I am traveling to Nepal through India (Chicago-Delhi-Kathmandu). I have been given different opinion about the travel. Some are saying that Air India is the worst airlines to fly, their service is too bad, your luggage will be lost or some of the stuffs from your luggage will go missing. Some are even saying you might be robbed.
I am going alone and have 12 hours transit in Delhi. I didn’t know there is so much hassle traveling through India else I would have chosen other route. Since this cannot be changed, guys please share your experience or suggest me what I should do so that I don’t get in to much trouble
First of all, you should have sought suggestions before buying tickets. Now that you are all set to go, be prepared for some anxious moments in Delhi, if not harassment. I would not advise anyone to travel via that route just to save 100 bucks. Gud luck and have a safe trip.
1. first of all, as you sow, as you reap. treat people nice and you'll be treated the same way. no matter where, people deserve polite attitude from others. don't treat the airport staff as 'mulla dhoti', respect them. you'll be treated nice too.
2. do not lock your luggage. yes, though sounds weird, DO NOT lock your luggage. it gives an impression (to people who really steal things and give a shit not about morality) that the bag has something valuable. same thing in nepali airport too. never lock your luggage. if possible, carry all valuables in carry-on. put socks, kattus on top of other things in the luggage.
3. for long transit hours, you can actually enjoy indian airport much more than other airports. why? you know the language, know the money, know the food, etc. they also have business lounges for sleeping, but you gotta pay.
there is no horror in going through indian airport. i have been there a few times already and so far, no harassments. actually, i find the people there very friendly and willing to help. just put a smile on your face while approaching anyone.
I travelled to Nepal via Delhi in December 08. My experience was allright. The one thing that I did hate was that I had to wait for those airlines people to get me my boarding pass and everything else. Nothing is machine-driven. So sometimes you need to be patient and if no one comes to check back with you around 2 hours before your flight to KTM, make sure to go and talk to someone.
12 hours in transit, you will for sure get annoyed by the annoucements being made in the intercom every 5 seconds. I guarantee you'll hear "This is the final call...." at least 10 times. Be careful about you luggage. Make sure you identity your luggage (they will ask you to do so and if not make to tell them that you need to identify your luggage). The final most important things is that as you are going through the security, MAKE SURE ALL YOU HAND-CARRY BAGS HAVE TAGS AND ARE STAMPED BY THE SECUTIRY OFFICIAL. Before you board the plane, they will check that stamp in each of the hand-carry items and if the security people forgot to stamp it, you'll have to go back to security and do it over.
This was my first time travelling to Nepal via India.
Air India was nice. It had pretty good service.
"utousucks" is right about getting the boarding pass from Delhi to KTM.
As soon as you get off the plane they will take you to a lounge where you will have to wait till one of their staff comes and collects your passport, and tickets (paper/e-ticket), and then will return with the boarding pass. This time they forgot to get mine but they did bring it. This system is kind of confusing as you don't know what is happening. They should at least let the passenger know on this kind of process. I hope they will soon avoid this process.
Jet Airways on the other hand was different. They had good staff and were attentive. Thats the difference between govt, and private run carriers.
The flight was delayed but only for an hour(was nothing compared to the delta flight that was delayed for almost 8 hrs in JFK)...
I didn't had to do anything regarding the luggage. It was checked in all the way to KTM.
I will update more when I return from KTM.
p.s. I had only 3 hrs of transit in Delhi...(depends on how you fly---I flew from US to London, and spent few days in London and then left London at 9:30 pm)
Palpali Kancha: Don't worry about it. I have flown via Delhi many times. I got more hassle in Kathmandu than Delhi. In fact, there was no hassle in Delhi at all. As much as we love to hate anything about India, I was left with the impression that Delhi Airpot might be congested and small compared to the number of flights in and out of it (I think expansion is underway), there was anything but hassle during my transit there. Couple of things you should be aware of:
After the you leave the plane and get into the building, make sure you do not clear immigration as you are there only in transit. Look for Air India staff who will register you as their transit passenger. They will make sure that your luggage is retrieved by them (not you) in Delhi and will get you to inspect to ensure that everything is in order. They (not you) will then send the luggage to the Kathmandu bound flight. They will get your boarding pass and give it to an hour or so before your flight. You have nothing to worry. Just brace yourself for 12 hours in a small crowded building with one or two restaurents with really disgusting food...
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