My First ever Trip Report – Doha to Madurai

Landing – The scary part

Around 02:20, pilot came on mic to announce the landing. I was enjoying the midnight aerial view of T2, but suddenly flight started climbing again. I wasn’t not sure what made them to climb for a go around. Neither pilot inform anything about. It was very scary for me as I never had this before in my small travel history. I use to watch “Air Crash Investigation” in their YT channel. All those scary moments came to my mind. Is it a landing gear failure? or even more serious issue?

After flight gone past the landside into arabian sea, I thought, is it some engine failure? Are we going to land in sea? It was too scary for me. I was even hoping to have similar one of “Miracle of Hudson River”. I gone too far in my thinking due to this go around.

Thank god. I had to stop all those non-sense thinking after we landed safely at 02:55.

Transit

There was big rush in immigration counter. An officer just came in for duty and I sneaked through to his counter. Baggage was also quickly delivered.

I was looking for the transit desk of AI. Last time, when I visited BOM in July’13, it was big mess in transit desk. I guess that happened in old terminal. It was very smooth in new terminal. Checked-in for AI and came out around 04:00 and waited half an hour for my colleague’s relative to give him few things. He dropped me in domestic terminal 1C at around 4:45.

I have already got clarified lot of doubts regarding my transit with Airliners India forum members. I was suggested to go to “Carnation Lounge” to kill my long transit. I cleared security and headed to food court. Thought of spending in food court itself. Because I haven’t been to any kind of lounge before. But Abhijit pushed me to go, hence decided to for the first time.

Found the lounge near gate A2. I thought the lounge would be very big and spacious. But it was very much small compare to my imagination. It holds JP, Dinner’s Club and AmEx. For others they charge Rs 400. AmEx has separate covered area while Dinner’s Club has just separate area without covered. As it was early morning, there were very few people.

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Carnation Lounge at BOM T1 C

Their buffet choice was very limited, but enough to justify Rs 400. I was bit shy to sleep there. Because I thought people come here to relax and take some food. As time passed by, the lounge got very busy. Contrast to what I thought, many people came there to take a small nap. The staffs were effective and friendly.

Flight Info

Date : 22.01.2015  Friday
Airlines : Air India
Flt No : AI 671
A/c reg : VT-SCX
Sector : BOM – MAA and MAA – IXM
STD :  0940  STA :  1140
STD :  1220  STA :  1320

Boarding

After a long wait in Carnation lounge, it’s time to kill my rest. As the lounge is shared by 9W, the announcement made inside only for their flights. I had to check the display every time to make sure my flight is departing on time and on the same gate.

Left the lounge at 8.40 and had a walk of 5 min to reach Gate A7 which is situated the other side of food court. Had enough empty seats to comfort myself for another 30 min. Boarding started at 9.15 am for the fully packed flight. Staff was pretty quick to scan BP. Although Abhijit confirmed it will be SCX, I sneaked through window to make sure, but couldn’t identify properly.

Onboard

I was happy to see push back at 9.45, just 5 min behind schedule. Some 100 meters and a/c returned back to the gate. Captain came online after 5 min to inform that there was a technical snag and the engineers are working on it. Assured the flight would be ready in 4-5 min. As time passes by, 2 6E took off in a short time. Finally started taxiing at 10.15 for the take off at 10.25, a 45 min delay, which is actually not bad considering its past history. A few days before, the same a/c got a technical snag after reached IXM at 13.20. Had to wait till night for the technical team to arrive on another flight.

VT-SCX had IFE, but this is what it shows throughout the journey

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IFE onboard VT-SCX

Atleast it displayed something. The guy next to me had the screen which displayed the heartbeat of Kiren Bedi. He tried a lot to bring it under control, but failed miserably only to leave it after 30 min.

Though I was not much hungry, I was expecting a delicious food after I saw Sumantra sir has been talking about this flight and its food several times. But this is what I got.

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Breakfast onboard AI 671 BOM-MAA

Dry, oily potato bondas with no chutney or sauce, a small sandwich and custard.  I leave it to the readers to comment on this food which is for a 9:20 departure, a two hour flight. So I made up my mind for what I might get for my next leg.

Landed in MAA at 11:50 with a delay of 10 min. Took few photos of 9W birds, but as usual, it was of poor quality.

Around 30 pax stayed back for the next leg. After all those checks, Passengers started boarding. The load was around 90-100 to IXM for a 122 seater flight. This flight always gets decent load even at the time when SG operated 4x daily 737 and 9w 4x AT72 in this route.

After a hop off of 50 min, finally started taxiing at 12:40. This time, the a/c speeded up while taxiing and entered into the runway with the same speed for takeoff. Never experienced such take off. Later came to know that it’s called “Rolling Takeoff”

As expected, the snack was a dry sandwich and a juice.

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Snack onboard AI 671 MAA-IXM

Landing

Landed safely at IXM at 13:20, a perfect on-time arrival. Off the airport within 20 min as there was no other arrival at that time. Air Costa is still holding the booking office even after they removed IXM from their map in Sep itself.

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VT-SCX at IXM
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Booking counters at IXM

Conclusion

Barring the breakfast of AI, the journey was good. Cabin crews on both flights, transit desk staff at BOM, lounge staffs, all were friendly and efficient. Overall, it was a good journey.

Hope you enjoyed it. I’ll try to write more TRs for all my upcoming trips.

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