We decided to fly from Goa to Kerala to avoid an 8 hour train journey followed by a 6 hour train journey. However, Indian airports provide their own special kind of pain.
I’m all for appropriate rigorous security checking at airports but that is not what happens. We’ve experienced a variation of this overzealous inconsistent ineptitude at other Indian airports but today was especially bad. So here’s our day!
4.20am Get up, shower and pack.
5am Taxi to airport.
6am Arrive and queue to enter airport. Security guards check flight ticket (printed or electronic) and match traveller names against photo ID.
Our email confirmation from the airline does not contain the right information.
Visit the airline counter, outside the airport, to obtain the right information.
Queue again to enter the airport.
Feed luggage for checkin into x-ray scanner. All fine. Luggage is tagged as security cleared.
Approach airline checkin desk. Our luggage was unfortunately scanned by the scanner for another airline.
Queue to feed luggage into x-ray scanner for our airline.
My backpack fails the scan. “Battery?” a steward suggests. I unpack my bag to find and remove my head torch, which has never been a problem before (nor in the scan 10 minutes before this one). Bernd’s bag also contains a head torch, and wasn’t flagged.
Submit my bag for re-scanning and it passes. Bags are again tagged as security cleared.
Check in and receive boarding passes.
Boarding pass and passport check.
Security scan. Bernd’s bag fails, no reason is given. He removes everything he can think of from it. These items are not re-scanned. His bag is re-scanned and passes.
Personal frisking, boarding pass stamped.
8am Arrive at gate as flight is boarding. Boarding pass is checked twice en route to plane.
9am Arrive in Bangalore. Bus to terminal. Proceed to domestic transfer area. Bags are re-scanned although all we’ve done is exit the plane and enter the airport. More personal frisking. Second boarding pass stamped.
12pm Boarding pass is checked twice en route to bus. Board bus to plane. Bus remains stationary next to the plane with us locked inside for 10 minutes because plane is not ready for boarding.
1pm Arrive in Bangalore. When disembarking from a plane, it’s usually quite a civilised affair where people in the front rows are allowed to exit first and retrieve bags from overhead lockers in an orderly fashion. Not in India. Head down and elbows out to get into the aisle. Board bus to the terminal.
2pm Airport pickup arranged with guesthouse doesn’t show. Call guesthouse. Guesthouse calls driver who is parked very far away in order to avoid airport parking. Driver calls me. Eventually we find each other and walk for 15 minutes to reach his car.
2.30pm Proceed to guesthouse.
3.30pm Arrive at guesthouse. Nap.