Crashing a wedding because my flight got delayed
Ready to travel with me? Come along with me and let’s crash a wedding.
Alright, context setup!
Around November of 2019, I was in my hometown of Kathmandu — had a nice vacation there and it was time to go back to Pune, the city where I worked.
It was the usual, Kathmandu → Delhi → Pune. So, I went to check the flight tickets so that I could get a good deal — an ideal balance between time and price. To my surprise, all of the flights had a 6+ hours layover at Delhi, except one… Air India, who were willing to provide a connecting flight; with this timing:
First flight: 3 pm → 5 pm;
a nice 3-hour layover;
Second flight: 8 pm → 11 pm.
This is the situation where, I can have a late lunch, and reach my flat for a late dinner — perfect! Sure, it was a little bit more expensive, but hey…, time is money, I would definitely pay 2k extra to save 3 hours of waiting.
🤔 But why only Air India? Why aren’t others giving out the same scheme? This is the question that the trip will answer, and somehow crash a wedding along the way. Let’s book the ticket, and go to the airport!
The airport looked completely normal from the outside, but once I entered the gate, I couldn’t help but notice the crowd. There were no automated self-help desks available, so everyone had to queue up and wait until their turn came to get their boarding pass.
Once, I got my boarding pass and completed all the standard procedures, I was in the waiting area near the boarding gate. It was so crowded that I could only see people and the information boards hung up on the walls, and as I turned my head to one, I saw that my flight has been delayed by an hour.
Of course — this is the reason why other companies didn’t offer this same sweet deal — it’s because Kathmandu airport is super crowded in this time slot and probably Delhi airport would also be no different. To top that off, Kathmandu airport only has one runway, and to read a story about a plane crash on that same runway, read this story here.
Either way, I had 3 hours layover at Delhi airport — shouldn’t be a big deal right?
Well, the problem intensified when the flight took off 1 hour 45 mins behind schedule.
We reached Delhi, but we haven’t landed yet…, we are still flying in circles with only 30 mins left until my next flight takes off.
We flew in circles — I could tell, the plane was kept at an angle for quite some time, and we landed after 15 mins.
Just as we landed, in classical India-Nepal fashion, everyone had to stand up and exit immediately — even when none of the plane doors are open. This fiasco took another 5 mins for me to get out of the plane.
And if you hadn’t guessed already, there was a huge crowd at the immigration line, and while I was waiting for my turn, I asked an official if I could talk to an Air India staff, as they could expedite my process to get into the next flight.
Just look at my level of hope, even when physically walking to the next gate is going to take me 30 mins, with 10 mins left I was looking for options. 🤭
Well, obviously by the time I crossed the immigration desk, I looked at the information board again and saw that my flight to Pune had taken off.
*I knew for a fact that when you buy tickets from the same airline they will compensate you if you miss a connecting flight, so I wasn’t that worried.
But still, for the sake of drama, I stormed into the Air India office at the airport with anger and said, “I missed my next flight in your airline because your first flight got delayed!”
*Notice how I mentioned “your airline” so that I could pull out a nice compensation 🤭
They asked me for my flight details, which I provided. They said that I will be getting a 4-star hotel allocation for the night, with free dinner and an early breakfast tomorrow, and they have also booked our next flight tomorrow at 4 am.
All my fake anger converted to happiness at that moment. 🤣
I was already fairly calm before this, but now I had completely switched to lethargy mode, I called up home & my friends in Pune to inform them that I will not arrive in time, and casually went to the airport exit.
To my surprise, 8 more people were in the same situation, and were given the same compensation — all of them were super relaxed. In fact, later on, I got to know that this was the 5th time that one of the passengers had got this compensation and that’s the exact reason why he chooses this itinerary every time — pretty clever. 🤣
I was getting ready to book an uber when the experienced person said that they would provide the cab fees as well. Now, this is called customer service!
So, they got us a huge van to fit 8 of us in — and mid-way we realized that it was all men only.
Then the “standard men talk” started, with politics and how things aren’t going the way we want to but we can’t do anything about it — to ultimately deciding that we all should get a beer together. Men will be men, I guess.
We reached the hotel, and to my surprise, all of us were given private rooms. I thought I would have to share with at least one person. No wonder these government-run airlines aren’t profitable — they don’t care about these kinds of operational costs!
One hotel staff member with a really awesome mustache dropped my suitcase off in my room, and was awkwardly standing out there, smiling at me…, and literally after 30 seconds, I realized that he wanted a tip. 🤣
I had no cash at hand, I was completely dependant on the online payments system, I offered to pay him some cash online, but he was already very disappointed in me, and he walked out.
As promised: all 8 of us met in the hotel, and took a bottle of beer — paid for by Air India, and continued our conversations. Following the beer, we went for dinner and while the dinner was going on, we could see that a marriage party was being hosted on the other side of the hotel.
And that’s when the 2 out of 8 of us decided — we have a lot of spare time left — let’s join the party!
Crashing the wedding!
Probably the part that you’ve been waiting for, and I click baited you into this, so, let’s go!
I just had dinner, I was full and excited to join the party — in fact, we were so excited that we forgot that we hadn’t even changed our outfit since we arrived there, and just straight up entered the party.
So, there we were, greeting everyone we met — with no awareness that we looked like idiots, and we were watching the festivities and enjoying ourselves for a solid 15 mins.
Then, two ladies approached us and asked — who are we and whose side are we from? Then my wedding-crasher mate replied, “We came from that hotel”, pointing to the hotel. 🤣
I started to break out laughing, and one of the ladies got so confused, she froze in position, and couldn’t speak anything. 🤣 The other lady — who was also pretty stunned, said, “umm…, that’s not allowed?”
Note that she didn’t tell us that we’d have to leave, but I told her “all right, we’ll leave in a moment, thanks for the wonderful party”.
Both of us left the party, still laughing ourselves off, and got some sleep for the flight tomorrow.
Delhi to Pune — and the end
Then the staff with the awesome mustache dropped my luggage off again till the gate, but this time — I had managed to scramble and find some tipping money; which he kindly refused… I wonder if he’s still disappointed in me till today. 🤣
Unfortunately, all stories must come to an end, and I got on to the next flight at 4 am and reached Pune safely, I bid goodbye to all the temporary friends that I had made, and went on with my life.
Thank you so much, for reading till the end. Surprisingly, this is a travel story with some minor drama — but with relatively less stress/action. But, if you want to read about my suffering and traveling, here’s a list I’ve compiled for you.