Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Smog, Airports And Common Man!

I am not very sure of the year so suffices to say it was the Christmas Eve during early 2000s. Self was booked to fly down to Bangalore from Delhi. And as you have rightly guessed flying out of Delhi during its severe winter nights is a zilch idea. Given the fog/smog the schedules of all the airlines were thrown haywire then, just as they are even today. Delays ranging from hours to days being the norm. Given this scenario, Jet Airways made a cardinal error of sending me an SMS saying my flight however will take off as scheduled. Armed with the said message I made it to the Airport as planned.

One fine winter morning @ Delhi......Airport!

On reaching the Airline counter I was informed by the helpless Passenger Service Officer that she had no clue when my flight will depart as there were three DEL-BLR flights already scheduled before mine and were yet to take off. Out came the mobile and I showed the damning SMS. Any explanation about the same being an automated/scheduled message were swatted away like any Indian batsman would a fuller delivery outside the leg with no fine leg/square leg, to the boundary. Post a fairly authentic portrayal of the 'Angry Young Man', I was accommodated in the next departing flight out of turn.

We were all seated and ready to take off. However we were delayed due to the air traffic over Delhi and the Airline decided to serve us our dinner. Imagine a Christmas Eve dinner in an aircraft! But then who was I to complain when I was at least fortunate to embark on my journey homeward, many on ground then would have envied me about such small mercies. Dinner done, we awaited the take off. A hour or so later we were informed that the flight will apparently not take off at all due to worsening visibility and were subsequently deplaned. The assurance given that the flight will take off the next morning at 9 AM. So much for my stroke of good luck! To top it all was the gleeful and nasty faces shown by the passengers who were left behind in the airport gave us on our return back to terra firma!

After a peaceful night at Taj Mansingh, courtesy Jet Airways I was back in the aircraft with the rest of the passenger well on time. What followed was breakfast! And yet another delay. As the fog began to thicken again, the passengers badgered the cabin crew on the reasons for the delay. Finally the Captain announced that the delay despite an all clear was due to a politician who was to fly with us was yet to arrive. The proverbial last straw! Most agitated and angry passengers, self included got down from the aircraft down to the tarmac. An hour of so later the politician's cavalcade made it to the Aircraft. The already annoyed passengers, self included, started raising slogans against the 'khaas aadmi' treatment extended to the politician. The bottomline emerged that we would not allow the flight to take off if the politician boarded it! The politicians security officers tried to mollify us by apologizing only to be politely told that while we respect the NSG, the same did not extend to the politician, who by the way refused to step down from his bullet proof car! After about fifteen minutes of verbal jujitsu with the passengers, the NSG went back to the car to ask the politician to come out and personally apologize to us passengers. The politician immediately did what politicians generally do when people ask questions, he drove away! Post a shrill 'hip hip hooray' and hearty laughter we reentered the aircraft and it took off without the politician! Yes! Never underestimate the power of a common Jet Airways Passenger!

You want to know who this politician in question is? I won't disappoint you! Look below!  

Former Prime Minister of India.


PS: I made a cardinal error during my free stay at Taj Mansingh. I ordered a packet of cigarettes. Puff went 25% my monthly paycheck!

Glossary :

Khaas Aadmi : VIP


  1. Oh ! Now I know what prompted this KHAAS AADMI to reach late to airport. He must hace 'slept' usual. Anyways, Kudos ! (belated though) to you guys for making your demands possible.

    1. Haha! Thanks Dada! However my contribution to the entire episode was offer moral support by making up the numbers in the group. Despite Ten years of training in Calcutta, I couldn't gather my wits to yell 'cholbe na, cholbe na'!

  2. Woah! That is quite something! True that, politicians don't stand a chance if we all come together, just that I doesn't happen quite often! :)