I saw what I wanted to see, not once, but twice! And I was satiated. But... This went on for about 45min and my twice had increased to 5 times. And that's when I started to get worried. The pilot then made an announcement again,
"The weather has not yet cleared. We will have to head to Calcutta Airport as landing was just not possible in zero visibility."
That's it. One line and all the cells in my brain went haywire. West Bengal was also suffering through Riots at that time.
Now? What? How? Bagdogra? Calcutta? Alternative? Riots? Roadblocks?
A trip means a lot to me. And I couldn't compromise on anything.
Another announcement from the pilot. Me nervously hoping for a good news:
"Due to congestion at Calcutta Airport we will have to head back to Guwahati. Inconvenience is Regretted."
Regretted by whom? Us or them?
We were supposed to meet the leader in Bagdogra, West Bengal, by 2pm. I was in air at 12.45pm flying the opposite way. Bagdogra is just an hour by flight from Guwahati, but 10hours by road. We understood the seriousness of the weather as we were landing in Guwahati. We absolutely couldn't see anything until we touched the runway.
What followed was hours of argument. Arguments with the airline to arrange an alternate flight, refund, transport, stay. However we learned that other flights have already landed in Bagdogra just around our time. But the airline straight up refused to provide any alternate flight the same day. Our group mate's flights were sure delayed but they still landed in Bagdogra. We tried booking another flight by a different airline at 3pm, which obviously was sold out with no luck.
Now? What? How? Bagdogra? Guwahati? Alternative? Riots? Roadblocks?
The aim was not just to get to Bagdogra. What worried me was, getting to Phuentsholing. It was a different country after all, that we knew nothing about. And borders did have a reputation of being thoroughly strict, atleast in my head. Especially now that we might be reaching there at midnight. Would they even allow us to enter? Isn't there a closing time. I clearly had not done enough research to deal with this.
Our airline gave us two options.
1. An alternate flight to Calcutta immediately. A stay would be arranged for us there. And an early morning next day flight to Bagdogra. Which means arranging transport to Phuentsholing on our own, on the spot.
2. A full refund. Which means we would be stuck in Guwahati with no bookings for stay or transport.
Choice was still quite simple. I had to meet the group today itself. We thought, 'What if we ditch Bagdogra and straight away head to Phuentsholing?' This would save us a lot of time as Phuentsholing from Guwahati was 8hrs and via Bagdogra would be 14hrs. We opted for refund and walked straight outta the airport.