On Thursday 3rd March 2016 I begun my journey from Port Columbus International airport (CMH) to Mumbai (BOM). Obviously this was not a single segment travel. I had to change planes in 3 instances. I will try to summarize my experience in parts.
1. CMH - ORD (Columbus to Chicago)
I was on American Eagle connection of American airlines. This was tiny tiny aircraft accommodating only 30 something passengers. While checking in my luggage I made a mistake of checking in unwanted bag which cost me few bucks. (Kinda sad, I know. I could've avoided it). But journey was fine. I got a separate sit in the left lane. So there was no disturbance as such. Journey was only 90 minutes which made it tolerable. I reached in Chicago at 11:00 CST.
2. At Chicago
This is the most despising part of my international journey. Stand at the carousel for significant amount of time waiting for arrival of your luggage. Take luggage which is shoulder bag, hand bag and big 50 Lbs bag and transfer them to international terminal through series of difficult walkways and escalators.
Those people who have juggled with 3 bags at the same time on the escalators will understand my pain
I was finally able to reach Lufthansa Kiosk. Luckily I had checked in online which allowed me to go through without having to enter lines. Lufthansa management was kind enough to allow me to check in 2 pieces of luggage without an extra cost. It saved me from lot of hassle when I make transition from one terminal to other at Frankfurt airport.
I had too much time at hand at Chicago waiting for my afternoon flight. I utilized it well writing 3 blog entries here on Ghost.
Plane arrived on time, I was in zone-2 which allowed me to enter before majority of passengers. Seats were comfortable as usual.
Hey, this is not United Airlines. that thing is so ridiculous if you are sitting in one place for 8 hours
3. ORD-FRA (Chicago to Frankfurt)
Air hostesses were beautiful and professional. This is the big difference when you are traveling international with Lufthansa. I don't think any domestic american airline other than Southwest could compete with Lufthansa on quality and price.
I believe my co-passenger was German. He helped me a bit. My next row passenger, what should I say? A ginormous human being which made my journey hellish by continuously reclining his sit against my face. Thanks to this douchebag that I could not write a single blog entry while on the plane.
Food was great. We were served two rounds of snacks and one round of typical vegetarian pasta dinner. Fortunately I got few hours of sleep. But then tremble woke me up.
Pro tip - If you are traveling by plane for the first time, please don't sleep before they serve food. (Lunch/Dinner whatever applicable). If they notice you've fallen asleep, they are not going to bother you. You will miss your food in that case. So do not go to bed until main course is served which should be within 30 minutes after flight take off
I started experiencing body ache at the end of 6th hour. Could not help it. Tried to stretch body a bit but it did not change anything. Food course was concluded with snack involving cookie, fruit dish and blueberry muffin.
We arrived in Frankfurt at 7:30 local time. Followed bunch of arrows and direction boards to arrive at my destination gate.
Nothing great here at Frankfurt. From my past experience Munich airport was more happening with huge number of gift shops and food restaurants
4. FRA - BOM (Frankfurt to Bombay)
It was long waiting at Frankfurt airport for almost 4 hours. Not many fun things to do around. Just one dull cafeteria. It's called Mayer's - The Brezel Bakers. Super expensive and not much variety. Since I am in urgent need of caffeine right now, I cannot actually avoid it. So I went ahead and bought Cappuccino for 3.7 Euros. Not bad as long as I am not dozing post consumption.
Speaking of dozing - It's already 4:00 in the morning by EST. I have lost too much of sleep in last 18 hours. I should probably be sleeping by this time. Will need significant amount of time before I could recharge myself for rest of the vacation
I am finally glad to have changed my seat in this flight. The seat next to me was empty and the next one was occupied by a German gentleman. The girl seating in my front sit was nice enough to not stretch her seat too much. Overall it was pleasant journey.
The only issue was that I was feeling nauseated so I avoided having too much oily food. As usual first 4 hours were fine. I was quite bored for next 4, though I ended up watching Julie and Julia(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1135503/) and Oceans's Eleven(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240772/?ref_=nv_sr_1) in my spare time. I believe we didn't have runway ready for arrival, so we ended up hovering around airport for quarter of an hour.
5. Arrival to Mumbai (BOM)
Finally, I kept my foot on an Indian soil after more than 2 years. It was my bad to keep 2 layers of jackets. These layering was built up for subzero temperatures even though I was wearing it in 85F. Immigration too long time to clear up. I don't blame Indian officials since there was influx of tourists coming from all over the world.
Luckily I was not held defaulter during customs check. I was received by my Father, Brother in law and nephew at the exit of an airport. Nice to see you guys again!
(I will be staying in India for next 3 weeks. Hope to meet people who matter the most. Looking forward to spend as much time as possible at home. As usual I am getting bitched at for not buying a car and losing too much of weight. Well, being sarcastic helps sometimes)