Checking in – just in time

I had an interesting experience getting to India. Quite stressful.

I booked a flight with Virgin Atlantic. I did not realise it was going to be a code-share until I got the ticket… it was going to be operated by Jet Airways. Which is OK, because I like Jet too… but a day before the flight I logged into the Virgin website to check-in. Nothing worked. I thought maybe I need to go to the Jet website and check-in over there. The reference number didn’t work.

So I couldn’t check-in online with Virgin because it was a code-share flight, and the Virgin reference number did not work on the Jet Airways website. So I called up Virgin and asked them what to do. They said, don’t worry, just come to the airport and check-in at the Virgin desk.

I was thinking it’s strange to come to Virgin if I know I am on a Jet Airways plane, but the Virgin customer service guy had heard the exact problem and he sounded like he knew what he was talking about.

So off I went to Virgin at Terminal 3 in Heathrow.

Virgin automated check-in at the airport did not work. They don’t fly to Mumbai. I asked the staff what was wrong. They told me that I needed to go to see Jet Airways… I was a bit exasperated at the conflicting advice, but I didn’t argue. I just asked where to go for Jet, they said around the corner, further along T3.

So I went looking, only to find that Jet Airways is in T4.

I went to the train transfer. 15 minutes to the next train. So I went to the Underground and went back to Hatton Cross, then back into the airport again so I would be at T4.

I got to the check-in counter and they were about to close. I had 2 minutes left before check-in for my flight was closing. When I asked to be in an aisle seat the girl laughed… she said the only available seat was wedged in against the window with two people blocking me. I explained my sob story of how difficult this whole procedure had been and by that time the check-in had closed and she could see an aisle seat with a no-show… the guy had not arrived at the airport so the seat was free.

Thankfully I got that seat… but how do I check-in on the way home now?


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