This is my third trip to India, I have come to expect the craziness and chaos from the moment I walk out of the airport doors, the beggars, the touts, the pollution, noise, honking horns, heat, humidity and stray cows.
I did not expect to experience chaos before boarding my flight to India. We arrived at the check-in counter (fortunately early!), presented our passports, my visa and our tickets only to be told that I could not board the flight as I did not have a ticket departing India. Despite holding a 6 month multiple entry tourist visa I was told the only was I could board the flight would be to book a departing flight.
We enquire about accessing wi-fi in the airport, Niket goes downstairs to the information booth to obtain the password while I stay near the check-in counter minding the luggage. He returns… the password does not work. We both head downstairs to obtain another password. Finally we are able to access wi-fi, we find the cheapest flight departing Kolkata and start the booking process…the credit card wont work! Eventually one of our credit cards work. The flight is booked.
We return to the check-in counter, I am getting anxious as time is ticking by and I do not like to be late for the international flights. Niket has the flight booking open on his laptop so we present it to the check-in counter, we are told it is not for the airline but Indian Immigration so we will need a printed copy!
We have our flight boarding passes but now it is time to find a printer in the airport. Fortunately Changi Airport is well equipped for travellers so it was not a hassle, $2 a page later my flight booking departing Kolkata is printed.
On arrival in India of course I was never asked to present the departing flight booking, I was not even asked when I was departing India!
Although at the time stressful, in hindsight it was a hilarious welcome to India before I even arrived, and a reminder to always expect the unexpected 🙂