ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘flight

Freebies are Fishy: The lure of the missing handle

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I have always been taught, if you are getting a good bargain, be cautious. There is nothing like free lunches. An advertisement by a leading telecom operator goes like, “It feels good when you get something extra”. I couldn’t agree more. But it is this good feeling that shrouds our judgment and tricks us.

More often than not you will find the devil disguised as an angel to lure you. If something seems too good, take extra precautions. There is a good chance that it will bite you.

This weekend I was in Kolkata for some urgent matter. I was to take an early morning flight back. As it happened, I twisted my ankle and was in no shape to reach the airport without help. A friend of mine, who was leaving the night before, dropped me at the airport in night itself. So I was there at airport at 12 am for a 6 am flight.

Slowly the exhaustion started to get better of me and I felt like lying down. There are no recliners like T3 at Kolkata airport, just a stack of chairs with separating handles. There is no way you can combine chairs to make a bed (have been my habit since college days, whenever I worked late in lab/office).

Something magical happened next or so I thought! Even with my twisted ankle and drowsy mind, I was able to notice an abnormality amidst one stack of chairs. One of the separating handle was not there. It combined two chairs. I galloped over there and was thrilled. I lied down. Peace. I remember before falling asleep, few people coming over to figure out how I managed to lie down and also remember their begrudged faces when they realized it’s by sheer luck. And so I slept.

Sleep I tell you is the sweetest thing, at the same time it can be the damnest. I slept and slept and slept. By some quirk of fate, I woke up and checked the time. Was it 5:35 already? Or was it a dream? No it was real. I was about to miss my flight. With my broken leg, I ran to collect my boarding pass. I was the last one. They took pity on me coz of my leg. I breezed through the security check and ran towards the boarding gate. Last and final call was going on for last 10 mins. Excited, I failed to locate the boarding gate. Trouble! I was on the wrong floor. I took the escalator down and skidded to the gate. It seemed so far away! Someone from the airlines staff realized my sorry state and came over to assist me. I was the last one to board.

Had it been 15-20 mins more of sleep, I would have missed my flight. Given my budget constraints of late, it wouldn’t have been a good thing.

Anyways the devil disguised as the lone missing handle lured me in and had almost had me. Next time when you feel special, beware! Someone might just have dialed 666.

Written by arpitgarg

August 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm

The journey was jinxed! Not entirely my fault.

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Blank Blank Blank. Tring!!! Tring!!! A pain burst across the head. What was the time? It has been just half an hour since I slept. Who could it be?

Me: Yes?
Caller: “@#$%^!!! what day is today?”
Me: Such a stupid question! “Why, I asked?”
Caller: “Today is 2nd Feb and you @#$%^!!! booked my ticket for 2nd of March. I am stranded like a fool at the airport.”

I came back to senses. What angered him more was that I burst into laughter. Dude, your journey was jinxed, not entirely my fault. I broke into laughter yet again. Let me give you some insight as to what happened earlier to understand my point.

The friend of mine in question was supposed to travel from Pune to his hometown. And since he is my school mate, my hometown as well. He booked train ticket for Friday afternoon. On reaching the station he found the train to be late by 6 hours. Indulging himself with the usual gallivanting, he came back to the station at night. Still late! When he finally boarded the train, it was running good 7 hours late. Hardly 10 minutes and the train came to a halt. It was a station at the outer. 10-15-30-45 minutes passed. His patience was running out. He caught hold of a pantry worker. “Sahib, the train will eventually be 12-13 hrs late“. He decided to call it a day. He was on phone with me when he got off. The train started off with a whistle just as he reached the station exit. Dude you made Jab We Met 2. Having nothing to do and getting a bit frustrated, he decided to travel to Mumbai on his bike. “Are you insane, it is 11 in the night and you have to travel whole 140 kms?” I am traveling was the reply.

I want to tell you that traveling at night is not safe even for a youngster on bike. The security checks would suck your pockets dry. On top of it, if your vehicle bears an outstation number, you are on your own. Street smart that he is, he reached Mumbai in record time nevertheless. He was so exhausted that he dreaded his decision to bike to Mumbai and was at wits end, how would he return?

A friend of mine from college had joined us too. I would spare you the details of the party that night. Next day I had to attend to some urgent work at office so I left them both at the house for around 2-3 hours. They called me at office that they have planned to leave for their respective home towns and since I have net accessibility at office, if possible to book their flights. There was some confusion and I ended up booking, a return ticket for my college friend and two tickets (going and return) for my school friend. Mumbai-Delhi-Mumbai. Their flight was to depart Monday morning. 6:45. They left at 5 am. I decided to retire into sweet-sweet sleep. Blank Blank Blank. Tring!!! Tring!!!

It turned out; I had booked 2nd -7th Feb for my college friend, but 2nd March and 7th Feb for the school friend. He got the ticket canceled, booked another one and ended up paying 50% more.

To begin with, his train got delayed. No sooner had he got off the train than it started again. He biked all the way to Mumbai fully exhausted, harassed at various checks. If these weren’t the signs, what are? Paulo Coelho would have written a book on this had he not written The Alchemist, so prominent were the signs. My plea is, what I did was not a mistake but the eventuality of various signs. The journey was jinxed. Not entirely my fault!

Written by arpitgarg

February 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Jetlite: Love it or hate it, you can’t cancel it

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Recently, I booked a Jetlite fight online, from Katmandu to Delhi, for my CFA exam. A couple of days later a friend of mine found the same ticket cheaper by 1500 bucks. I checked and found it to be true. As a middle class baniya, first thought that came to my mind was to cancel the ticket and book it again. I mean, if “x” be the cancellation charge, it would still leave me with “1500-x”.

I typed in the url . I couldn’t find the link to reschedule or cancel. I was like stunned. I called up my friend. At first he thought I had made a mistake, “Come ‘on, how could there be no rescheduling or cancellation link. It would be there only. Check again”. I spent another 15-20 minutes going through each and every link on the webpage, but to no avail.

Not knowing what to do, I dialed up the help line number given on the website. After initial IVR reply, I was routed to the operator (after a substantial waiting, I must add). My worst fears came true when the lady replied, “No sir, you can’t reschedule or cancel the flight online. It can only be done telephonically”. Okay, the crude oil prices are all time high and aviation industry is reeling under heavy loss, but is this the way to avenge it?

Cancellation charges were 500 bucks. I asked them to cancel my ticket. They have informed me that my account would be credited in about 15 days. However when I booked again, the money was debited instantaneously.

For all those, who like me, have been left wondering, how to cancel the ticket, here are the numbers to Jetlite call centre, 1800 22 3020 / 3989 3333. For further inquiry click here . Happy Journey!

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