They say everyone has different experiences when it comes to boarding their flight for the first time in their lives- even I have one. And it was a scary one! Thinking about that incident today still amuses me.
It was late 2017 when I chose to board a flight from Bhubaneswar to Mumbai (An Indigo flight) which was set to depart at around 1:05pm and land in the Mumbai Airport at about 3:20pm. I was very naive at that time but like everyone at that age, I also thought that I was very wise, knowledgeable, and have experienced most of the things in life which made me refined and matured in every sense. While, in reality , I was not even 1% competent or had confidence in any of the above mentioned areas. So, here I was in Cuttack on a small vacation with return flights booked to Mumbai in a few days, along with a friend. We were supposed to continue our journey to Pune in a cab or a bus.
It was my first ever flight experience. I never knew that I had to reach the check in counters an hour early to collect the boarding pass. So, I had my lunch around 11am that day and started for Bhubaneswar Airport at 11:40am. I tried calling my friend before leaving but her connection was somehow “Out of network coverage area”. As luck would have it, there was heavy traffic that day owing to which I reached the airport at 12:30pm. My friend who thought that I knew the guidelines, had boarded the flight already and when I arrived, I was not even allowed to drop my baggage.
I started quarreling with the airport authorities, without knowing anything. They were trying their best to make me understand but I continued arguing my level best. After having a heated argument for ten minutes, I started requesting them and literally was on the verge of tears. Here, my phone was ringing continuously. My friend was calling me and here I was busy coaxing the airport authorities to allow me inside the flight. They even called their manager, who said , ” Mam, it’s not possible for us to allow you inside because the boarding for the flight has already been closed.” On hearing this I was heart broken, shocked and didn’t know what to do. I received her call and asked her to request the air hostesses, or the cabin crew members or anyone to help me get in. Even though she tried her best, nothing could be done. In the end, I collected my luggage, threw it in the car and asked my parents to take me home. They were astonished to see me back along with my luggage.
On the way back, Dad kept bombarding me with questions, to know what happened. When I explained the entire scenario to them, they were shocked for a second, and then they started laughing. I started crying since I missed my flight and on top of that, no refunds. My father consoled me saying that he would sponsor my next air ticket. With a wide smile spread on my face, I hugged him. I was, what can I say . . .Happy!
I booked a ticket for the same flight the next day, whose price was, unsurprisingly, since it was at the neck of the moment, a whopping one. But all thanks to my dad, who helped me. This time, I started at 9 am 😀 for Bhubaneswar airport which was way too early, but I don’t regret it, even if I had to wait. This incident taught me to be way more responsible in matters regarding money, time and not to mention the rule that ‘You have to reach the airport at least 2 hours before the flight departs’.
Till date, my friend who had reached Mumbai alone that day, narrates my experience to others and we all share a hearty laugh.
Total Work Experience : 4 years (Capgemini, Accenture)