Well our first full day in India was an interesting if frustrating experience.
We had an amusing, if somewhat wearing slog, through the domestic check-in followed by a one and a half hour wait on the plane waiting to take-off in the fog. A common occurrence in Delhi this time of year.
It is fascinating watching and being part of the endless checking and double checking that seem to dominate every part of life here and the airport provided some wonderful examples.
Example 1. Security Screening
Security screening and the airport is pretty standard except that after you clear the automatic scanner there is a guard who then rescans you by hand with the wand and pats you down. It seems kind of pointless to have the automatic scanner there in the first place. They also issue you with a tag for you hand luggage signifying that it has gone through the x-ray scanner.
Example 2. Checking your ID/boarding pass
How many times do you think you can be checked for ID and/or boarding pass? Don’t answer.
- Guard checks ID and boarding pass at the entrance tot he terminal. This includes a form of photo ID
- Person at the baggage check-in queue checks the boarding pass
- Person at the desk check the boarding pass
- Guard at the entrance to the gate lounges check the pass
- Guard at the queue for security checks the boarding pass before directing you to the appropriate line
- Guard at the end of the queue checks again
- X-Ray operator checks to make sure you still have the pass
- guard who scans you (remember him ) checks and stamps the pass
- second guard then take the boarding pass and copies the information
- airline gate staff check the boarding pass as you go through the gate
- security guard half way along the boarding ramp checks your pass and the tag on you hand luggage
- finally the cabin crew at the door to the plane check the pass and direct you to you seat.
Whew! what a journey!
The flight to Chennai itself was uneventful but the drive to the hotel was chaos as the driver got lost and we took over three hours to find the hotel. After numerous wrong directions from the tour company office and well meaning bystanders he finally did what he should have done at the start, and fired up the GPS on his phone, and we were there 15 minutes later! The only advantage was that we got a very extensive view of the city and surrounds although it did mean we missed out on many of the planned sightseeing stops.
The hotel is basic but clean and the staff are friendly. We had a very nice take away meal from one of the local restaurants and we are looking forward to tomorrow. 🙂