After my hectic work trip got over, I had decided to spend the Saturday with my parents before returning to Mumbai (Bombay) on Sunday morning. Ideally, I’d have loved to spend the Sunday home also, but I was going to be gone for a long time on the upcoming weekend, and hence I was planning to pack up some gear on that particular Sunday and catch up with friends.
With that thinking in mind, I was booked on a Sunday morning 8 AM flight to BOM. Yeah, a Sunday morning flight, when I’d ideally liked to have crashed at home. But Sunday flights can be fun, and this was proven again after a long while! However, I afforded myself some slack. And instead of taking the Delhi Metro’s Express line to the Airport which has been on the agenda for a while, again, got the cabbie to drive straight through to the Delhi Airport Terminal 3.
Now, it is always a pleasure to fly from the T3 Delhi when I can. Mumbai Airport is pretty small, and when I used to still live in Delhi, the Terminal 1 was also a smaller terminal. So, I love pulling into a drop zone on T3.
For security reasons, one still needs a printout of their e-tickets or boarding passes to access airports in India. You need to present it along with a photographic ID to get inside the airport. Since I did not have a copy of the ticket on me, I went over to the booking counter, and got myself a printout. With the ID check out of the way, I got access to the T3 which is marvelous!
I was already checked-in for my flight on the web, but that was for my seat in Economy. The process to upgrade is still a manual one, and which is the reason I could not use a kiosk to print my boarding pass. I walked over to the Jet Airways counters to check-in to my upgrade,collect my boarding pass and drop my bag.
The check-in agent was nice but not so nice! I was already confirmed for a Premiere seat. I deliberately kept mum to see if how it progressed. So, because I did not bring it up, I was first given a boarding pass for my economy seat. At that point of time, I reminded the agent that I was a confirmed upgrade on the flight. He went, “Oh!” and started furiously typing away at the computer. There, after a couple of minutes of appearing busy, I was told my upgrade was confirmed. I was asked for my upgrade voucher which I promptly handed over. Now, I was already pre-blocked on seat 1A, but the airline gave it away to somebody and I got 2A. No one could explain this to me, and as is usual, they just !
It sometimes appears to me that 9W agents are brainwashed into not giving away a business class seat to anyone who did not pay for it. They just pretend your upgrade is not around. And they do it repeatedly, in the domestic legs as well as international. Does someone need to write and paste it on their desk as a tip, “When a waitlisted/confirmed upgrade passenger arrives, upgrade them and save some corporate brand equity!”
After clearing the security check, I proceeded to the lounge to grab a bite and kill some time before the flight. It being Sunday, I was in no frame of mind to work, and hence the Blackberry, laptop and the iPad were all tucked away in the most secret compartment of my briefcase! 😉 While I walked over to the lounge, here are some sights!
I also spotted this standee along the way which invited me to the Kingfisher Lounge.
But look where it pointed to. A coffee shop doubled up as the KF Lounge in Delhi, just like at the Mumbai Airport!
I also crossed the T3 Food Court, which is pretty impressively designed on my way to the Plaza Premiere Lounge.
The lounge that 9W uses for its domestic passengers is a Plaza Premium Lounge. While Delhi and Mumbai are supposed to be hubs for 9W like other airlines in India, I have still not figured out why the lounge is not ready yet. Kingfisher is supposed to have a dedicated lounge at Delhi T3 shortly, which will be accessible to OneWorld airline elites, after they are included in the alliance.Once at the lounge, they screened my boarding pass and let me in.
I was not surprised to find the lounge empty. That was a part of the fun to be travelling on Sunday. I did not have to look for an empty seat, I had to look out for an occupied seat! Since I was hungry for breakfast, I went straight over to the food counters to see what was on offer.
I started with a bowl of choco cornflakes and a small tomato sandwich, and went for some eggs, a toast and some parantha (stuffed Indian bread) and Upma next.
I was quite enjoying the experience because it was calm and peaceful at the airport on this day. I needed to send a short personal email, for which I used one of the lounge workstations, rather than latching on to the WiFi from my own device.
Once this was done, I was good to be airborne. My flight was announced simultaneously, so I started to proceed towards my departure gate. I clicked some more pictures on the way.
Amongst all this, I managed to drop my Boarding Pass somewhere. But a kind soul followed me and got it for me. With this, I was all set for my flight over to Mumbai.