My First Bad Day In India

It is bound to happen, particularly when you are traveling. Sometimes days start wrong and never get better. Thank goodness that doesn’t happen often.
I had a 6:30 AM flight this morning so I arranged a 4:30 am taxi. I was afraid I might oversleep so I didn’t fall asleep at all last night. The cab ride was 435 rupees. I had a 1000 rupee note. He got my change and handed it to me rolled up. I was sleepy, checked the amount and stuck it in my purse.
Problem 1: When I got to the airport to buy some coffee the snack bar wouldn’t take the 500 note because it had been torn and taped back together. Caution: always check the change people give you, particularly if it is rolled up. Stores will not take any note that is torn, with even a small tear, or taped. If you happen to get stuck with one of those bills, take it into a bank for exchange.
Problem 2: AVOID INDIGO AIRLINES!! When I got to the airport to leave Jaipur Indigo Airlines charged me for 12 kgs over the checked baggage weight. That totaled 3000 rupees ($50). These are the identical bags with the identical things that I came to Jaipur with. I was only 3 kgs over when I flew into Jaipur on a different airline. I had a connecting flight with Spice Jet and they only charged me for 3 kgs over. Same bags, both ziplocked and unopened.
Why did Indigo Airlines charge me so much? Their size restriction on carryon bags is tiny. It’s about the size of my purse. It’s much smaller than the new international size therefore they charged my carryon bag as checked baggage. UUUFFFF. I am carrying that bag on every other airline I’ve flown. Why not INDIGO? It’s surely a price gouging scheme. They don’t fly planes with smaller overhead bins. The bag fits in their bins.
I haven’t even been buying souvenirs or gifts because my bags are already over in weight. Important Note: The size restrictions for domestic travel within India are much smaller than the luggage you probably carried into India from your foreign locale. Totally silly rules! I am traveling with new luggage on this trip. I have the new 14 inch size carryon. The carryon bag size at INDIGO is smaller than even the new smaller internationally acceptable size. And they only allow you to check 17 kgs and carry 7 kgs onboard. I have been charged between $25 and $50 (that’s USD) every time I have taken a flight. I don’t know who calibrates these scales because none of them read the same.
Before I began taking the domestic flights I weighed my bags on a step on scale at my friend’s house and they were within the guidelines. That is after I left quite a few things with friends in Delhi. Not all tourists have friends in India to leave things with. And I can’t believe the craft shops could be happy with these restrictions, which prevents the average tourist from buying anything in India. My advice is to come with no clothes and only buy what you need here. If you come naked you might be able take a few gifts home….lol.
Problem 3: After arguing with Indigo Airlines, I made my way to Spice Jet in Delhi to pick up my boarding passes for Chandigarh and was told that the 4 hour wait I thought I was facing had now turned into a 9 hour wait. And the lounge area was “under construction.” They had been trying to send a schedule change text message to my US cell number, which wasn’t on. I turned it on later and found no pending text messages. In any event, Instead of sitting here from 7:30 to 1:00, I’ll be here until 6:10 pm. Spice Jet could’ve offered me a nearby room, but they refused. Can the day be any worse? I hope not!
Problem 4: During my 9 hour wait in the Delhi Domestic Airport they had very little food available. That terminal is under renovation so I didn’t have a proper lunch. Thank goodness I’m headed to Chandigarh to one of my favorite hotels, The Shivalik View. They include a great buffet breakfast and dinner in the room rate. I finally sat down to dinner at 8 pm, a full day since I’d eaten my last proper meal.
I collapsed in bed and woke up the next day with an eye infection, probably from rubbing my eyes so much the day before. Glad that day is over.

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