Saturday, May 21, 2011


If I were not stranded in New Delhi, I would be home in Maryland with my family.  My flight was scheduled to arrive at the Dullas/Washington DC airport on Saturday at 7:25 in the morning.  It is currently 8:10 am,  Monday morning in New Delhi.  Last night our airplane was grounded for the second time and we still have not beenhave given  any explanation.  The Continental crew at the Delhi airport are completely incompetent and could care less about customer service.  It was total mayhem in section 3A of Delhi airport last night,  and it appeared that no one cared, and there was no upper management to be found anywhere on site.  After more than 30 hours of not even having a change of clothes passengers did convince airline officials to  at least have someone pull our luggage out from the airplane so that we would have a change of clothing.  That process did around 2 1/2 hours.

Prior to all of that, the buses came to pick us up at 5:30 on Saturday evening for a 10:15 flight.  Our hotel is at the most 15-20 minutes from the airport.  We arrived at Indira Gandhi Airport at 6:30, and left by 3:15 in the early morning hours.  We all first started to get a glimpse that something was not right, when the staff kept saying that we would be boarding in 10 minutes, and we saw the staff of Continental start laughing.  They were laughing because their was no plane to board.  The communication from the staff at the airlines was horrific.  They never keep us abreast of anything that was happening, but just continued the charade of saying that we would be boarding soon.   Finally, we became aware that the problem was never fixed from the night before.  They were in the process of trying to fix whatever was needed while we were in the airport.  After keeping us and stringing us along for hours, they finally made an announcement around 1 am, stating  that the flight was cancelled.  I started crying at that point, and a flight captain was trying to console me.  He told me that the plane was not safe to fly at all, but didn't get into many details, but said that a lot was wrong with the plane and he had no idea when that particular plane would be ready to fly again.

Several hours later we were told that a representative would be at our hotel at 5am to get everything settled and to make sure that all remaining passengers were on a flight home.  Well dummy me, still wanted to believe these numb-nuts, and I stayed up until 6 am, waiting for a representative.  No representative showed up, so I finally decided to get an hour of sleep.  I asked the staff at the hotel to give me a wake up call at 7, which they did.  I promptly put on the same clothes that I have been wearing for 36 hours and went to the lobby in hopes that I would see the Continental representatives, but all I saw was empty beautiful leather sofas.

The staff at The Grand, said they have not heard anything from Continental, nor has anyone come to the hotel.  It is now 8:40 am, and we have no idea when we are going home.  A number of people were able to allude the airport officials and book flights on Air France, and other airlines last night.  Once airline officials saw what was happening no one else was allowed to go back into the airport, so those of us trying to get another flight were just out of luck.  There are so many people with connecting flights and the flights back home are limited, so it appears a number of flights are already booked.  If anyone has suggestions please feel free to call The Grand at 91-11-2677 1234 and ask for Crystal Travis.

1 comment:

jon said...

Doesn't surprise me really. Continental has really been destroyed since the merger with United. We flew with them last week with the boys and both flights were full, not an inch of space anywhere. The fligth attendants bitched the whole time about the merger and their work conditions and totally ignored the passengers. They were also very child-unfriendly and would scold us whenever we got up to walk the boys down the aisles etc. Horrible experience, never again. JetBlue for domestic next time.

For those doing the surro return trip, here is what I recommend:

Qatar, Emirates, Singapore, Air France, Lufthansa, Swiss. I'd avoid American airlines as much as possible; most of them are child unfriendly unless you are flying business or higher. Additionaly, I don't recommend the Middle Eastern airlines for gays; heard too many stories of harrassment both onflight from other hostile passengers ((not staff) and also hostile airport staff. The euro airlines seem to be the safe bet and are very accomodating to passengers with children. Means a stop in Europe but actually that can be a good thing for such a long flight.

Have a safe flight home!