So here I am. Sitting in the erstwhile busiest airport in the world - O'Hare at Chicago - just landed from the busiest international airport, Heathrow at London and waiting for the American Airlines flight to take me to the busiest cargo airport, Memphis. Seems like I am stuck to being busy now..
Long wait and nothing to do, so thought will take out my laptop and write about the travel experience at least. After all, my first international travel. And until now, loving every moment of it!!
The route I took was interesting. Didn't get tickets from Bangalore to Chicago directly, so had to take detour to Delhi and then land here. Travelled by Kingfisher Airlines to Delhi. From there, took British Airways to London and a change of flight to Chicago. It would have been technically cool if I had travelled by Indian (Indian Airlines' new avatar) between Bangalore-Delhi. That would have made my travel like this - Indian (Airlines) in India, British (Airways) in London and American (Airlines) in Chicago :-D Cool, eh?
Oh, but haven't told the best part yet - the travel between Delhi and London on a British Airways 747 Boeing! My flight ticket was upgraded from the normal World Traveller to the Club World business class ticket - and I got like these awesomely comfortable cabin to sit in (Explore the Club World cabin) - there were only about 20-30 seats in the cabin with each seat separate from each other facing each other and separated by a divider. Got the best of the wine and dine available on British Airways and a beautiful view. And some really beautiful girls as well. Too bad that I didn't pack the camera batteries in my cabin baggage. The views - especially the snow capped mountains on the Pakistan-Afghan border were a sight to watch. I am now a fan of British Airways for the preferential treatment they offered me.
Actually, when they announced my name over the PA system at Delhi, I was apprehensive for sometime wondering why might they be calling out my name. Different questions started forming in my head - excess baggage? taking illegal substances or something? I approached the helpdesk with trepidation and asked them about it - they just said that they are gonna change my seat numbers. They didn't even gimme a clue that it might an upgrade. Was a pleasant surprise when I finally got to my seat :-)
Rest of the flights were normal. Tried to get enough sleep and keep my body in track with the changing time zones. The food was really great and I filled myself every time something was offered. The wines were good as well.
Chicago is beautiful to look at from the air. Seemed like some graphics professor has drawn it using all available instruments with meticulous planning. Also, got to see snow at Chicago. The whole place was looking like white dust all over - again felt foolish at not getting my camera batteries - all Kingfisher's fault coz they said batteries would not be allowed in cabin baggage. But BA was cool about it.
Wanted to go out and play in the snow and see how it felt like. But didn't want to take a chance by getting lost at the airport :-)
At Chicago, got my I-94 for 3 years. Only question he asked was about my designation which he had to write on the form. Got selected for extra security check at O'Hare. But luckily, no strip searching :-))
Hopefully, Memphis also will be fun for the time I shall be here. The apartment I am gonna be staying has already been booked by the office and they have a cool website as well - www.bailey-creek.com. Did a Google Earth search on it and found that its just half a mile away from the office I'll be working in.
Almost time for boarding the flight - will update more later. Hopefully, all my stuff in the checkin baggage are still intact as I had packed - after all the throwing and lugging it might have encountered in the holds of different airplanes!