Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Travel from Chennai to Hyderabad on the first flight after lock down

I travelled from Chennai to Hyderabad by the first available public transport after the lock down which does not require any government approval. The following is my journey details, which I am mentioning here, so that, those who are planning to travel (in the coming days) can be prepared.

Flight booking

I booked Indigo flight for the afternoon of 25th May. Late night of 24th May, I received message saying, the flight has been cancelled. I tried to rebook the flight, but, it was giving different errors each time. I tried to cancel the flight and get refund of the money. After undoing the checkin, that worked.  Later I realized that, I should not have done that, if the plan is to rebook the ticket in a week. Because, when we cancel the flight and ask for the credit, Indigo takes a week to credit the amount in your shell. So, within a week, if you have to book, you cannot use that. Also, the credit amount should be used within a year (and probably by the same passenger). So, not a good option, if one does not plan to travel that often. Fortunately, in my case, Indigo customer care helped me to change the flight to 25th May at 8:50 PM.

To Chennai Airport

In Chennai, no public transport was available, no cab/ola/uber available. Autos were very rare. You may need to be lucky to spot one. I started at home at 5 PM, and walked a lot of distance and found one unofficial transport vehicle who dropped me near by airport for Rs.800 for 5 kms. Even then, I had to walk a lot of distance to go the terminal with heavy luggage. During normal times, Ola cab used to come to my house and drop near the terminal for a charge of Rs.150.

In Chennai Airport

In Chennai Airport, they did thermal screening. Everyone had to do web checkin before.
Indigo expected everyone to take printouts of the boarding pass and luggage tags. But, they were not required. They gave me a  new boarding pass (since they were unable to scan my paper boarding pass) and they put their own baggage tags. In the ticket instructions, they said, they don't take extra luggage charges at the airport. My luggage crossed 6 kgs than their limit and they charged Rs.2400 for that, and they took credit card payment.

Flight got delayed and it started at 10.30 PM instead of 8.50 PM.

In Hyderabad Airport. 

Flight landed before 11.30 PM. First time, I saw people in India getting down in the order. Of course, as soon as the flight halted, everyone stood up to take their luggage and started waiting to go first. The flight attendant announced three times to get down in the order of the seat numbers, and people started getting down in the order of their seat numbers.

While coming out of the airport, they did thermal screening. If the temperature is fine, they let go without saying anything. By 12 AM, I was near the cab point and tried to book Ola/Uber and I could not get anything. After some time, I tried to check other cabs. Few cabs operated like share autos, taking three different passengers, and charging each one Rs.700-1000. I could not get anything as the cabs were very less. After some time, there were no cabs at all.

I went back and sat in Airport chairs till 4 AM, when I was asked to vacate the chairs. They said, nobody is supposed sit in the chairs as people would be coming from the arrival flights, and they expect everyone to go without waiting there.

I took free shuttle to the Airport bus station. There, I started waiting along with many other people including those who came in the same shuttle. When I casually asked for a cab, they said, one was available and I took it immediately. They charged Rs.700, which was usual charge. I wondered whether I was lucky to be the first one to ask casually or I was the only person there who was waiting for a cab.

By 5 AM, I reached my final destination. Total time taken was 12 hours (from 5 PM to 5 AM).

From the political angle, it was like, transport was started by Union (Central) Government and not started by state government. You go and figure out what to do. 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. thanks for taking time and writing very usefull

  3. Happy you reached home Satish. The post would definitely help others who are still stranded.

  4. Happy that you have reached safely. Thanks for sharing your experience.