Monday, February 26, 2007

India and Podcasting don't mix

Flight hours: 12 (via Human Mailing Tubes)
Study hours: 0
Aviation Reading: Flying

I believe India is jinxed for actually getting a podcast out. Working long hours, broken equipment and the Windows Vista audio drivers I'm using are not recording as well as they could. L.A.M.E Lame lame.

Appreciate the man-handling of my bags and the outcome to the microphone I was going to use whilst travelling. Slightly functioning through only ear piece, damaged head band, inability to clip the earphones into the holder and a crackling mic when recording. Joy.

I will endeavour to push out one of the planned episodes this week on my normal recording rig. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Crazy Air Deccan

Flight hours: 2.2
Study hours: 0
Aviation Reading: Plane and Pilot

I survived getting to Goa and returning to Bangalore, however feel the need to highlight the actual experience.

Air Deccan have certainly revolutionised the low cost carrier concept. It's really an unreliable airline as far as schedules and seating are concerned, but at least they did SMS me the fact that the plane had been delayed... twice.

Booking the tickets were fairly simple besides the fact that they don't take foreign credit cards online. So I had forced my newly minted IT Manager of India to pay for all of the 3 tickets on his Indian credit card. I did pay him back!

We were supposed to leave at 2:45pm, which was bumped on the same day to 3:30pm, no big deal, but on the way to the airport another SMS arrived saying 4:45pm.

After check-in, We waited quite awhile in a fairly dirty and old lounge area of Bangalore airport. There was a power point to charge our laptops and do some emailing and net surfing. Bonus.

Boarding time actually became the departure time. So at 4:45pm, we handed in our ticket stubs and jumped on a bus. The amount of pushing and shoving on the bus was unbelievable. I had to step up and use my size a number of times. I was wondering why everyone wanted to be near the door of the bus instead of spreading out and sitting down.

When we arrived at the rear of the plane for boarding (there was also another bus at the front of the plane), it became apparent why people were striving to stay near the entrance. When the bus came to a halt, there was a mad free-for-all dash for the steps of the plane. The reason being, there are no seating allocations.

I managed to secure seats and two lucky people had to leave the aircraft for not finding one in time. I wonder if the ticketing people at check-in learnt to count.

The seating space is incredibly small. I'm 6'4" and it was small enough that the person in front would not be able to recline and my legs had to be suspended in the air by raising my knees in order to fit in the seat. Oh look, a few small Indians are seated in the exit aisles and they don't want to swap seats. I hope you get trampled in an emergency.

1.2 hours behind the already changed schedule and we were airborne.

The flight was fairly non-eventful, however two things caught my attention. One being that the hostess on a number of occasions during the flight, provided some advertising for the airline and its services over the intercom.

The other being that people have the ability to "bid" on items that are normally sold in the back of the in flight magazine. The headrest cover in the seat in front had the prices on it, showing the product RRP and the minimum bid amount. The idea is that you fill in your name, seat number and bid on a bid sheet and hand it in.

Depending on the number of items available, the x number of highest bids, win those items and the winner must pay for them before the flight has terminated.

Crazy Air Deccan.