tutorial: how to watch a movie when you're supposed to be working...

You can do it, it's easy!  Here's how.

(Pre-requisite: a full-day business trip to Mumbai)

Step 1: plan your trip so that all flights (outbound and return) are the "first flight in the morning" kinds.  Mine were a 6am departure outbound and a 6:25am departure on the return.  A 1hr 15 min flight means I'm well in time to be at work by 9am on both days.

An advantage is that delays to first flight in the morning are highly unlikely (except due to fog in Delhi in winter, which is why we chose Mumbai for this tutorial)

(corollary to step 1: this means you have to wake up at 4am or so, but you take those things in your stride)

Step 2: make sure at least one of the flights is Jet Airways.  Bonus points if a Kingfisher flight crashed (no one injured, thankfully) the previous day, blocking half of a usable runway or something, but this is beyond your control.

Step 3: enjoy the movie

Eh what?  I missed a step?  Sure but those are not *your* steps.  Jet will take care of those.  I stole a flight suprintendent's notepad and copied these notes from the back of his book (they were written in invisible ink so I had a bit of trouble, but I'm persistent):

Step 1: most people don't know that the so-called "first flight in the morning to Hyderabad" is not what we in the trade call "AOG" (aircraft on ground).  It comes from Sharjah or Jeddah or Dubai or one of those middle-eastern sounding, why-in-blazes-would-I-ever-want-to-live-there[*] places.  This tricks a lot of people into thinking the flight is safe from delays, especially *in*frequent flyers.

[*] one good reason to live in those places: they don't have any terrorism. Sort of like Indonesia doesn't have any expensive Nike shoe stores maybe?

Step 2: make sure that flight is delayed about 30 minutes.  Also make sure it is parked as far away from the domestic terminal as possible.

Step 3: make sure at no time do you announce a delay more than 10-15 minutes;  20 minutes tops...]

Step 4: as soon as some passengers (already irritable from having to wake up at 4am), start arguments about breakfast coupons due to the delay, announce boarding.  Have them go through the final security guard and approach the bus that will take them to the aircraft.

Step 3.9: err, we forgot -- go back to just before step 4 and make sure there is no bus actually waiting.  The passengers cannot re-enter the building and pick a fight with you now; security will stop them.  This is a useful technique to use when passengers get irritable for silly little things like delays and breakfast, and the lack of any update that goes beyond 20 minutes.

Step 5: eventually find a bus and send the PAX to the aircraft.  Finish all the boarding formalities but don't take off for about 1hr 30 minutes.

Step 6: Blame DGCA/ATC for everything.


Author's note: some of the fault *was* indeed the DGCA/ATC/Mumbai airport, but Jet could have done a lot to mitigate it.  They did *nothing*.  To add insult to injury, they sent out a 7:40 departure flight on time (while we were cooling our heels inside the aircraft till 9:45).

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