Procrastiblog

July 17, 2006

Accentuate the Positive

Filed under: India — Chris @ 5:46 pm

Hilleary says all I ever do on the blog is bitch and Tobi says I have ruled out every possible mode of transportation, so let me take a moment to talk happy about transport…

Air Deccan sucks, but both Jet Airways and Indian Airlines were quite pleasant. Indian Airlines actually served a meal on our one hour flight: the cart rolled down the aisle soon after we levelled off and they picked up the trays just before we descended for our landing. And the meal was pretty good too.

The online reservation system for Indian trains sucks and the arrival/departure information in the stations is usually lacking, but the trains themselves are not too bad, especially if you skip the riot scene in steerage and go for an A/C car. The 2nd class sleeper cars are surprisingly acceptable, though by no means luxurious.

As long as you can communicate where you want to go and keep an eye out for any idiosyncratic route changes, autorickshaws are a servicable means of transport. (Even if they screw you, it’s usually cheaper than the NYC subway.)

I have nothing nice to say about the buses.

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Air Deccan: Unacceptable

Filed under: India — Chris @ 4:06 pm

The cancelled our first outgoing flight, then they rescheduled our make-up flight. So we set out about eight hours later than we had planned. Then they delayed our return flight. Twice. By a total of about six and a half hours*.

In fairness, in every case we were informed of the change before we had left for the airport** (by SMS, to boot). And the flights themselves were not as unpleasant as I had been led to expect. I saw no rats on board, for example. And I did not have to throw any elbows to secure an unreserved seat.

Still, I shan’t be flying them again.

* Here’s customer service for you: our flight was delayed so much that it took off after the next Air Deccan flight to Bangalore. Which we were not informed existed, much less offered a seat on.

** If H and I had spend 8 hours in the Bangalore airport, at least one of us would be dead. For sure.

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