I wake up, check my phone – I have a text message (insert smile on my face – thinking it’s from someone back home). Insert very annoyed face directly after. It’s an message from Jetkonnect, of which I have a flight to Delhi from Jaipur booked with for July 31st. It’s cancelled so they’ve put me on another two flights – Jaipur to Mumbai and then Mumbai to Delhi. That’s fine except I’ll be 4 hours late for my connecting flight with Air India….
I had got up at eight to be able to finish packing, since I was off to the airport on this day to head to Jaipur from Dharmsala. I was finished my first bout of volunteering and looking forward to moving on and enjoying some ‘me’ time, away from some people…. Instead I get to call airlines to try to sort life out.
I have decided I hate Jetkonnect. Everyone who works for them is an idiot. First off they barely speak English which when you choose ‘English’ as an option – you should get someone who speaks English!!!! Secondly I had two different individuals tell me that I could book a connecting flight with them to Varanasi – I would have 30 minutes between and would have to pick up my luggage and re-check-in. Sounds pretty reasonable eh? Blooooody hell!!!
Then it took a ridiculous amount of time for them to comprehend that I just wanted my money back. That’s all. I wanted to cancel the flight because they screwed up. Finally it happened. After that I had to call Air India to cancel my connecting flight. They were mildly more intelligent and it was sussed fairly easily.
By now it’s quarter to ten and I have a taxi picking me up to take me to Dharmsala at ten. It’s a one and a half hour to two hour drive there and my flight’s at one o’clock. I run downstairs, quickly throw everything that’s left into my bag, while trying to eat my breakfast that the cook had left for me and be quiet, as one of my roommates was still sleeping. Insert annoyed face – looking at her asleep while I’m running around like a chicken with her head chopped off.
I haul my bags downstairs, out the front of the house and sit, thinking the cab will show up any minute…
10.15 – I call Amit – he says he’ll call the cab and call me back.
10.25 – Amit calls back – taxi will be there in 5 or 10 minutes.
10.45 – Amit calls – I tell him the taxi still hasn’t arrived.
10.50 – Taxi races around the corner.
The entire taxi ride I’m stressing about everything. The fact that I might be late for this flight has me going and the fact that I don’t have any flights to Varanasi now. Finger nails that are long and nicely painted start to be gnawed away.
This taxi driver drives like a complete maniac – which is what you need when you’re in a hurry and in India. We somehow arrive at the airport at twelve. I have no idea how he got me there that fast – but I wasn’t asking questions, I was grabbing my stuff and heading into the airport!
I get in, there’s no check-in happening, there’s no nothing happening really, just a few people sitting and waiting… About fifteen minutes later a couple Kingfisher workers turn up. They have come to tell us the flight at one is cancelled, but we’re rescheduled on the four-forty-five flight. Fine. I ask if I’ll get moved onto the later connecting flight to Jaipur that I know exists and she says yes sure, no problem. No problem…. I call the hotel that’s supposed to be picking me up to change the pickup time. They are lovely. No problem… but she comes back a half hour later to tell me that the later connecting flight to Jaipur has been cancelled. So no connection.
At this point I start to stress. I try calling cleartrip.com since the wireless at the airport will not work so I can’t go online. (Sidenote: Kingfisher doesn’t give a shit about trying to help anyone sort anything.) I get them on the phone, he finds me a flight leaving the next morning with Spicejet – I say I’ll take it, figuring I’ll stay at a hotel near the airport for the night – then he can’t sell it to me because he can only use Indian credit cards over the phone…. fail.
I’m starting to feel really defeated. I then figure I can call Spicejet directly and maybe they can sell it to me! So I call, they put the whole thing through – bonus it’s cheaper directly through them – and I go to pay. My visa declines – twice and I lose the whole thing…. Now is when I start crying. I’m stuck at an airport in India with no way to get online, no way to book my next flight and hotels and things waiting for me.
I call Visa – in tears. I explain to the guy what is happening. He says the transactions haven’t even hit my card. There’s plenty of credit available. He doesn’t know what the problem is. He tells me to ask them to do it manually next time – I say I already asked them to and they said they’re not allowed. He snorts and goes ‘Reaaallly?!’ Yes I reply crying harder with snot and mascara now running down my face. He tries to reassure me that my card is fine and that everything will work out. He says to get the airline to call him back to have a three way call and he can give them an authorization number. I say okay and hang up…
I feebly call Spicejet back, I go through all my information again – K for kilo, A for apple, T for tiger, I for India, E for elephant. The transaction goes through! I don’t know why or how, but relief floods my body. One crisis solved.
At this point it’s like three or so, I walk up to the Kingfisher counter to get my refund for the connecting flight I’m going to miss. I overhear one of the workers talking to another customer about how the four-forty-five flight will probably be cancelled because of the terrible weather. I swirl my head around to look outside. It’s sunny and there’s a light haze. I walk over to the conversation and blurt ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ He continues to go on about the weather and I tell him that if this weather stopped planes, never would a flight ever take off from Vancouver! A few other people start to crowd around. I’m SUPER annoyed by now. They try to reassure everyone that they’ll put us onto the next day’s flights.
Righto. There are loads of people missing all sorts of international connections because of this. I pipe up that they’ll just do the same thing again tomorrow and that this is crap and I want all my money back and for them to call a cab to take me to Delhi. Nearly everyone jumps on board. Everyone is demanding refunds and wants cabs. I get a few glares from Kingfisher staff – of which I return with an even more evil glare. What a horrifyingly awful company!
So somehow I manage to talk to this lovely Indian man who wants to get a cab aswell. He knows a local driver and gets on calling him. Meanwhile a confused Korean man – who has obviously seen my display of rudeness comes over for clarification of what’s going on since his English isn’t very good. I fill him in and he jumps in on our cab too.
Twelve hours later – four am – I arrive at the domestic terminal in Delhi. My flight is at seven-fifteen. I get a Costas latte and croissant and relax – I made it through the day of hell.