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Foreigner- ()     02/11/2008 22:34 PM

Let me share mine in Mumbai, although it was a couple of years ago.
I was born in India but have a foreign passport. When you are leaving the country they have an officer interview you. I am not sure why, but it is quite unusual, kind of like an exit interview I guess. I have not seen that anywhere else.

Anyway the guy asked all sorts of detailed questions, and then finally asked me how much Rupees cash I have with me. I told him I'm not exactly sure, but about 1000Rs(about 20 dollars at that time). He told me the limit was 800Rs for foreigners leaving India and told me it was illegal to take Indian Rupees out of the country and asked me to take out my wallet and count it, when I counted it, it turned out I had 1400 Rs in my wallet. Then he became quite irate and condescending and asked me what I do for a living, I told him I am a doctor, then he went on insulting me, asking whether I would say that a patients temperature was 104 if it was 101! I told him that is not relevant here. He got angrier and told me he will have to confiscate that money. I told him 1400 Rs is not that much money and I could spend it in the departure lounge before I left. He was livid. He asked me to hand over the Indian currency. I was not quite sure what to do, but I sure as hell knew I did not want this scumbag to have that money. So I turned around and gave the balance above 800Rs to another passenger in line next to me and said take it as a gift from a stranger. That pushed him over the edge, he started yelling in Hindi. I told him I do not speak Hindi, that seemed to upset him even more. By this time other passengers were aware of what was going on as well and were objecting as well. He was fuming and walked away from his desk yelling and shouting in Hindi and his supervisor came to take over. He asked what the issue was and I explained it to him. He waved me by and moved on to the next passenger.

Later that passenger, came up to me in the departure lounge and returned the money I gave her. We started chatting, and I asked her to join me in the restaurant as our flight was 3 hrs away so we went to the restaurant and spent it all in the departure lounge on a meal and a couple of drinks and the tip.

They need to improve things and get rid of these morons in those airports. Perhaps they need to pay them realistic salaries and then make them more accountable. They don't realize it and perhaps care even less, but they represent India's image and brand every day in the eyes of visitors and travellers alike.

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Dude- ()     02/11/2008 22:30 PM

I share the same feelings but I think you are still the lucky one since I paid those TV money and went through a horrific experience travelling through Heathrow Airport. I've posted my experience on IV site but let me put that again for the benefits of other readers.

I had to travel through UK because I trapped into buying a cheaper ticket through Air India without realizing that UK does not recongize Advanced Parole and you have to purchage Transit Visa, even if your plan is just going to land there and you may not come out of the plane. Anyways I did that mistake and paid for my DATV fees. That was only the start of my sufferings. After going through all the security checks on JFK airport, we were surprised when all the passengers from Air India were asked to de-board the plane and go through the security checks again. There were more than 150 passengs in a plane and you can imagine all going though a security check again. On top of that, we were allowed only 1hr 40 mins to complete the security process. With more than 150 people, it almost took our entire time in the security check with no time to go for rest room, coffer or just sit and relax a bit. For young ones it was still ok to stand in a queue for such a long but for all the old people flying it was just a nightmare if you have not asked for the wheel chair.

It does not end here. Even though you are allowed a cabin baggage and a person item like purse, camera etc. Moment we de-boarded the plane at heathrow, a bitch-looking lady asked us to stuff all our personal items in our cabin baggage while we were going through the security checks. I asked her why she is asking us to do that since we need to take out our personal item again once we pass the security and there was seriously no point in that. Her words were "SHUT UP AND END OF DISCUSSION". I told her that we are not flying free and this is the last time I'm flying through your country. I hope not everyone in UK is like this bitch. I also talked to Air India official and I was told that due to all these reasons Air India will be flying directly to Delhi from Feb onwards.

We had to go through the same experience again when we came back from India and I took an oath of not flying through UK again.

I'm not sure why Indian diplomats or Air India official has done nothing about it. I do not understand the reason for their weaknesses. I guess time is not far when London official will realize their mistake when every airlines will start flying directly to Asia.

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Desi- ()     02/11/2008 22:06 PM

Talking about travel experience, here is one I had at the CDG Airport in Paris..

I was flying back this Dec 31st, 2007 from Dubai and had a 5 hour layover at CDG. I had to go to a different terminal from the one I landed in... and that meant going through security check again at the new terminal.

I placed by carry on backpack on the x ray machine and I was waiting for my bag to at least start moving before I walked through the metal detector. While the ICTS (pvt company) security agent on the othe side signalled me to walk through, i said (in English) that I would like to wait till the bags get into the X-ray machine..

This did not sit well with this ICTS Agent.. He walked past the metal detector and proceeded to shove and push me past the metal detector.. (I forgot to mention that I had knee surgery ~ 20 days back to fix an ACL injury)

I could not believe that I was shoved past a metal detector.. I said to the ICTS agent that he had no right to shove me and I asked to speak to his supervisor.. This made this so called agent more angry and he started to threaten me repeatening "you want to report me"!! His immediate supervisor said that since this was a security issue nothing could be done.. Not willing to give up, I asked to speak the head agent there.. He was a bit more helpful.. he gave me a website and a mailing address where I can write to..(with the details of which gate and what time I experienced this)..

I kept repeating to every supervisor that I did the right thing and their agent did the wrong thing by shoving me..

I was not satisfied with just some addresses and website for the terrible way I was treated. After a while of sitting at the terminal, I went back and I asked that I wanted to file a Police case against the agent. Initially, the agents said once you are in the terminal, you cannot get out.. I spoke to the head agent again who let me get out and gave me directions to the Police booth in the airport.

At the police station, I stood around with Visa violaters for a while.. Eventually, they were able to find someone who spoke halting English.. Since I was not physically hurt, I could not file a Police case against the agent. What I was able to file was something like an incident report (but unfortunately no tracking #)

This was an interesting first hand experience in overt racism.. being treated like crap because the agent thought he could get away with doing that to a South Asian looking person..

I have since written to
- ICTS France, Roissy Pole le Dome, 1 rue de la haye, 95000 Roussy CDG Paris, France

- Air France

- e-mailed ADPWEB [[email protected]]

- Nicholas Sarkozy

and a few others..

I am not going to let this ICTS Agent treat people like crap.. After he saw that I went out to put a police case, he came to talk to me at the terminal saying that I can shove him if I want and a lot of other excuses.. I kept repeating my mantra " I did the right thing. You did the wrong thing. You cannot force me to do the wrong thing.."

I will keep writing to all the parties until I hear back..

and Air France, even though I liked your service at the airplane, I am not flying through CDG ever again..

Lets vote with our feet.. Lets vote with our money.. Lets avoid airports that don't treat all passengers equally..

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PARVIN TARAFDAR- ()     10/30/2007 04:56 AM

I had bitter experience with Australian Customs at Melbourne Airport.I went to visit my son in Melbourne australia even after giving delcalration some Indian sealed packet of Garam masla/Dhansak masala/ spices that I was carrying was taken out by customs and thrown in quartine bin saying it had cotain of clove which is prohibited.no where in theri rules and regulation it was mentioned, I could not cook Parsi dish dhansak which my son likes the most and not tasted for years(4-5years).
2.while returning from Melbourne on 6th 0015hours flight MH128 all my 2 Perfume 200ml bottles, shower gel gift box and shampoos, conditioners were taken away, I requested them to send by cargo they refused to do saying small items can not be send in transit flights so nor they refund me the amount of $200-300,that I spent my hard earned money on that/ I got gift from my son. This is very heart broken for a mother for an common men to have such great loss.
 This is not done.
I had first time travel to Australia and have this bitter heart broken experience.
On my Malaysian Airlines tickets no.2321:477:696:6 place of Issue Pune India. It is clearly mentioned that “Medicine and toiletries in limited quantities which are necessary or appropriate for the passenger during journey such as hairspray, perfume bottles, and medicines containing alcohol may be carried. Many of these listed articles can be carried as air cargo provided they are packed in accordance with cargo regulation.
When these items are prohibited to take in flight how come These Flight/Malaysian airlines etc sell perfumes, cigarettes, huge Alcohol bottles at airport Duty free shop people carry with them because it is sealed by duty free shop that do not mean it do not have prohibited items.

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H.N.Ramakrishna- ()     05/05/2007 13:14 PM

I had requested wheelchair asistance well in advance and the ailrines had repetedly assured me of such assitance. also when I was chenkinin my baggage I was informed that I had 2 kg in bag but was fine across all the baggage. I volunteered to uload and before I could so the baggege was loaded and was forced to pay an excessive amount $100. the airlines assured that thye would look into this and revert. Nonthing so far and curiosly there is no forum for the customer to compain to lufthansa which prides itself as a very efficent airline. Amazing at this selcongratulation. However I now perusde my extensive cirle of freinds and relations to move to other airlines of which there is no dearth
Ramakrishna H.N.

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Vikas- ()     01/31/2007 15:50 PM

This is a very worst service my mother face while travelling by lufthansa. We preponed the ticket by calling Lufthansa Airlines and they charged to my Credit Card also. I also booked a Special Assistance for her and customer service confirmed me. I check 3-4 times with lufthansa. I dropeed my moher at IAD, (via United Airlines.) They handover Boarding passes upto Frankfurt and inform that there is some problem in system and we cant give you frankfurt to delhi Boardingpass. You will get from Frankfurt without any problem.
At Franfurt Airport, they told to my mother that your ticket payment is still pending and you can not board. You need to make a payment otherwise stay at Airport or if you have german Visa you can go out. She got full of stress and also she dont know English.
Thanks to other passengers who shout on Lufthansa team for misbehaving and other things. Thank god she was carrying a Credit card, I arrange in her name. She paid the amount and purchased a ticket. This thing happened on return journey. and ticket was purchased from Lufthansa websites and payment charged to credit card 3 months before. Once my mother reached to delhi she explain me everything and I called Lufthansa and shout on them then customer service figure out after 45 minutes talk that Delhi office forget to transmit payment informations and they refund payment made by my mother.
But imagine how much stress they provide to my mother and now she refused to travel alone in future. is there we can file a complaint and get compensations.

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Vince Parmigiani- ()     01/23/2007 00:06 AM

I travel the world extensively and as an Australian Traveller and Business Person I never have any problems until going through US airports and in particular MIA. That airport is a shocker!
Last week I had to return home from a brief stay in Cancun and had to catch a connecting flight in MIA to go to LAX and then home to SYD.
Never again!
At the immigration counter my partner and I were screamed at as we were standing with our feet on the line rather than behind it (can you believe it!?) then treated as common criminals by the immigration thug! (What a pig!)
To top it all off we then had to pickup our entire luggage from a carousel and check it in again through customs so that it could be loaded on the next aircraft. There were people everywhere trying to push their luggage through this huge crowd of people all doing the same thing.
We made our flight with no time to spare but our luggage did not.
Most of other airports I have been to in the USA have been fair but not great with the exception of the thugs at the immigration counters which seem to be pretty much the same everywhere.
I travel a lot on business and know may others that do. I will certainly inform them of my dissatisfaction at the way I am treated at US airports. In future I will make every effort to avoid these airport and destinations and will take my money and business elsewhere.

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vijay- ()     12/07/2006 07:27 AM

   Please guide me which is the cheapest airline going from mumbai to detroit with lowest fares and less stops,


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Rajiv- ()     11/29/2006 13:27 PM

Excellent flight. Did'nt have to go through the trouble of changing planes in Europe. Slept through most of the flight and arrived at 10 pm in Mumbai. Id only fly direct even if I have to pay $500 more next time.

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Emeka- ()     09/13/2006 11:57 AM

On 08/11/06, i had reservations to fly from London, Heathrow (LH4727) to Frankfurt, and onward (LO364) to Poznan. Now spite the terrorist scare, all flight were grounded for that particular day till further notice. My journey began initially from IAD (Washington Dulles International Airport) via Virgin Atlantic (VS22) on 08/10/06, with all my luggage belongings checked in with exception of my laptop and backpack. My VS22 flight arrived in terminal 3 with my luggages checked all the way thru to my final destination as the luggage tag enclosed indicated (routine). As I arrived at Lhr I proceeded to terminal 2 where pick up my boarding card for my next flight(LH4727) set to depart around noon to Frankfurt, Germany and lastly( LO364) to Poznan Poland.

Unfortunately, to my amazement I now learnt not only from the chaotic scene and sound of passengers scattered throughout the Lufthansa lobby, that my flight was canceled till further notice. I was urged by one of the personnel to go to the ticketing counter and rebook my flight for the next available time. After standing in line for several hours, I lost hope of gracing the ticket desk, but I did while in motion happen to call and reconfirm my flight for the next earliest departure. I was told by the representative on the phone that I’m scheduled to depart at 1715 that evening but thru Munich instead. I now took it upon me while awaiting my flight to go back to Virgin Atlantic and find out the whereabouts of my luggage since my flight was canceled. After getting the runaround, I discovered that my luggage was within Lufthansa’s grasp and I need to the proper documents to claim it. I did however succeed at so doing; moreover as I now waited till 1715 only to hear the announcement over air that no flights would be departing that day. So I rescheduled only to be put on standby for earlier flights but confirmed for the same time flight as of previous. Mind that hotel accommodations were never offered, spite all that were happening.

On 8/12/06, I arrived back at Lhr at 515am with hope that I’d be able to fly out on the first available flight. However, I wasn’t the only one hoping. After standing in line for about 4 hours I arrived at the ticketing counter with my necessity of documents. The agent told me that he’s unable to offer me boarding, claiming that he didn’t see my reservation in his system, but eventually with some figure heads lurking by I was able to locate my existing reservation. Well, I checked in my luggage since we weren’t allowed to take nothing aboard other than a wallet and passport in a transparent bag. I was ordered to take out my laptop and check it in separately. Routinely it was tagged, checked in as I wasn’t charged excess baggage spite the weight differentiation due to the ongoing terrorist mayhem.

Moreover, after arriving in Germany I was in baggage claims declaring my belongings and I found one of my checked in luggage opened upon arrival on the baggage belt. I discovered my watch missing and my keys to my apartment missing from its inserted pocket space within, and other small toiletries open, missing and wasted. My laptop baggage didn’t accompany the other luggages checked in. I now proceeded to the lost and found office to make a claim hoping that it would surface.

After that was done, I ventured upstairs to the departure desk to recheck in again. I explained to the representative (Ms. Cambata) what was going on, and pointed to her that there might be a disparity in the weight of my luggage’s since my initial transatlantic flight was canceled. I also stressed that there was some annotations made under my file from the London leg (office). Despite, my plea Ms. Cambata rudely and uncooperatively said, “Whatever dealings occurring in London have nothing to do with Germany,” and that she can only oblige to companies policy. I now asked, to speak to a station manager because she was being unprofessional in her tone and sly racial remarks which I’m not enthused to repeat at this time because it beside the point (Doesn’t represent your company in any way). After all was said and not done, I was charged 80euros (102USD), which I wasn’t supposed to be charged for in the first place. I’m kindly requesting my refund (enclosed is the original receipt of the charge). I now paid and proceeded to my gate for boarding.

Finally, as I arrived in Poznan I cleared customs and went to baggage claims to make another claim of whom to address my other loss and damaged claims to. On the evening of 08/12/06 I received a call from one of your offices, stating to expect my luggage in Poznan the evening of 08/13/06. Unfortunately, since then and with sporadic visits and routine calls to UK, Germany and Poland I’m yet to find my luggage or a resolution to the matter. I’m also requesting some form of compensation for my luggage being in my absence for over 24 hours, and also my items lost/Stolen from my checked in luggage (i.e. Casio Ceptor Watch, Apartment keys, Memory Stick, etc.).

I must point out that I’m a 3rd year Medical Student and my laptop is very vital to me with its history of resourceful contents within its memory especially as I prepare for my upcoming USMLE board exams. I’m taking the exam at the end of September so I need full compensation to replace it along with its other missing articles (i.e. Motorola phone, laptop bag, Flash Drive, etc.).

Once again, thank you for your time, service and patronage as I look forward to your anticipating response/action.

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