Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I Missed My Flight! What Did I Do Next?

solo traveling new delhi - jaipur - agra (india) in 1.5 days
may 18-19, 2012 friday to saturday

Agra city morning tour (The Fort and the Taj Mahal)

In 2010, Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) was conferred the fourth best airport award in the world in the 15–25 million category, and Best Improved Airport in the Asia-Pacific Region by Airport Council International. In 2011, the IGIA was ranked the second-best airport in the world in the 25-40 million passengers category, again by Airport Council International.

I arrived 5 minutes late on the Agra Cantt station platform for train going to new delhi. I thought the schedule posted in website will somehow accurately deliver in actual time that is why I maximized my time but I was definitely wrong. From original sked of 1018H-1310H that becomes 1025H-1355H, my flight time is 1510H. So from nizamuddin station in new delhi, I have to ride the fastest rickshaw going to new delhi ariport express station which is I think the nearest station is the New Delhi. I arrived in the IGI airport terminal 3 at 1505H obviously left by my flight. What a gruesome disaster for a budget traveler, I cannot afford to stay another day here because of job matters.

taj mahal compound

taj mahal compound

taj mahal compound

Here was what I did after that horrifying moment erupted;

1. I looked on the flights bulletin and confirmed Oman air has left on time.
2. I checked the area if its wifi free, there is but my phone could not get through it.
3. I went to information booth and asked where are the middle east based airlines, staff told me there is none within the area.
4. I went to India-based airline at the left side and found-out there is no available flight.
5. I looked back again to flights bulletin and analyze every departing times, destination and airline within the day. I saw GoIndigo (low-cost airline), destination to Dubai with departing time of 1520H. I immediately went to check-in booth. Since I am GCC expat in Kuwait, GCC expat engineer is visa-on-arrival in Dubai.
6. I asked the staff and confirmed there is one available seat slot for me (thank God!).
7. The staff confirmed first to his computer if I can get the flight ticket due to visa or passport issues. Since I've showed my Kuwait Civil ID and the visa stamped of my Dubai arrival last month, he then let me purchase the last seat.
6. I asked them before paying via credit card to use any available computer to search for any open flight for my way going to my country of origin. I saw Fly Dubai (low-cost airline) that offers cheapest fare and excellent flight time among the airline websites I searched.
7. Moments later, my delhi-dubai flight is now boarding.
8. As I arrived in Dubai international airport T3, I went to transfer area and asked how to go to T2. They analyze first my passport, civil ID then waited for the airport bus to bring me to mention terminal.
8. I arrived in my destination at 2230H with total damage of around php26,000 for an emergency flight from new delhi to kuwait.

inside taj mahal compound

inside taj mahal compound

train going to nizamuddin train station (new delhi)

Tips on what to do when left-out by flight;
1. credit card is essential - this is actually the hero of my trip. we all know what will be the price of a ticket bought hours before the travel.
2. stay calm and focus - budget and time is at stake so be careful on all critical decisions to be made.
3. study flights - check connecting flights including passport and visa capability.
4. check airlines - search first to low-cost before jumping to standard airlines.
5. analyze everything - if it really worthy to leave on that moment or wait for another day.

new delhi international airport

dubai international airport terminal transfer from T3 to T2


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