Air India Flight to Chennai
It was a weekend holiday in August 2018 owing to India's Independence Day celebrations. I decided to travel to Chennai by Air India flight and return to Bengaluru by 12657 Chennai Central-Bengaluru Chennai Mail train. I booked my tickets months in advance whilst taking an opportunity of low fares offered by the airline.
I booked an online ticket successfully and planned the trip much in advance. I was excited at this air travel journey as it was my maiden flight trip onboard an Airbus Industrie aircraft though it was a short-haul journey to Chennai lasting for about 40 minutes.
Departing from Bengaluru Airport
The D-day arrived soon and I got up early at 5 am and prepared to leave from my home. I sipped a hot cup of filter coffee prepared by my mother and left home at 5.30 am. I left home on my sweet two-wheeler TVS Jupitor and arrived at Bengaluru railway station within fifteen minutes. I had to park my vehicle at the designated two-wheeler parking lot at the railway station. As I had to return to Bengaluru from Chennai Central by train the next day morning, I found it convenient to park my vehicle at the railway station itself. After parking the vehicle, I headed to the Kempegowda Bus Station to hop on to the air-conditioned BMTC shuttle to Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport. My flight departure from Bengaluru was at 11.50 am and so I had to be at the airport at least by 9 am in the morning. I boarded the 7 am airport shuttle operating to Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport and the ticket to the airport cost me INR 235. The ride to the airport was smooth with the stops en route at Shivananda Circle, Hebbala, Kodigehalli, IAF, and Kogilu cross. I reached the airport's BMTC bus terminal at around 8.10 am. Upon my disembarkation from the BMTC bus, I decided to grab a cup of hot coffee at Hatti Coffee house. The taster of the filter coffee was relishing.
Next, I decided to get inside the airport terminal as it was already 8.30 am. My e-tickets and identity cards were verified by the security personnel at the entrance of the departure hall. I was let inside the terminal building after due verification of my travel documents.I then joined the Air India airline's check-in queue and it was a long wait to reach the ticketing desk after about twenty minutes. As soon as I presented my e-tickets with the identity card, the airline staff informed me that there was a change in the departure and a possible delay of my scheduled flight. I was then asked to come back after 30 minutes to get the final update of the flight status. I sighed and returned to the lobby area of the airport's terminal. I then decided to sip a coffee at the Cafe Coffee Day outlet and had to again stand in the queue to buy coffee. After sipping hot coffee I grabbed some English newspapers available in the lobby area. Soon it was 9 am and it was time to join the Air India check-in counter once again. This time too I had to wait for about twenty minutes to proceed in the queue. I finally presented my e-tickets and identity card. I was informed that my flight might be delayed but I was successfully issued the boarding pass. I was delighted and overjoyed after obtaining the boarding pass.
Boarding the Aircraft
I then took an elevator to reach the first floor for a security and baggage check. The process was smooth and it took about fifteen minutes to clear the security check. I enjoyed the free time available till the scheduled departure of my flight at 11.50 am. As it was only 10 am, I headed to the airport restaurant to grab some breakfast. I ordered a Masala Dosa and a hot cup of coffee. The breakfast was relishing and was wholesome. After breakfast, I noted down my boarding gates and occupied a vacant seat in the waiting area, and began to read a newspaper. At around 11.45 am, I was expecting the boarding gates to be thrown open. There was no sight of the Air India flight on the tarmac either. Then I got an SMS alert with the details related to my flight's rescheduled departure at 3 pm. Though I was disappointed initially I was happy to know that I could spend some more time in the airport's lobby as it was my first visit. Some of the passengers wanted accommodation on alternate flights and the same was arranged for them. I too enquired for the same but there was no flight to Chennai at that point in time. I had no option but to wait till 3 pm to leave for Chennai.
As it was only 12 pm, I had plenty of time till 3 pm. I decided to spend some time at the airport's paid lounge service available to the passengers on the mezzanine floor. I hurried to the mezzanine floor and visited the 'Above the Ground' lounge for lunch and some rest. You can read the details here. After having my lunch, I relaxed in the lounge for a while. Soon it was time for me to leave for the boarding gates. This time the flight schedule at 3 pm was confirmed with the boarding gate number. I again had to wait for some time and waited near the boarding gate to board the aircraft. Soon the aircraft arrived from Chennai and the boarding gates were opened to the passengers for embarkation.
I had opted for a last row window seat and hence all the passengers seated in the last row were asked to board the flight by the airline's ground staff. I settled down in my seat and the same was a hassle-free process. The middle seat was vacant and the aisle seat was occupied by another passenger. Soon the boarding gates were closed and departure from Bengaluru was announced by the flight captain sharply at 3 pm. We slowly moved from the taxiway to the runway and the take-off process was smooth. This was my first day-time travel to Chennai by flight and was enjoying it immensely. The cabin attendants soon served light refreshments which consisted of fruit juice, chocolate, and sandwich bread. Soon it was time to land after a forty-minute journey. The weather in Chennai was cloudy which witnessed a light spell of showers. We landed at the Chennai International Airport at around 3.40 pm
Arrival at Chennai
The aircraft was parked on the tarmac close to the arrival gates. All the passengers exited the aircraft and proceeded towards arrival gates. I was carrying a backpack and the exit from the airport was a smooth process. As soon as I exited the Chennai airport I was hungry and wanted to munch some food. I then spotted a Maggi instant noodles exclusive outlet located near the arrival gates. I ordered a masala Maggi and relished its taste which was satisfactory.
Then I headed to the domestic concourse of the airport terminal to reach Chennai Airport Metro station in order to connect to Chennai Central railway station. I had to walk for a few minutes to reach the Chennai Metro station and bought the token to travel to Chennai Central railway station. The metro train was ready by the time I reached the metro platform and hopped on to the train immediately. The journey to Chennai Central took about forty to forty-five minutes. I reached the Chennai Central railway station at around 5.15 pm and it was already cloudy outside with the possible spell of rains.
I checked into the air-conditioned dormitory which is located in the lobby area of the railway station. I had to fill out a form to complete the check-in process and took a rest for a while until 7 pm. I had to return to Bengaluru on the same day by 12657 Chennai Central-Bengaluru Chennai Mail leaving from Chennai Central at 11.15 pm to arrive at Bengaluru in the early morning at 4.50 am. I had booked my ticket on a First Class Air-conditioned coach through the IRCTC's web book portal www.irctc.co.in
Return to Bengaluru
As I still had some time till 11 pm, I decided to venture out to get some fresh air. At around 7.30 pm I came to Hotel Shiv Sagar, a pure vegetarian restaurant located on Walltax road adjacent to Chennai Central railway station. I ordered the North Indian thali which consisted of two rotis, dal gravy, vegetable sabzi, paneer gravy, fried rice, curd rice, papad, and pickles. After dinner, I returned to my air-conditioned dormitory for some rest and checked out soon at around 10.30 pm. My train to Bengaluru was already shunted on platform number 4 and my coach H1 was positioned near the train's locomotive.
I embarked on the coach and settled down in my seat allotted to Cabin A. The train soon left from Chennai Central at around 11.15 pm which was an on-time departure. The travel ticket examiner then verified my e-tickets and identity card. I then decided to sleep instead of railfanning and woke up early at around 4.30 am in morning. The destination at Bengaluru soon arrived at 5 am and after disembarking from the train I headed to ride my two-wheeler parked in the railway station's two-wheeler parking lot. I reached home safely at 5.45 am after a fifteen-minute ride from Bengaluru railway station. Thus my one-day solo trip on a flight ended on a happy and pleasant note.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.