Monday, May 26, 2008

Bangalore airport

I was lucky to be on  a flight to Bangalore the very first day of its opening.

There are some thing small and big that I liked about the day yesterday  . First of all the departures section for Hyderabad airport has a similar interface like the airports in San Francisco. I travelled in a Air India flight to Sharjah, ( the usual people being of the worker class , who are working day and nights in the middles east to get a savings of 20-25 thousand a month depending on their expenditure,


That actually  is less in terms of savings in a country like United States or Canada. And now in the Indian perspective for a software engineers in well placed positions that actually is a reality. Thanks to the boom in the last years. Well, I had to declare some customs forms and boarded the old Air Bus . The service was ok and I managed to reach Bangalore airport in about 45 minutes,

The landing was rough and the interesting thing was I did not get to see a sea of lights that you usually see when you land in places like Delhi , or Mumbai ,


I realized it later that the place where the new airport is far off from the city. It seems it takes 7 kilometers of driving to reach the main road at least. God forbid somebodys car breaking down there. And then from the main road you get to driver about 30 km before you reach any part of Bangalore


The roads are very wide and there are guards or railing on each side of the road. There actually 4 roads, the internal two being the road to Hyderabad, It is visible for about 10 kilometers.


Well coming to the airport, the air bridge took some time to get connected . I don’t blame anybody ,even the pilot reminded us of the situation there. We then came down to the Baggage claim area, since it was a domestic one, we had to come down using the right wing, which took us to baggage claim belts 1-5. The international luggage it seems will be put in the belts 6 and 7 . The 7th on being along serpentine one with two rows.


The new airport officials did not expect domestic passengers in the international flights, so though the luggage it seems was displayed to be on the belt 7 we were sent to the domestic ones. Soon we try to get some approach to the belt 7 which it seems is not connected with the domestic belts. One thing I would like to mention here was , that some senior personal did ask me what was wrong when I hurried and scurried through the crowd. There was some confusion.


Then we waited in the international wing for some time , with other stranded passengers from Srilanka , after some time they displayed that the luggage will be conveyed in the domestic side and we moved back after a lot of haggling with the security people about it. Finally, we got the luggage and came out to the meeting point. This one is just like Newark ad may be even bigger Only that it did not have multiple levels like San Francisco.


I found out that there is a cab line, and shuttle service, with prices ranging between , 80 -200 . In the cab it was 60 rs waiting and 15 rs per km . That is something I paid in Delhi too. So it was ok. We came out to the grand Foyer, There was a giant Luis Vitton Bag out there, They are opening a  shop somewhere in Bangalore it seems. When I say giant I really mean Giant. When Rajpal Yadav talks about Khali, he uses the giant in the same context that I am doing here.


Well, it started to rain and it seems that the cars were all stranded on  the road and it was difficult to get cabs. We stood in the line in about hundreds, Those who were able to cross to the other side for the buses boarded them and took off .


For me I had to wait for about an hour and a half.

In spite of all this , what I found finally was no body was complaining . Every body was happy, If you have a good infrastructure, even the uneducated followed the rules, If 90% are doing the rest 10 % of the trouble makers don’t dare noise. Some were over smart they wanted to jump the line and get some cab ahead, the guys managing the queues did really well in bringing these guys to justice. Not always will you have the mental energy to ask some queue escaper the right way. Not always do you have that kind of mood.


Somebody has to do it authoritatively . In all this ruckus, no body complained. No body cried a single howl as to the airport or to any of its staff. It was all happiness. I could see people happy. Café Coffee day opened a small eatery there. Soon it will become a international brand. If it opens its IPO I will buy it.


I was happy.  One guy told me that he is ready to go through the experience again only to see everybody happy. This is the birth of a new generation. The generation of hope. We too have world class things, we will no longer be looked down upon.

We as a nation may have something to say . May be.

No comments: