Our flight from London to Mumbai was fairly uneventful except for the fact that I was able to pass on the main course and dessert that were offered as part of our on-board dining experience. Maybe too many cookies in the BA lounge before we boarded.
Arrival in Mumbai was also uneventful. When we made the reservations for our connecting flight from Mumbai to Kochi, we had no idea how long it would take us to get through immigration and customs in Mumbai and then how long it would take to transfer to a different terminal to check-in, drop bags, etc. As a result of that uncertainty, we left plenty of time, as in four and a half hours. What a mistake!
Immigration: Zip, zap, done.
Bag collection: Bing, bang, bags.
Customs: Drag bag, drop form, out.
Total time: Maybe twenty minutes.
Transfer to domestic terminal via bus, in which we were two of only four females: Another twenty minutes through Mumbai traffic.
Check-in for SpiceJet: This was the most difficult part. I was asked to present the credit card I had used to make my reservation. I dutifully handed over my Capital One card but was told that it was the wrong card. Holy crapoli!! I got a new CapOne card (chipped) after I made my reservations and the number is different. Sorry, they can’t retrieve my reservation without the other card. “Do you have a photocopy of the proper card?” (Of course, I bloody well don’t)
The upshot was that I had to pay again for the tickets and I received a document saying that the original charge will be refunded in seven to fifteen business days (make certain you keep checking, Michael).
Total, total time: A hour and a half.
Which left us with way, WAY too much time to spend in the Mumbai Domestic Terminal, a terminal woefully short of amenities. But we survived.
As SpiceJet SpiceMax customers, we were the first ones to board the bus that took us out to our airplane. Boarding first, however, meant that we were pretty much buried by all those who boarded later. Perhaps the priority boarding perk of the SpiceMax upgrade isn’t all that perky.
Perk two was being in the extra legroom seats. Ours, both window seats, were in the front row, which was nice; but, at the risk of being very unkind (a risk I am obviously willing to take), the extra legroom aspect of the seats was overshadowed (in more ways that one) by the appearance of a truly enormous woman and her husband (small only in comparison to her) who had the seats next to mine. I should note that Joan, who boarded right after they did, looked initially horrified, then relieved when she realized they weren’t waiting to get into her row, and, finally, slightly smug when she realized that no one was sitting in the middle seat of her row. A smugness that was short lived when the husband abandoned his aisle seat, thereby giving his wife a bit more space to occupy, and took up residence next to Joan in the previously empty middle seat. I confess that I hoped the missus would move from the middle to the aisle seat, thereby giving me a bit of relief, but she didn’t.
Our final SpiceMax perk was that our bags came off the plane straight away, which expedited our departure from the airport. And that meant we were plunged into Kochi traffic all that much sooner. The drive to Brunton Boatyard, our accomodations for three nights, took just over an hour. Two observations: First, any lane demarcations appearing on the streets are purely recommendations; second, the bright/low headlight switch serves some completely different function here than it does at home. I wasn’t able to ascertain what function that might be, just that it is different.
Arrival at Brunton Boatyard was rewarded with a small glass of icy cold limeade flavored with cardamom. Delectable.
Can one collapse into or onto a bed that requires a stool to get into? If so, Joan and I collapsed into our very comfy beds shortly after arriving.