You don't have to be a frequent flyer to know that the staff at some Indian airports can turn you into misanthropes in a matter of minutes. From wrong information and confusion to slow service, you have been through the drill. If you are Indian, you are mostly used to it. However, Booker Prize winning author Marlon James wasn't remotely prepared for how Indian airports work when he landed in Delhi several hours back. On his maiden trip to India, the Jamaican-born writer was probably headed to Jaipur and had to catch a connecting flight when he was sent shuttling from one counter to another much to his dismay.
In a Facebook post, smattered generously with the F-word, he recounts what he faced while trying to catch the connecting flight to Jaipur from Delhi.
So I jump in this jeep because domestic flights are at a different airport than international. No prob, lets get in the jeep. But at the airport they won't let me in because it seems I don't have a ticket. No problem, I'll just walk to the airport ticketing people, pull out my laptop and scroll through emails until I find proof that yes, despite you having my fucking name and me having my fucking ID and visa, you still need proof I have a seat on this flight. But wouldn't you know it, domestic flights have a totally different weight standard than local and my hand luggage is suddenly too heavy by 8kg. But hey, he'll only charge me for the overweight. Hold on, what's that, officer? You need to see ID? Sure thing, take it and go whisper something to the guy checking me in. Oh wait? The bags aren't going to the plane? They haven't been security checked? You know what, whatever you fucking need dude, let's go, scan it for bomb materials, scan it for weed, hell, scan it for peppermint tea. Oh I can go back to baggage drop? Sweet. Oh wait, checkin-chick, it's now overweight 12kg? Just like that it went up by 4? You know what, take my credit card. Oh you don't accept payments? I need to go over by that corner? Boo, I'm always down for an adventure. 38 bucks? Sounds like a deal to me. Yes I'm wearing a belt. Yes, jeans have metal on them. No I'm not even the slightest bit pissed that I've been awake now for 27 hours and I just want to make this raasclaat flight that this other flight person made sure to tell me that though I don't have a reclining seat, he'll gladly upgrade me for some 1000 figure I forgot. Dude I just want to board my fucking flight. Oh it's delayed, you say? Nice first impression, India.
Turns out, several foreign nationals and some Indians too, are not surprised by what James was put through. They have faced similar difficulties in the past. In an outpouring on James' post, a bunch of people pointed out how air travel can be a nightmare, especially for foreign nationals, in India.
Jeremy Lehen commented, "Sounds like my last experience in Bombay! Spent the night on the runway, missed my connecting flight to the US, all the airline kiosks were closed as our flight arrived, and I was told: "Go to" a hotel and buy a new ticket. You won't resolve anything here at 6AM."
Another commenter called Morgan Gringonis said, "Marlon, I feel your pain. I have been there and was shocked at the amount of effort it took just to get past security which seem to pop up every 10 steps. Anyway, enjoy the Pink City and whatever you do, don't go to the Monkey Palace, unless you like hundreds of monkeys jumping all over you!"
King Diana said, "OMG! SOUND LIKE U R DESCRIBING MY WHOLE ASIA / INDIA TOUR lol PAID US1000 FOR OVERWEIGHT FROM JAPAN to INDIA FOR THE SAME WEIGHT I WAS ALLOW TO TRAVEL FROM the US WITH O_O AND IT ONLY GOT WORSE from THERE - HAVE A GREAT TIME Marlon - 'GIVE IN' DONT RESIST THEIR FLOW or U'LL HAVE A MISERABLE TRIP smile emoticon #MekSureYuAvCASH!"
Check out James' post here:
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