Getting To India Was Ridiculous
The trip to Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), India took about 17 hours, give or take. The flight was from Toronto, Canada, with a 3 hour lay over in Amsterdam.
Then we were supposed to go directly to New Delhi, India, and then another flight to Bengaluru.
But once we were about 30 minutes away from New Delhi, the plane started doing circles, and an announcement indicated we could not land due to a crazy rain storm. We ended up landing in Ahmedabad, India, and were told to stay in the plane.
This lasted for another 3 hours, and I felt completely relaxed, since I my flight from New Delhi to Bengaluru consisted of another 5 hour lay-over.
Yet, by the time we arrived in New Delhi, I was running short on time.
Immigration Agents Sleeping on the Job
Upon arriving, I raced past everyone, and arrived at a long line for immigration customs. What seemed like a good 40 minutes of waiting in line, was only made worse by the insanely slow processing of the immigration agents.
In one section, there must have been 200-300 people waiting in line, for only 3 agents. And yet, one of the agents just decides to get up, and go on a break.
I finally get to the front, and am told that I’m in the wrong line, despite being in the ‘foreigner’ line. I need to go to the e-visa line… So I quickly rush over there, and go through the ‘diplomat’ line, because my flight is literally in 1 hour.
Needless to say, the agent tells me I need to fill out another form. Oh, and the other guy in the booth? Sleeping with his legs on the table…
Whatever, I fill out the form, get processed… which still takes about 5 minutes (they move incredibly slowly).
Chaos At The Delhi Airport
Now the thing about transferring from international to domestic flights in India, is that you need to grab your luggage, exit the airport, and then go to the domestic section, and check-in again.
So I rush past, and end up in some underground basement, where the insanity hit.
Hundreds of people were trying to check-in their luggage, while pushing, and shoving, and indicating that their flights were literally in the next 20-30 minutes. The agent for this airline, tells me to leave my luggage, and it will be taken care of eventually.
An Indian man from mumbai tells me that this is not representative of India, and it’s shocking to be seen in such a major airport.
The next step involved over a hundred people all getting herded like cattle into a single elevator, to be taken to the security-check floor. This was complete chaos, with airport agents yelling for everyone to form some kind of ambiguous line, and telling people to stop shoving, etc etc.
I eventually cram myself into a 3 meter by 3 meter elevator with maybe another 10-15 people, and we finally make it to the security check, and then I race towards the plane.
Finally get to the plane… and… delay. Because everyone else was also stuck in the insanely unorganized check-in process.
Eventually we take off, and finally land in Bengaluru airport. When I thought that the delays would finally end… they did not. Another 30 minutes were spent sitting, and waiting for the luggage to appear from the luggage conveyer.
Upon getting my luggage, I immediately start looking for a sim card – so that I will have GPS, and a way to call an Uber. Unfortunately, my only chance to get a sim card, was at the international airports, due to a policy by India (because of terrorism, they only hand them out in International airports).
No sim card = no uber = foreigner taxi prices = double the price for all local taxis… it’s an interesting feeling getting ripped off knowingly 🙂