready for boarding. We got our carryons and made our way through the doors and onto the escalator to the gate level. I had no clue as to what the aircraft would be since the itinerary didn't say, so I just guessed that it might be a -700. But, I couldn't believe my eyes as we made our way to the gate. Through the windows, I could make out an Air Sahara 737-400!!! WOOHOOO. Man, I had been wanting to fly a 73 classic in a long time, the only classic I had flown so far was the -500. (And of the oldies, I had flown a -100 and a -200) I couldn't wait to get on the plane. through the jetway and onto the plane, and guess what-the windows had been covered w/ dew. The moisture outside had condensed on the windows, obscuring about 97-99% of the view. I was seated just aft of the wing's trailing edge on the left side, and the window was about 97% covered. Through clear slivers and gaps, I could make out the wing and the tarmac. Good thing was the seat between my mom and I was empty again! turned out that it had been desginated for one of the FAs during takeoff and landing! Anyway, we finally started pushback, which I had been waiting for eons it seemed, and the engine start-up commenced. I could soon hear the muffled hum of the engine thrust, but the stubborn dew hadn't budged. Finally, after we started our taxi roll to the runway, it barely cleared just enough so that I could make out the LH Cargo M11 that had landed about 40 minutes before. The FAs wento over the usual spiel in Hindi and English, and I noticed something I didn't see on any other airline I've flown: the FAs were demonstrating the emergency exit procedures right at the doors for those sitting there. Interesting, I thought. Well, we got off the taxiway and backtracked on 27. Then, we did a 180 and and immediately, the pilot pushed the throttles forward. After 2 seconds, full throttle and we were on our way to BOM. The takeoff was a little on the bumpy side, w/ periodic bumps on the runway which the 734 responded to by "jumping" up and down, and finally, before the possible 6th bump, we had a smooth takeoff. Nice view of the city lights, then we headed off the NW. Abt 20 minutes after, the seatbelt signs were switched off and the FAs started serving meals. The food was good, but not as good as Jet's was. However, I was pretty hungry by this time, and I ate everything, except for the curds, which were sour. It consisted of rice with a potato vegetable, a paneer vegetable, crackers, a roll, butter, jam and pickle. (for those of you who aren't familiar with Indian food, a pickle is usually a spicy condiment served alongside rice and curry, and/or Indian bread.) Anyway, after meal service, the FAs came by and we started descent to BOM. Passed over Pune, then we hit the cumulus deck. And for the next 15 minutes, the plane just rocked and rocked and rocked. I had never witnessed such turbulence before. The landing lights were turned on, and I could see the engine shaking violently. It was definitely a sight to behold!! Finally, we were under the clouds, and the pilot started deploying the flaps. I could see the city lights, bright as usual. Full flaps, and heavy vapor trails. Passed over the highway, then the threshold and made a smooth landing. Full reverse thrust. BOM was busy as usual. Saw every aircraft type from Jet's and Air Sahara's fleets. Saw several IA 320s, an AI 310 as well. We parked on one of the terminal stands and were bussed to the terminal doorway. Made our way to the baggage claim and took a taxi and headed home.

    All in all, a good experience with Air Sahara. Courteous FAs, gr8 service. Food could use a little improvement though.

    Hope you enjoyed reading this!

    Happy Flying!
    "Ok, I'm gonna get as many as I can on that SW pad there, uh... ok, Amarillo, you're #1, Houston-#2, Albuquerque #3, Phoenix-#4, Chicago-#5, Seattle-#6...

    Congratulations, Seattle!"

  • #2
    Great report buddy!

    I travelled from Delhi to Bombay two years back around the same time, and experienced the same kind of turbulence while approaching and descending over Bombay. The plane really shook and shook, and at one point I was really afraid that it would break apart or something (all this coming from a guy who generally likes turbulence ).

    India was beating England to a pulp
    Yahoo!!! I love cricket too.

    Keep writing. I'll be travelling Delhi-Bombay and back pretty soon, so watch out for that report.

    P.S.: Which did u prefer - Sahara or Jet?
    "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'


    • #3

      Thanks dude! Yeah, I'll look out for your report for the upcoming flight. That should be fun!

      Given a choice, I would fly Jet. But Air Sahara's not that bad either, the food does need some improvement though.

      Happy Flying!
      "Ok, I'm gonna get as many as I can on that SW pad there, uh... ok, Amarillo, you're #1, Houston-#2, Albuquerque #3, Phoenix-#4, Chicago-#5, Seattle-#6...

      Congratulations, Seattle!"