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Rotting away in a Delhi prison cell

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If this is the last you ever hear from me, I’m probably rotting away in a prison somewhere in the ‘picturesque’ outskirts of Delhi.

Why?
Because I want to go to Nepal.

Why would you end up in a prison in Delhi?
Because I change airlines there.

Surely that’s no reason to throw you in prison. Explain?
I fly from Bangkok to Delhi and a couple of hours later I fly from Delhi to Kathmandu. As I change carriers and they don’t have a luggage transfer agreement, I need to go through immigration to pick up my luggage. And I don’t have an Indian visa.

Oops. That doesn’t look good. Why can’t you pickup your luggage at the airplane? Or a transferdesk?
The ways of AirAsia are not to be understood by mere mortals.

Why didn’t you gena visa?
It takes 3 days and I only discovered this after I bought the tickets.

What’s the plan?
I’ll try to make it to Delhi (AirAsia might refuse to take me on board if they notice that I don’t have the visa, but fortunately I already have a boarding pass). Once I’m in Delhi I’ll try to get access to my luggage. Try to send me a card for my birthday, I’d love to get mail in prison.

This is what I thought when waiting at the airport. Despite the help of a friendly Swiss guy, I made the wrong choice. AirAsia spotted the absence of a valid visa and no amount of trying could convince them to let me on board. The drama continued: the only airline that had a reasonable price didn’t do ticketing at the airport and their website didn’t allow for booking tickets at such short notice.

However, AirIndia came to the rescue. They had an early morning flight to Delhi and allowed me to change my Delhi-Kathmandu to later that day to allow for sufficient connection time.

A hotel was quickly found. Cancellation of the original flight from Delhi-India too. With a flight between my least favorite cities (a stopover in Hannover would have made it perfect), this was bound to happen.

Let’s hope for an uneventful flight tomorrow.

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