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Old Jan 9, 10, 6:34 am
  #1  
sven60035
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Dublin (Éire)
Programs: LH: Sen, AF: Plat; IC: RA; HY: Gold
Posts: 617
Kingfisher First LHR-BOM and within India

I combined a meeting in Bangalore with a holiday in Kovalam Beach with prices for flights between Dublin and Bangalore outraging high on the most of the airlines, our travel agent got me good priced tickets that however required some connections.

Here is my experience of what I call my India adventure:

IT008 from LHR to BOM

Check-in

Arriving with Heathrow connect from Terminal 1 the kingfisher desk were directly at the exit of the lift from the train station.

There was a big crowd trying to check in with no visible entry to the Kingfisher First Desk (2) but as soon as I approached a staff member a cordon was opened and I was shown to the First Desk.

The check in agent was extremely friendly, when I told her that I was not happy with the seat I got (5 D) and that I rather would like to be in the middle part of row 1 she tried unsuccessfully to get me a seat there.

However not giving up she called over a supervisor and she released the seat so that I have 1 D which offers some more privacy as the other seats in row 1 are a little to back. While this is directly behind the curtain it is a good seat as only 1E is next to it.

The bag was checked through with the remark that I need to collect it in BOM and recheck it. She also gave me an invitation to the helideck lounge and pointed out the direction to both Lounge and final Gate (9). The bag was given a big priority label and a “connection tag”.

Lounge

The helideck lounge is one of the worst lounges in Heathrow with only the “main deck” currently in operation it became crowed very fast. The food offering is very sparse and the toilets are very outdated. With no air condition and no air movement at all in the lounge it became a hot place very fast.

1 hour before departure time I decided to take walk and make my way to the aircraft, rather in a seat on board than in the hothouse.

Boarding

When I arrived at the gate 45 minutes before departure time pre-boarding was under way and as soon as the agent spotted my Kingfisher First boarding pass I was invited to board. Due to the configuration of the gate it was a long walk to the aircraft.

Once I showed my boarding pass to the flight crew at the door I was welcomed by name and shown to my seat with an immediate offer of help for my bags. (There is no overhead storage above the middle seats).

Once I sat down I was offered a Lime Juice.

Service

Menu cards for both food and drinks were offered before takeoff, so was a Bose headset.

Before take off the flight attendant took my choice of dinner and drinks.

After takeoff the crew “forced” the Don on me together with a good portion of mixed nuts.

About 1 hour into the flight I noticed that they were doing an individual food service by brining trays to people that requested food. The FA approached me about 1.5 hours into the flight and told me that they will bring me my choice whenever I want.

I quickly got my choice (salmon/lamb/cheese) all with a good refill of the Don, followed by a white and a good port.

After Dinner I went to the bar (which was occupied by a couple with the gentlemen definitely having too much alcohol consumed).

When returning to my seat the FA offered to convert the seat to a bed an offer which I took up.

2.5 hours before landing the lights were switched on and the FA offered to bring me my food at any point. I asked for it to be delivered soon and within 5 minutes I had my choices in front of me. And for a change the coffee was good, usually airlines don’t serve good coffee (with the exception of swiss’s espresso machines).

Seat

The seat extends into a flat bed. There is privacy shell around the head area. However I found this seat once in flat bed not to be as comfortable as others. I am a little heavy around the waist line and my bear belly is not small either. I had problems putting my arms anywhere if lying on the back. There is an area near the head privacy shell on the right side which is carved into the middle console but the left arm had nowhere to go because unlike other seats there is no armrest on the aisle side.

I managed to find a position lying on the ride with the arm against the privacy shell and similar lying to the right side but it was not as comfortable as I expected.

Once I put the seat back up a little to get a head cushion effect I found that I could sleep way better because there was space for my arms both on left and right side.

A FA noticed that I had problems and offered to again make the bed, but I told her that I liked the position with the seat not fully flat better. That seemed to confuse her.

Entertainment System

The biggest let down of all, 6 English language films (all years old) is not a lot. I found however that the music channels were quite good. The Live TV did not work when I tried it on several points.

While the screens are nice, the lack of English up to date movies is a bad point.

Overall

The FA’s are really great, I had a lot of chats with them, one remarked that I was always awake when she passed and if everything was alright. I told her that’s the way I sleep and she offered a good night drink if needed.

The FA’s checked constantly if there was something I needed without being over the top. They offered service when needed and reacted fast to requests.

The food was very good for an airline.

Transfer:

Immigration

I was 4th out of the aircraft and walked the clean long way down to health screening where my Swine Flu form was stamped (despite me noting that I had been to both Ireland and the UK, the 2 major hotspots) there was no question asked and the form stamped automatically.

I approached and empty immigration area (pays to be out so fast out of the aircraft) and was directed to an empty desk where a friendly immigration officer started to ask questions until he saw the name of my employer in the visa and asked me for either business card or company id. I showed my company ID and no more questions, a quick stamp and a welcome to India later I passed through.

Bags

When approaching the bag belt I noticed a lot of bags already on carts but not mine. A porter immediately approached me and asked for my bag tags to assist, however he could not find my bags, which confused him because he was adamant that all priority bags already had been delivered.

He immediately got a supervisor involved who informed me, that most likely my bag was placed in the connection container and that it show up in a moment and that he was very sorry for the wait. Bag after Bag showed but not mine and the supervisor maintained contact. After 10 minutes he approached and again apologized promising my bag must be there soon and if not, he would investigate. The bag showed 5 minutes later, a porter grabbed it and handed it to me.

Customs

I than approach customs but because I had to wait for the bag that long (nothing compared to the wait I usually have in Dublin or London) there was a lot of traffic and after all my bags had been x-rayed I went to the direction of the transfer area, handed my customs stub to a confused office who was astonished that I would connect for some reason and checked 3 times if I’m sure I’m connecting.

Transfer Desk:

As soon as I went through the corridor a friendly Kingfisher lady approached me and ask me if I would be Mr. XXX by any chance. When I confirmed, she apologized that she missed me and informed me that she would help me with the transfer.

Another x-ray of my check in bag later I stood in front of 2 transfer desk where an overworked stressed male agent was fighting with his computer and a massive load of customers. The lady advised me to take a seat and not queue as she would sort everything out. I offered to queue as normal but she insisted that she would take care of me.

After a while (because of the computer not working) the agent handed me lounge invitation, marked me off a list and my bag was loaded onto a trolley together with other peoples. The lady advised that she would be bringing me over, but I told her, that I’m quite okay to ride the transfer bus alone and find my way to the lounge in the domestic terminal. She accepted that only after making sure the male agent would ensure I would not get lost. And she also explained which lounge to use.

Once the bus arrived I was marked of a list and took my seat. A short ride around the airport we arrived at one door where the driver let out jet airways customers and proceeded to the Kingfisher gate.

I than followed the signs to the check in area and quickly found the Kingfisher Lounge which is a downstairs area in front of the Clipper Restaurant and Bar.

Lounge:

It’s a very funny lounge with the Clipper Restaurant and Bar taking ½ of the space in one corner and big red couches and a some tables taking the other part.

Food offerings were limited, the soft drinks machine was broken and only dispensed Sprite (warm). Overall an underwhelming experience. No display of flights, but the lounge staff walked through the lounge regular announcing flights.

Last edited by sven60035; Jan 10, 10 at 5:31 am Reason: format problem
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