Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gulf Air travel

I have travelled on many airlines and this time my travel agent suggested to give a try on Gulf Air. At each airport an airlines is allowed usually to stay upto 2 hours after which they have to pay rent for the time they stay at the airport. Therefore most of the airlines belonging to a country make return trips. Example: The British Airways flight from London to Bangalore makes a trip from London to Bangalore and then picks up passengers at the Bangalore airport and makes a return trip back to London. 2 hours is usually very much sufficient for Re-fuelling, Caterers, luggage transportation and other services. Each flight returns to their country where the flight originated and is then sent to the hangers for re-checking or maintenance depending upon the hours of air travel.

Timings of flights are put in so many ways like Long journey flights take off during night hours as more passengers (naturally after duty hours) can be expected and also the flight travel time is long leading the flight to reach in the early morning in the destination country. It is ofcourse great for the pilot and also passengers. For short journeys usually flights are kept throughout the day.

Back to the topic, I will give details about each airport in separate posts. My journey originated in Bangalore from HAL airport. I travelled through 3 aircrafts before reaching my destination. All the aircrafts I travelled were Airbus 320s. My first flight took me from Bangalore to Muscat at Seeb Airport. My next flight was from Muscat to Bahrain and then another flight to Kuwait. The whole journey took nearly 12 hours excluding the long awaiting time at the originating airport of Bangalore.

Talking about the Gulf Air, the outer look is attractive as they have the front half of the plane painted in gold colour. The inflight services are alright for a Airbus 320. Lunch is provided at the transit Airport if the transit stay is long. So I can say the service is worthwhile. But the best service I received was when I landed in Kuwait as I came to know that my luggage had not arrived with my flight. I placed a complaint in the Baggage claim department at Kuwait Airport. The next day when I enquired over the phone regarding my baggages, I was informed that my luggage was at Muscat airport and would be sent that night. Therefore I had to pick up my baggages the next day. The interesting thing was that since I am one of the very few to pick up my baggages at the baggage claim office in the Cargo terminal, they took their sweet time in going through my things. I think I must have spend half an hour and had to explain anything and everything he thought could be confiscated.

Bangalore's night life

It's been a long time since I have written a post on the blog. Due to my travelling I was held back in putting up some posts. Just before I left Bangalore, I was busy travelling at night times. Be it a weekend or a weekday, the roads are peaceful during the nights. The Call taxis are really better than the Autos in the night time. There are a lot of Call taxis in Bangalore and their performance until now has been good from my own experience.

I guess in a city like Bangalore where Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) companies have thrived has led a new lifestyle for people to work during night hours to meet the demands of their American clients. This has brought a whole new concept for development in related sectors like transportation and food industry for the night shift workers.

Also the topic that can be discussed is the 11:30 pm close down time of shops, restaurants, night clubs etc. The topic here about restaurants being kept open a little more late is not only for the night shift people but also for others whose duty times and deadlines can take them to as late as midnight. Even after the implementation of this rule one can see places like Night clubs and Discotheques open till 4-5 am. I guess I need not say much about pocket warmings related to this. Then why do cops target restaurants for closings at exactly 11:30 pm. There have been cases were the owners of family restaurants have been manhandled by the cops just because they closed 15 minutes late than the deadline provided due to the customers still sitting in the restaurant.

Another topic that keeps popping up is the security and other factors. The traffic police is already trying to meet a demand which has been created due to the 24 lakh vehicles on the Bangalore roads which can actually handle 7 lakh vehicles for smooth traffic flow. To make the streets safe, the cops roam around in the night time in their vehicles. But the funny thing is that we still get to read a lot about theft, chain-snatching, harassments, murders etc. Every place has a demand for better security and I hope the city has been working on a better solution.