Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sridhar's log... stardate 200701.01: Travel Ordeal

I am back. Its been ages since I blogged, sorted my mail, read blogs, chatted online, uploaded pictures... i.e. did anything on computer. Since the whole trip cannot be covered in totality in a single post, I'll posting multiple entries about it. This one is about my traveling experience... It is not for people with weaker hearts :P.

Although I booked my tickets a month early, I didn't look at the itinerary. I delegate work whenever possible, so assumed automatically that my agent (U.V. Travels) will plan the best itinerary for me. What happened next was a disaster:
  • To India: I flew by Turkish Airlines. Without doubt, it is the most incompetent/inconvenient airlines I ever flew in and would ever fly. The in-flight entertainment systems belonged to the stone age. They had an old projector, which had three separate lights(RGB) that tried to create a pseudo color projection... it didn't go very far. The volume/channel controls were outdated and used some sort of mechanical dials.. none of them worked. Fast food was served on the plane... which was again a disaster because I am a vegetarian and my agent didn't seem to consider my food preferences while booking the tickets, but it was manageable. There was a layover in Turkey...for 14 hours!!! The hotel at the Airport has only 20 rooms, 5 reserved for the airlines... which are given to families and not single bachelors. I spent 14 hours sitting on a wooden chair/couch in a Starbucks cafe... It was more painful than it sounds. There was free wifi at the airport but no ports to plug in the power cord.

    The flight was till New Delhi, after which I had to take a connecting flight to Lucknow and then get a ride to Kanpur. At New Delhi airport, I realized that I had booked the flight for 19th jan rather than 19th December!! I took a train to Kanpur (paid another unscrupulous agent three times the fare)

  • To Goa: I was supposed to fly to Bangalore, and go for a road trip to Goa with 8 other friends. The flight to Goa got canceled, had to rebook it at twice the price... small price to pay to meet priceless friends I thought. Reached Bangalore at around 7pm and had to leave for Goa at 9:00 pm. At 9:00pm I was informed that 6 of them had dropped due to some reason. Instead of 9, three of us went for the trip to Goa in a Tata Indica. We took NH 4a.. which despite being a National Highway was the worst road (no there was no road) I have ever seen... The engine cover was damaged, the axle bent and the wheel alignment destroyed. Fortunately there was a garage near the end of the road... The road trip took us over 15 hours...

  • Back to US: Turkish Airways again... but a 19hr layover this time. Got accommodation in a lounge which made it more bearable. The flight from JFK to Syracuse got delayed by half an hour, then got delayed by another 3 hrs... and then finally got canceled. Took a bus to Syracuse and reached 6 hrs later than the estimated time.

Distance travelled:
By Air: 24000 km
By Road: 2000 km
By Rail: 2400 km

I can safely say that I traveled ALOT!!


  1. welcome to life my friend !!

  2. You get what you pay for :P. But I guess traveling halfway around the world is super expensive no matter what...
    Free WiFi and no power... sounds like torture to me, heh.
    Anyway, welcome back to hell, er, Syracuse. Enjoy :).

  3. Wow dude you sure had a great trip back home. I am sure you will remember it in years to come.Too bad couldn't meet you as was busy with work anyways keep posting at least will hear about everything in your blogs take care bye :-)

  4. @Vishal: Life!! MS students are not supposed to have one :P

    @Villa: Dude!! i paid a bitchin $1495.. that time of the year(christmas) tickets were really hard to get. Anyhoo I will make it a point to travel only in BA no matter what..
    Syracuse.. hell!! i dont think hell has a temperature of -20C

    @Souvik: will try my best :)

  5. every once in a while i feel like going back to india and then stories like this help me love america...thnx

  6. its got nothing to do with India as such... I could have taken a better airlines and a better route to Goa.

  7. drop by time let me know ... if possible I'll catch up with you at the ariport atleast...

  8. Sure... but I had this trip planned in such haste that I wasnt able to meet anyone properly for more than 30 minutes.... and all the time I was with them, I was checking my watch to catch up with the next person on the schedule... it sucked big time...

    Next time I'll be in bangalore for atleast a week....