After two rounds of announcements from the cockpit, one in Arabic and the other in Hindi, the English translation finally came on. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to New Delhi, India.” Finally! It had been 31 hours of travel, including 4 flights and 3 countries, and I was exhausted and felt disgusting. Though I consider myself a seasoned traveler, I learned a few new things over the past two days.
One, I do not like Frankfurt International Airport. Though it was decorated very nicely for Christmas, there were several problems with passport control, leaving my entire flight standing in line for over an hour and a half with no hint as to what was going on. It was irritating and it left me with only 30 minutes to find my baggage and check back in for my next flight. The airport wifi did not work, and the staff were not the most friendly.
Two, I love Qatar Airlines. There were stewardesses standing every ten feet or so throughout the plane, all in pristine outfits, with perfect hair and make-up greeting each and every passenger. As soon as you’re seated in your roomy and rather comfortable (this is all relative to economy class air travel remember) seat you are offered candies and a hot towel while the rest of the plane boards. Each seat had it’s own personal screen with about 75 movies and tv shows to choose from. You can also watch live news, play games, listen to music or watch the moving map. The food was excellent, and the planes themselves were immaculate and looked very new. I highly recommend flying with Qatar if given the opportunity.
“The weather in New Delhi is currently 11 degrees Celsius and smoke.” What? I knew I was sleep deprived, but did I just hear the captain say that the weather was “smoke”? Sure enough, as I got off of the plane and walked into Indira Gandhi International Airport I was enveloped in a haze of smoke…in the building! Down in passport control it was a bit clearer. While waiting in line I was impressed with the giant hands, but had no idea what they represented.
As soon as I stepped outside, however, there was more smoke. It looks similar to fog, but it is indeed smoke as evidenced by the constant smell of…burning, mixed with air pollution from the motorized vehicles. Goodbye clean air, hello New Delhi!