Flight : 9W / S2 - 2654
Route : DEL - BPL
ETA : 0805
Date : 24 Feb 2014
It should have been a very Fine start of the week on a Monday morning. I got up at 03:00 o'clock that day. I had to drive down to Bhopal for a meeting with a United States professional, Mr. Michael Donald. We were going to carve out an important deal which was supposed to determine the future of my organisation as-well-as his. Winters returned suddenly in Indore, in fact the entire North India, bringing with it a chilly breeze. Because of a sudden change in climate, I had caught little cough and cold with a hay fever.
My wife, Mrs. Samira Surbhi Gupta, had advised me to postpone this meeting but since Mr. Donald was coming to Bhopal for only a day and had no plans to coming to Indore, a postponement would have meant a cancellation of the deal and also a bad impression.
So, I decided to go ahead and started for Bhopal at 04:00 o'clock in the morning. Fortunately, my friends Anshul and Monika also had to go to Bhopal for catch Raipur Flight of Jet Airways and we had decided to car pool in my car MP09 TA 5969, the previous day. So, me and Anshul were sitting behind while Monika was sitting in the front with the Car Driver Anil.
At the start, we all were chatting and enjoying the morning breeze. But since I was not well, I decided not to be a part of chit chatting and to take a nap and sleep. After 45 minutes when I woke up, I saw both my friends sleeping too.
We reached Bhopal around 0630 hrs. Mr. Donald was supposed to land at 0805 hrs from Delhi. He was coming by Jet Airways Flight no 9w 2654 in the Business Class. It was a Boeing 737 Aircraft.
I reached Bhopal Airport (Raja Bhoj International Airport) and when I went to check the status of the Flight, I got a shock. The flight was delayed by almost 2 hours. The reason given was extreme fog in Delhi. In fact, fog had engulfed Bhopal and Indore as well.
Ideally, our Delhi Airport which is Indira Gandhi International Airport, is CAT III equipped, which means flights can take off or land even at a visibility of less than 100 mts. But, for this, even the Aircraft should be CAT III equipped and its ILS (Instrument Landing System) should be in place. Another requirement is that the Pilots of the Aircraft has to be CAT III trained. Being a Pilot, I know that it is obvious that Mr. Donalds' Aircraft did not meet either of these conditions, hence the delay.
I decided to make a call to him. He picked up and said that he is waiting in the Security arena for the call to board. As we were talking, there was another announcement from Jet Airways saying that the flight was further delayed by one more hour.
We had no option but to wait at each of our respective Airports. He told me that when he will start boarding, he will give me a call. After one hour, I again made a call to Mr. Donald and he was still at the security lounge. I hanged up visibly Frustrated and I am sure so was Mr. Donald at Delhi.
The shocker came after half an hour when he called me and said that the flight was cancelled!!! He continued that now he can not make it to Bhopal as he had to return to US the next day. I was aware of this and it came like a mental hurricane as I had made a lot of effort for getting to Bhopal from Indore and now my whole day seemed wasted. More than that, I was sad that the deal didn't go through. Mr. Donald mentioned that we can meet on his next visit but was not sure when it will be.
I was both saddened and tired. My excitement and effort was of no use and I had to return back to Indore empty-handed. Also, I was little worried that what impression will Mr. Donald carry of India's Aviation scenario and will he ever be interested to come back here?
Having these thoughts in mind, I told my driver to return back. He was also seemingly surprised.
I reached home at Indore around at 14:00 Hrs and was very upset. My health seemed to deteriorate because of the journey and the incident. I decided to call it a day and went to sleep. So, thats' how my week started. You can imagine how the rest of the week would have been!!!
Date: Jan 4, 2014
From: Michael Donald (Traveler)
Message: Capt. Shekhar,
Thank you again for your quick reply. I will be there on Feb 24 arriving at 8:05 am on Jet Airways flight 2654 and will leave Bhopal that evening at 9:25 pm.
If you can pick me up at the Airport and Deliver me back to the Airport after the tour that will be perfect.
If that is good for you I will go to the website and book the Flights.