Friday, July 8, 2011

My First Plane Journey

My journey started with the IA flight from Bangalore to Mumbai.I had two heavy suitcases neither of which I cud lift on my own. but luckily the the person at the baggage checkin counter helped me put it on the conveyor belt.After security clearance I had to wait quite some time before the plane finally arrived. It was interesting to note that atleast a third of the passengers had laptops with them.

Once in mumbai , there was the problem of going from the domestic terminal to the international terminal.I waited for myluggage to come.Here a fellow passenger helped me put my luggage on to the trolley.The trolley was much better than the bangalore one.So was able to move it around with ease.

Then I went to the place outside the domestic terminal where the airport's bus which takes passengers to the international terminal comes. There was a huge crowd there. I had to wait as three buses came, got occupied and went. Time was flying and it was already 11:00 .Baggage checkin had already started at the Delta Terminal.It was then that I got acquainted with Archana another H4 visa holderi who was also a passenger in the same plane to paris which I was to board.We became fast friends and luckily we were able to get the next bus to the international terminal.

There I was unlucky to get a defective trolley and had to get the help of an airport staff to get another trolley and put my luggage there for which he even asked a tip.There was a huge queue at the baggage checkin also.Archana turned out to be even more stupid than I was as she didn't even know her husband's address in the US. She had some problem as they as asked her to fill the address on the tag.

I had time then to just call Vinuettan and tell him that I was in mumbai.Also tried unni on mobile but there was no answer.Then after a brief wait , I boarded the flight to paris.It was quite a large flight and as I was exhausted , I fell asleep almost immediatly.When I woke up , they sereved some food which tasted ok.Then , they put a hindi movie 'Socha Na Tha' which was a usual hindi masala movie.The passenger sitting next to me was also an Indian software engineer and he said he was on the same flight to Atlanta as well.

As the plane landed in paris , the skies were very clear and I was able to clearly see the Eifel Tower from above and it is a great sight.Once we landed in paris , there was a bus to take us to the other gate where I had to board the flight to Alanta. As I was getting out of the flight , I was pleasantly surprised to see an Infoscion from my department -a fellow from tvm named shyam walking ahead. I caught up with him and was it turned out that he was travelling to Atlanta on the flight as well.Together we reached the terminal where we were to board the plane.At paris , I lost track of Archana as she had an Air France plane to catch which was at another terminal.The wait in paris was pretty long and I decided to use the international calling card number that vinuettan had given to call from a phone that I saw there. The first time I tried , it started saying something in French. I thought I would give it a try just once more . This time the message from the phone was in English and very clear "You have called the fireman". I didn't wait to hear any more I went and found a place as far from the phone as possible. Just in case some one came and asked who called the fireman.

There was a large queue to board the plane to atlanta and I found that many of the passengers on my previous flight were here too.My neighbour was a french fellow who seemed to wake up only when the drinks were served.He didn't know English and was asking if there was a transalation of the immigration and customs forms in French!!!

As I had booked for Asian Veg meals , I got some Indian food on this flight .This was also a nine hr flight which I almost entirely slept through.Though this flight actually had tv screens at each seat which we could chnage channels, my screen had some problems so could only see the movie that they put. During the flight , one movie which I partly saw when I woke up to take a meal was "Lara Croft Tomb Raider".Then as

Atlanta was nearing , I thought I would fill up the customs and immigration forms. The customs form is rather funny as it puts FoodStuffs,Insects in one option for us to tick in the list of items that we have in our baggage.As I had food stuffs but (hopefully) no insects , I was unsure abt what do do for that.In Atlanta time was only 2 hrs for the next flight and Immigration clearance queue was very long.There were arond 20 counters but it still took around one hr before I got immigration. The guy asked me why I was in Us and I said I was here to meet my husband. He made a big joke about it asking if I had ever met my husband..(ha ha) and then he asked me if I had any food. I said yes. I had banana chips. He laughed and asked if they were as sweet as I was and let me go.

At mumbai , they had told me that though customs and immigration would be at the first port of entry to the US , I could collect my luggage at albany . Just when I was about to find out where to board my next plane, I saw shyam coming with two large suitcases.He told me that even though they had told him that it was thru checkin , it seemed that the baggage had to be collected and put in the other converyor , based on the destination.I rused to where the bagage was coming in the conveyor belt and saw my luggage there. Again I got the help of another fellow passenger and got my stuff on a troley. There was a security clearance after which they told me that as the bag has food , I should go to the agricultural inspector.Time was running fast and I rushed to the agriculutural inspector's queue. They took out each annd every food item .But luckily didn't open anything. I put my luggage in the conveyor belt for my albany plane and then found that I had to take train to reach the Gate of departure. I rushed to the terminal just in time and the person at the plane said that I almost missed my flight'.

The flight to Albany was uneventful except for some chips and nuts that I got to eat which were very tasty.

At albany , I looked everywhere for vinuettan and decided that he had become late..

But just as I claimed my baggage I saw him ,sreechettan and eeshu(sreechettan's son) coming.It seems they had just gone to take the kid to the toilet. And that was the end of the journey....


  1. on the point that you bumped into an infosys guy in Paris airport, Here's my take on Indian IT guys being everywhere.

    I was on a flight from Lagos to Liberia (btw, you dont go to these places to do business if you're sane!!!) and at ridiculous, war torn liberia (monrovia)airport, I wasnt planning to bump into an Indian, but then I bump into a friend of mine working at TCS...He was on a defence dept ERP implementation project!!!

  2. Good Post.."You have called the fireman"...Ha Ha..Funny...! didn't U take any pics of ur 'My First Plane Journey'? You could have posted pics too..Cheers.

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