This is my experience at the Guwahati airport. I met the one of the kindest air host on my flight.
After completing my dream Solo Ride to NorthEast India for more than 25 days, I am finally returning back to my home the next day. In less than 24 hours, I would finally meet my family for the first time in over a month. The flight was scheduled for 7.30 the next morning. Rushing through morning sparse traffic my cab driver makes it to Airport with quite some time left on my hands to relax at the airport. People say airports are boring. Maybe they are - most of the time. But it wasn't supposed to be this time.
I was flying from Guwahati to Patna where I had another connecting flight to Hyderabad and then I would take a train ride home to Gulbarga, Karnataka. The airlines I was flying with, didn't show any leniency to the extra weight I was carrying in my hands and set me back by an extra couple of thousand rupees, which I had no option but to pay for. I told myself I would never travel with this airline ever again, and choose Air India which has a bigger baggage allowance (23kgs AFAIK) I was still at the counter to get back my credit card quickly and get away from the counter before they asked more money for my weight too. Only when the credit card was swiped, they realize that it was a small aircraft that I was flying in and the suitcase for which they charged me is too big to fit in the overhead racks in the aircraft. The aircraft I was flying in was of this size.
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|The aircraft looked like this|
After some deliberation with their superiors, the lady at the counter convinced me that the bag will mostly fit and if not, it will be put in a different place in the aircraft. I waited another hour at the boarding gates. People from different age groups, different ethnicity, who spoke different languages on their phones who passed by me were united by one thought running through their minds. - who comes to an airport wearing such a heavy jacket?
|I was wearing this heavy 3 layered jacket|
While the wait ended shortly, it was time for the truth. I entered the aircraft from the front door, as I was assigned seat 1A -the very first seat. I was greeted by a man in his late 20s or probably early 30s, who wore a pure white shirt, nicely tucked into a pair of black trousers, and covered it up with another layer of a thin white apron for covid reasons. He wore a black mask that actually covered his nose and mouth and wore a black turban on top of his head. He was one of the flight crew - air host. Acknowledging the greeting unconsciously, I entered the aircraft and tried to fit in my so-called suitcase in the overhead carrier, but it wouldn't budge. I tried a couple more angles to fit it in and finally gave up. The host, who I know for sure was a Singh ( I heard the captain announce the crew names ) walked up to me and offered to help by keeping my suitcase along with checked-in bags, but the condition was that I shouldn't have any power banks or batteries in it. But my suitcase was full of gadgets, batteries and power banks. Luckily all it was split into 2 bags, which could actually fit in the overhead cabin independently. I quickly put those 2 bags in the overhead cabin and emptied my suitcase. But we still had to find a space for the suitcase. Since more passengers were coming in, he mentioned that he will attend to me once all of them are boarded. Soon enough the boarding was complete and he called his ground staff to take care of my luggage, which they put along with checked-in baggage. He specially mentioned them to put my bag in a separate place which will be easy to take out and to hand it over to me as soon as I get out of the aircraft rather than me waiting for it at the luggage belt at the arrival.
I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Finding me in a riding jacket, he knew I was a rider. He was keen to know the story and in the ample amount of time I had before the take-off, I tried to brief about my journey. We also spoke about motorcycles and he spoke of his friend who had the same motorcycle as me, Bajaj Dominar, and how the new model of the bike looked like. Soon it was time for take-off and he had to attend to his duty as a host. When the aircraft finally landed in Patna, the ground staff was unable to locate my suitcase. Once all the passengers were deboarded, he got off the aircraft, walked to the other side of the aircraft where my suitcase was kept and handed it over to me. It was not even his job to do all that. But he did it anyway. It is hard to find people who do their job honestly and even more, who go beyond their duty and do things just to make you smile behind your mask, even when they don't know you, nor your name, even when they know you wouldn't return their kindness, and not even tell this story to other people. Kindness is a simple virtue that only the rich possess.
Throughout this entire journey, neither of us took out masks, nor lowered the maks, nor did we even see the other person's face. This is the story of a small aircraft and the big suitcase.
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