This is NOT The Twilight Zone…This is Kathmandu Airport

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Found this on Facebook very recently and I HAD to reproduce it. If nothing else, it’s good for a laugh. Of course, there are details in there that should be cause for worry…but none of these kinds of incidents in Nepal surprise me anymore. Sure the country is pretty much a failed state and very dysfunctional, but what does that say about who I have become?!?! 😀

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“Our flight was scheduled for 3:35 pm. It was delayed, originally to 3:50 and then to 4:50. They finally started boarding the plane at 5 pm.We were taken by bus to the plane (a very short ride). At the plane, they were doing full security check on all the carry on luggage by hand. It was a pitifully slow process that took, maybe, an hour. So it was around 6 pm when everyone was on the plane.

It then took some time for everyone to settle in before the plane pushed back, around 6:20. On push back, the pilot comes on the overhead and announces that we are second for take off and that there are a couple planes to land. It will take about 4 to 5 more minutes for us to take off. No sooner does he announce our imminent departure when he then states: “Air India policy does not allow for takeoffs from Kathmandu after dark. As it is now dark, the flight will not go and everyone will have to deplane.”

They bring the bus out to the plane and the ramp for deplaning. As the deplaning is occurring, after maybe 45 people have gotten off, some locals at the door of the plane start to shout and instruct everyone still on the plane that we are not to deplane and that the plane will take off. They are very loud and raucous and are adamant that the plane needs to go, they have meetings in Dubai, etc. and this is considered an affront, given Air India’s reputation for being high handed [sic].

The airport manager is despatched [sic] to the plane to speak to passengers and explain why we need to disembark. In fact, there are police at the bottom of ramp. The locals continue to speak and people go into the cockpit for some kind of discussions. After about 20 to 25 minutes, and after the first bus has left for the terminal with disembarked passengers, the pilot announces that they now have special permission to take off from Kathmandu at night and, in fact, we will be departing, which we subsequently did around 7:15 pm.

It was a complete shock that: (a) there was the possibility of us not flying and that the crew did nothing to speed things up; and (b) that the apparent people power (or the power of the angered locals, who may have had connections) had to reverse the decision to stay. Of course, not taking off would have been extremely inconvenient to all the passengers as everyone had surrendered their visas and all connecting flights would be missed.

We arrived in Delhi around 8:30 pm, with a little less than 3 hours between our flights. This was going to be a 7 hour layover and it was reduced, after Indian bureaucracy, to a little more than 2 hours.

The situation on the plane was amazing. One last exciting experience we had in Nepal.”


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You want more? According to this article, Kathmandu airport is the third worst in the world! As for the following blog, the title says it all: How to survive arriving into Kathmandu, Nepal for the first time.

What do you think?



Added after the publication of the blog post because of their relevance.

Bizmandu (Dec. 27, 2018). निगम छानबिन समितिको निष्कर्ष : मान्छे बोक्न ल्याएको वाइड बडी कार्गो टाइपको रहेछ. (Committees Report: Bought as Passenger Jets But Turned Out to be Cargo Jets) Wasn’t able to find it reported by any other news outlet though. See article below for details and history surrounding the purchase. [Addded Dec. 28, 2018.]

The Kathmandu Post (July 12, 2018). Here’s everything you need to know about Nepal Airlines’ Airbus deal. [Addded Dec. 28, 2018.]

The Nepali Times (Jan. 25, 2019). Kathmandu Airport is Nepal in a microcosm. “The only aerial gateway of the country leaves a first and last impression of Nepal for visitors, and it is not pleasant.” [Added on Jan. 29, 2019.]

OnlineKhabar (Jan. 31, 2019). दुबई जाँदा विमानस्थलमा घुसको डिमाण्ड ! (When Headed To Dubai Asked for Bribe at Airport). A story of how a photographer, headed to Dubai for a short training program was almost prevented from boarding his flight unless he paid a bribe of Rs. 40K (approx. USD350) and more. [Added Feb. 12, 2019.]

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