Experience : Travel to India

Raghuram Sukumar Travel 2 Comments

ameircan airlinesHere is my travel experience from USA to India. At this time, I should be In-Flight over European skies. But, I’m stilling at home and writing this blog post.

This is what happened so far

On Friday

  • I decided to move my travel dates to India by 2 weeks.
  • Called Emirates ( My Favority Airline for now)
  • Booked New Tickets
  • Cancelled Old tickets
  • It was cheaper to book new flight and request refund for previous flight.

On Saturday

  • Crazy Shopping Day
  • When you decide to fly within 2 days, its always crazy.
  • Purchased lot of times to fill  Two 50 lbs suitcase
  • Scheduled Blog Post to be auto published for next 3 days
  • Went to bed at 3 AM

On Sunday – Morning

  • Phone Rings at 10 AM and I was still sleeping
  • Shopping started at 11 AM
  • Last minute shopping at Walmart, Sams and Target
  • Came home at 1 PM ( should be leaving to Airport at 3 PM)
  • I still have to pack 2 suitcase and carry on bag
  • Notification from TripIt – Flight to New York Cancelled

On Sunday – 1 PM to 2 PM

cancelled american flight

  • Called Emirates to sort this cancelled flight
  • Emirates asked me to call AA, since they cancelled local connection
  • I was on call with American Airlines for about 30 minutes

Re-booking Cancelled Flight

  • Agent gave me 2 options to fly yesterday
  • Option 3 : Raleigh, London, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Chennai ( No Way)
  • Option 2 : Raleigh, London, Dubai and Chennai
  • Option 3 : Raleigh, New York, Dubai, Chennai
  • So, I got Option 3 – All set
  • I gave my email id for booking confirmation
  • Back to the Mall for Shopping

On Sunday Evening

  • Weather in New York for today ( 2 Inches of Snow Expected)
  • Oh Gosh. I should have taken Option 2
  • No Confirmation email from American Airlines
  • Packed and Weighted Two 50 lbs suitcase ( few more lbs can fit in)

Monday Morning 7 AM

  • No Confirmation email from American Airlines
  • I log into Emirates Account to make changes to my Seats
  • There is no details about today’s trip ( Red flag 1)
  • I call American Airlines

On Call American Airlines

  • AA Agent: I explain my situation, give the flight record locator and no records were found ( Red Flag 2)
  • I asked her to look for my flight for yesterday and she pulled my record
  • Now, I now they don’t have a record of me flying today ( else I should have received an email)
  • Yes, I’m still cool, calm and composed. Why? Keep reading.
  • She put me on hold and another person is like ” Welcome to AA, how may I help you?”
  • I was like ” I’m on hold with another agent”
  • New Agent : ” Well, you are now with me”
  • Oh well – I have to start all over again.

On Call American Airlines – Agent 2

  • She finally pulls my record
  • She puts me on hold
  • I started writing this blog post when the hold stared
  • I’m have written till this point and I’m still on hold.

Here is my experience with International Flights :

If connection gets messed up, chances for things to get messy is really high.

I always prefer not to change airlines in International Trip outside USA. Like One major airlines till London and change to another major airlines from London.

Now, you know why I didn’t select Option 1 and 2(American and Emirates)

When things go wrong with connections – Missed, delayed or canceled flights, it can get messy with connections and re-booking.

Last week, my friend’s parents came to USA for the first time.

Gulf Air : Chennai to Bahrain, London to Raleigh.

Their flight to Raleigh was cancelled. They are old couples and not comfortable with English.

They were given options

  • London to Chicago to Raleigh ( overnight halt in London )
  • London to Miami to Raleigh ( overnight halt in London )
  • London to Washington to Raleigh ( overnight halt in Washington ) ( in British Airways)

Finally, my friend advised them to take option 3 till Washington. He drove to Washington to receive them at 10 PM and came home at 4 AM.

When they asked about baggage, British Airways agent was like it could come to Miami or Chicago or Washington.

Since, the ticket was booked through Gulf Air, he tried to call Gulf Air.

Guess what? You can’t talk to an agent in Gulf air for missing baggage queries. You have to sen questions over email.

Finally bags were delivered via Fedex after 2 days.

FYI – I’m still on hold with American Airlines.

  • 51 Minutes and Counting
  • 61 Minutes and Counting
  • 70 Minutes

Agent : All set, you will receive email confirmation within 1 to 2 hours with flight details.

Now, I have to wait for 2 more hours.

Stay tunes, I will update this post as I get more information.

Checking In

  • Reached the airport at 3:30 PM to find that they messed up my flight bookings again
  • I was booked to fly to NY and take flight to India for next day night
  • I was re-booked to flight on the same night
  • Checked-in both the bags ( 50 and 52.5 lbs)
  • Reached New York and went  to Emirates Coutner
  • Emirates gave new boarding pass for JFK to DXB and DXB to Chennai

Travel from JFK to MAA

  • A380 is amazing flight with good leg room
  • Next seat was empty, so it was bit easy to move around
  • Saw few movies, slept for couple of hours
  • Typical flight path is close to Greenland, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Iran and Dubai
  • This time flight path was over the atlantic to Portugal, Spain, Egypt and dubai
  • I did some duty free shopping in Dubai before boarding the flight to Chennai
  • Reached Chennai at 2:30 AM. Bags arrived at 3 AM.

PS: I met a person who was on same flight from Raleigh to JFK. We had dinner together. He sent me an email saying that his bags were still missing. He took Eithad airlines from JFK to Hyderabad.

Raghuram SukumarExperience : Travel to India