Monday, April 16, 2012

"Make my trip impossible" - parts 2, 3, 4, 5.......

This is going to be a rant, a rave, a whine and a whinge at the expense of "make my trip", Jetlite and potentially but not definitely AirIndia (depends if my promised refund materialises). The wonders and beauties of Rajasthan will follow!

If the flight I had originally booked us on back in January had not, for no explicable reason (I did ask....several times) been removed from the schedule then all would have been plane (pun!!) sailing and there would have been no layover in Chennai.

We leave Bangalore and arrive in Chennai on time. Knowing we have an hour and a half in Delhi which could be pushing it, we have restricted ourselves to carry ons which equates to minimal toiletries, a condensed wardrobe and one pair of shoes and flip-flops each. Security at each airport seemed fascinated by our electric toothbrushes - one even thought they were a way of injecting insulin and another found it difficult to contemplate that they recharged through the base.

Flight from Chennai is 30 mins delayed, but not yet time for panic or despair. We take off and just when I start to breathe a sigh of relief, seem to stop and hover above Delhi airport. Now starting to get worried. Jetlite cabin crew assure me they have alerted AirIndia ground crew who will escort us to our next plane. We land and as the plane slowly meanders to the gate, the cabin crew are now not meeting my glare. No assistance from anyone and of course we land at the gate furthest from the main building. As seems the case in all Indian airports to change planes, even when in the same terminal you need to exit and re-enter through security. We miss our connection.

Then to find either Jetlite or AirIndia customer service which are conveniently hidden away. The only sign posts totally ambiguous, small and obscured, so the faint hearted will quit before they even start. Jetlite who cancelled a flight and rescheduled us on impossible flight plans and did not help me find a viable alternative or AirIndia who moved their flight time forward. Where to start? To cut a long, sad and unproductive story of my impassioned near hysteria pitted against non-reactive head bobbing the other side of the perspex short, you can guess who won, it wasn't me!! I ended up with a piece of paper which apparently means I will receive a full refund from Air India and no assistance what so ever from Jetlite. The best they could muster was a piece of paper that would 'help' me book another flight. 'Help' meaning it would alert the other airlines to the fact I had missed a connection and needed to rebook. Like I couldn't manage that myself!!

Anyway we end up with a 12 hour car drive. Our driver had little English and as Adam put it an 'abnormal exhalation habit' which basically meant for 12 hours we could hear the machinations of his nasal/throat activities which seemed very well lubricated with some disgusting secretions. However he negotiated the roads very well - the signs "please drive in the right direction, on the right side of the road" were actually required. It seems that the Delhi/ Jodhpur road - well most of it - is being repaired or widened. This involves many "diversions" which mean leaving your side of the road, crossing the median and proceeding down the opposite side into oncoming traffic. However, by 1.00am, we were safely deposited in our hotel. The boys I must say were incredible - they have been in India long enough not to be phased by any last minute change of plan.

At some point through our trip I get a comment on my blog from Make My Trip, agknowledging that I had a problem and saying if I emailed them, they would investigate. Obviously negative comment in the public domain gives rise to more reaction then me getting cross down the phone. Thus commenced a so far futile and non-productive email exchange. However, I also received an alert from AirIndia, my return flights had been subject to change. For some reason I was not surprised! I speak to Make My Trip Impossible (which it is again) as my time to change planes in Mumbai is now reduced to 5 minutes. They promise to call back with a change of itinerary. Needless to say the airwaves remain silent and I get onto this one myself increasing the 5 minutes in Mumbai to 4 hours. Make My Trip (which I have personally now upgraded from Impossible) have apparently been trying to contact me - but I have no missed calls/texts. They say my flights are still unconfirmed and they need me to confirm I want them to confirm. Not the case - spend more time clarifying all is confirmed with Air India and we get safely home.

Further call to Make My Trip this morning - taken me a week until I could muster the energy to deal with them - concerning my promised refund, They are looking into it and will call back within 24 hours - watch this space!!!

I now know why people use travel agents!!! Four flights booked back in January, one cancelled, three changed their scheduled timings, two became impossible connections which I personally had to deal with involving much time and angst and still one missed connection but was it all worth it - Rajasthan blogs to follow!!!


  1. Sorry to hear of all your troubles. Hope the rest of the holiday was good.

    I know a great travel agent in cause you need one.


    1. Fokkelien - the trip was great, once we got there - I thoroughly recommend Rajasthan. Next trip I will be asking for details of your travel agent!!