All packed, taxi waiting, and we were off promptly at 7am. Mr L had been told by our homestay (who organised the taxi) that we needed to allow 90 minutes to get to Cochin International Airport, but we were here in 50 minutes, so nice and early. There was remarkably little traffic and also possibly something to do with the fact that our driver ignored red lights and used right hand turning lanes as straight ahead lanes much to my consternation as well as that of the traffic who actually wanted to turn right. A considerable hooting of horns ensued!!
Cochin International Airport was an extraordinary experience. You couldn’t even get into departures without showing your boarding card/ticket and passport. Bag drop was quick and easy, but immigration was painfully slow with lots of stamping of passport, boarding card and other random bits of paper. Then came security screening…..all stuff out and in trays for the scanner and then I stand in the separate ladies queue for body scan…..when I get to front I am told they need my boarding card (why one might ask as I wouldn’t have got this far without it!). Told them it was in my bag which had already been scanned. I was told to get it back. I had to get the scanner man to give it back to me, boarding card retrieved, and then bag had to go through the scanner again…..boarding card stamped again by the body scanner woman and finally I was out airside where my blue rucksack was then pulled out and I was told to remove all food items…..Kerala banana chips removed and scanner man confirmed they were ok to keep!
Coffee and muffin for breakfast in the departure lounge and multiple failed attempts to connect to airport wifi as kept telling us the connection code that CIAL had sent us was incorrect……we gave up! Mr L did buy himself a lovely pair of soft black leather shoes, an Indian brand called Doc & Mark, which will complete his Indian wedding outfit and be good summer shoes thereafter. The equivalent in the U.K. would have been at least twice the price. I bought a pair of socks to keep my feet warm when we get back to U.K. as I forgot to pack socks….. We then managed to sit and wait at the wrong gate, 6 instead of 3……it was Mr L who observed the distinct lack of other fellow European travellers which made us check our boarding passes. A discrete exit and off to the correct gate. Boarding was actually very well controlled with no rush or pushing, however our boarding passes were again checked by at least 6 more separate people! No chance of getting on the wrong flight.
Now in Doha awaiting our Qatar flight back to Heathrow. Excellent flight thus far, and Doha is a brilliant transfer hub. Certainly my hub of choice for all future flights. Mr L has been a bit of a grumpy old man due to the fact the well spoken English couple sitting in front of us flung their seats back to almost horizontal immediately after take off so essentially our noses were against our TV screens which does make film watching a bit of a challenge; and then when we arrived in Doha our fellow Indian passengers used the same technique as their driving in their attempts to be first off the plane. Coffee and cake in the transfer area of Doha and all is well with the world again and Mr L a bit more relaxed.
Our plane awaits us, next stop London….bye x