Sunday, January 22, 2012

Delhi: Our Final Stop

Yes, 4:30 a.m. did come early this morning but we were ready to go by 5:00 a.m. Somehow we'd been so engaged in telling Tom, Haley, and Ellyn not to lose their e-tickets that we mislaid our own, and a frantic search didn't reveal them. The good news is that we still had two pages of the original PNR document including all five names, and that got us through the ID check at the entrance to the airport.

We were finally directed to the line where we had to have our checked baggage screened. That was fairly efficient and we then returned to the Jet Airways counter to get our tickets. More good news: we didn't have to re-clear security at Mumbai as we did on the outbound flight. The screening wasn't bad (we'll take the intensive wanding any day over the TSA custodial-type searches) and we found a place to sit and wait.

At this point Brian discovered Kathy's iPod Touch in his vest pocket. Kathy thought she'd left it at the hotel but it turns she'd accidentally slipped it into the wrong vest. Ellyn feared that she might have lost a pouch wallet containing jewelry and ID but was relieved to find she had indeed packed it in her checked suitcase. It's been that kind of trip.

The first flight was fine, although we didn't get the exit rows that the website had promised Kathy. The flight was empty and Tom was allowed to move up two rows to an empty aisle exit seat. When a slob in front of Kathy reclined his seat all the way, Brian was able to move forward one row to another empty aisle seat and Kathy moved over to Brian's now-vacant seat, making for a pleasant one-hour flight for all of us.

As we entered the jet bridge at Mumbai, an employee started calling "Delhi" and one other destination. We waited there about 15 minutes as she collected boarding passes and laboriously checked them by hand. We then re-boarded the same plane - this time all in exit row seats which maybe aren't as enticing to the generally shorter Indians - and sat in cool comfort as the new cabin crew prepared the plane and passed out newspapers.

We had a sandwich on the first flight, and a meal on the second flight. Yes, the Jet Airways product makes North American airlines look pretty lame in comparison.

We're at the Hilton Janakpuri and enjoying just relaxing today. Tomorrow will be a tour conducted personally by an associate of an associate of our Dave. We're looking forward to meeting Jittin in person, giving him back the wireless phone he so kindly lent us, and hosting him at dinner if his schedule permits.

Other than the ghastly starting hour, this has been our most relaxing day of travel so far, following our most relaxing day of the trip. Yes, we all feel we deserve it.

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