– five lines for men, and only one for women. Â balls. –
â€œMaâ€™am?Â What is this?â€
â€œMy house keys.â€
â€œOkay maâ€™am.Â And this?â€
â€œMy computer chargerâ€
â€œVery good, maâ€™am.Â Â I will be right backâ€
Off he goes, with my tote, to the x-ray scanner.
After he, and another colleague, manually checked it.Â After it was scanned the first time.
Curses, Lufthansa, for cancelling the Frankfurt-Hyderabad leg.Â Iâ€™d take the groping pat-down over my bags getting the bazillionth degree in Mumbai.
The agent returns, but with my suitcase.Â â€œMaâ€™am â€“ can you please open this?â€
– rain + outside boarding + pushy Indians = hell –
Traveling in India is an eye-opening experience â€“ right down to the actual travel.Â Navigating the Indian flight experience is one that will make you grateful for TSA agents back in the United States.Â Here are 5 tips to help make the process smoother.
1.Â Â Â Print out your ticket confirmation
Policemen with (big) guns stand between you and the airport entrance.Â The only way to get in â€“ a printout of your flight confirmation.Â And no, the e-mail confirmation on your phone wonâ€™t work (unless itâ€™s accompanied by a pleading eyes, a sweet smile, and 500 rupees).Â Keep it in your travel wallet, and have it in hand, with your passport, as you enter the passport.
2.Â Â Â Check in your bags
This goes everything Portavi and I stand for, but in this case I make an exception â€“ and only for Mumbai.Â Iâ€™ve never flown through this airport, domestically, without my suitcase being manually inspected and scanned twice.Â Indian airlines donâ€™t charge a checking fee, and appear rapidly in the baggage claim.
3.Â Â Â Keep on your jewelry and shoes â€“ but take out all your electronics
I have no idea why they bother keeping metal detectors in security; everyone, upon passing through the detector, is patted down and waved with a detector wand.Â Keep on your boyfriend watches and embellished flats â€“ and your boarding pass (see #5)
4.Â Â Â Be the last to board the bus
Another one of Mumbaiâ€™s less attractive features â€“ flights from gates 9-16 lack a jetway.Â Passengers are herded onto buses to drive around the airfield to a plane a mere 15 years away from the terminal.Â Last person on the bus = first person off it.Â A lifesaver, considering the aroma of your fellow passengers.
5.Â Â Â Get stamped
No stamp, no boarding.Â Make sure your carry-on bags have blank flight tags attached to them before security, and the tags and boarding pass are stamped at security.Â Otherwise, you have to go through the entire hellacious security process again.Â And yes, Iâ€™ve had to go through that.
And make sure to have it on hand as you deplane â€“ because they check it again.Â Seriously.