Traveling to India

When we left our house to begin our 25+ hours of travel to Delhi, I didn’t imagine that we would run into trouble before we left the United States.

Waiting for the train.

Waiting for the train.

We got to the airport with plenty of time which we needed because United needed to look over our passports and Visa. Honestly, I don’t think the United Representative knew what to look for when she checked our e-Visa paperwork but whatever.  We grabbed a coffee using the Starbucks gift card I found on a run (score!) and waited for our flight to San Francisco.

IMG_7776 IMG_7777We boarded our flight and the captain came on almost immediately to let us know that SFO wasn’t allowing planes to land due to weather conditions and that our anticipated arrival time was now one hour later. We had a 50 minute layover between planes so this news meant that we wouldn’t make our connection. Not good.

Andy alerted the flight attendant to this and was told to ‘use his smart phone to try to reschedule our next flight.’ Andy said that we had left our phones at home so the flight attendant told him to call the airline. Once again – left our phones at home.  She then told us that all flights would be delayed so our flight wouldn’t leave without us.

As soon as the flight landed we ran to our gate only to find the jetway door closed and no attendant there to help us. Needless to say, Andy and I were very unhappy that the plane hadn’t left but we couldn’t board and couldn’t find anyone to help us.

We went to the customer service desk for United and eventually the attendant was able to book us on Turkish Airlines flying out of SFO two + hours later. We would have to leave the terminal, check in with Turkish Airlines and go back through security. We both tried very hard to not be upset that we had to spend time going through regular security when we both had TSA Pre-check but Turkish Airlines doesn’t participate in that program.

We grabbed some food in the airport only to see that there had been a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg,Oregon. It was a somber meal.

IMG_7780We boarded Turkish Airlines for our 13 hour flight to Istanbul (originally we were flying through Frankfurt for a much shorter flight).

The guy sitting next to me ate his weight in bread.

The guy sitting next to me ate his weight in bread.

Istanbul first appears quite small but is actually quite large and quite busy. All races, religions, etc. are represented in this hub.

After the 13+ hour flight, I don't know what I am pointing at.

After the 13+ hour flight, I don’t know what I am pointing at.

We found beer.

We found beer.

IMG_7787

The sweets in this airport looked amazing.

IMG_7789 IMG_7790

Turkish Airlines is a relatively new airline and I cannot recommend them enough. The inflight entertainment is amazing, the flight attendants provide fantastic service and the food is the best airline food I’ve ever had. Plus they give you all the alcohol for free and as much as you want.

A fantastic meal!

A fantastic meal!

After feeling very let down by United Airlines, I definitely felt like Turkish Airlines picked up the slack and then some. I will be flying that airline again.

Our flight from Istanbul to Delhi was about 6 hours and by the time we landed, it was 4:20am India Standard Time  which was 3:50pm Pacific Standard Time. We had been traveling for over 30 hours and were absolutely exhausted.

Dehli is a huge city which was evident as we started seeing glimpses of it about an hour before we landed. Approximately 16.6 million people live in the area. The West Coast of the United States (California, Oregon and Washington) is about 47.8 million to give you some scale. The population of Portland surrounding area is 2.3 million people.

First glimpse of Delhi from the plane.

First glimpse of Delhi from the plane.

Indira Gandhi International Airport

Indira Gandhi International Airport

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