Istanbul ✈ New Delhi
Good morning (ish…) from India!
It is 1.30pm and I have just woken up from a six hour sleep in the New Delhi Airport Transit Hotel. I naïvely imagined that, having a transit hotel within the airport, there would be an efficient transfer process in place; I was wrong. It took two hours to transfer and to reach the hotel. There were approximately fifty people working at the transfer desk, none of whom seemed able to accomplish anything.
Ok, so I exaggerate. There were perhaps fifteen or twenty people working at the desk, none of whom seemed able to accomplish anything.
Eventually, I reached the hotel thanks to a very helpful Singapore Airlines employee called Deepak, who escorted me through the security process and through the maze-like route to the hotel itself. The hotel (the Eaton Smart) is actually rather nice; the reviews on Trip Advisor were, as ever, mixed, and many deeply negative, but my room is spotless, quiet and comfortable, and there is free WiFi; all in all, not too bad. The cafè on site also looks impressive, but I was somewhat disappointed that my “Eaton Cooked Breakfast” looked as though it had been tipped straight from an airline meal tray onto a plate. A dry omelette, two miniscule chicken sausages, the smallest potato rösti I’ve ever seen, and a puny grilled tomato. Still, it kept hunger at bay long enough for me to fall asleep.
A couple of tips if you are considering a transfer route through India:
1. If possible, don’t;
2. If you must, ensure you have a good, long transfer window - if I had to make a connection within an hour, I would probably have a nervous breakdown;
3. Be polite and smile, but be persistent. Staff can help you. This morning, I was told that I could take the 7.55am flight instead of the flight I had actually booked, but to take the flight I had booked would require me to wait for several hours to transfer. I told them that I absolutely had to take the later flight, and I absolutely had to get some sleep in the hotel that I had booked. Within fifteen minutes, my boarding pass had arrived and I was en route to the hotel…
Next stop, Singapore!