OAT India with Bhutan pre trip

Old Mar 25th, 2009, 06:57 AM
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OAT India with Bhutan pre trip

I have just found out that there are 3 persons signed up for the pre trip to Bhutan with OAT's Nepal and India tour.

As mentioned several times in Fodors forum, OAT is not flexible when it comes deviating from their packaged schedule. When I made the reservation the attendant said I could arrive one day earlier to rest. Well, now they say that the air they obtained cannot be changed!

I am hoping that through serendipity, the other two folks who are signed up for the Bhutan extension will reply. Arriving in Delhi at 9:40 pm and departing the next morning at 7:00 am for Paro is not exactly the routine for climbing Tiger's Nest the following day.

What is the best remedy for jetlag, altitude and old age?

Thanks, any thoughts?
Susanita25 is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2009, 01:09 PM
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That sounds like OAT... Are they putting you in a hotel for the short night in Delhi? The reports on the airport here aren't very encouraging, lol! http://www.sleepinginairports.net/asia/delhi.htm
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Old Mar 25th, 2009, 02:18 PM
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Very funny thursdaysd. I trust that OAT will come through for me!!! They did deliver on my trip to Belgium and the Netherlands.

Does anybody know somebody to contact in OAT? Please, just a name of a mover and shaker.

Thanks
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Old Mar 25th, 2009, 07:53 PM
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My main jet lag advice is to avoid the temptation to nap which will overcome you at about 4-5 pm on the first few afternoons. Doing this will play havoc with the night-time sleeping patterns you are trying to establish in the new time zone. Take a walk, a shower, go to a gym, have a coffee, do whatever you need to do to stay awake. But then make sure you get to bed early on your first day in Paro, so if anything, skip any big dinner or after dinner event in Paro. You will probably be up early with jet lag, which is one advantage for the walk, as you need to start early.

The walk to Tiger’s Nest, while long, is not, IMO, really overly challenging for someone in generally good health. If you aren’t used to walking long distances or walking uphill (there are some rocky parts) you will certainly get winded at points, but you won’t be using crampons or be attached to ropes or anything. You are going from something like 8,000 feet to about 10,000 feet or just over that, and most people, speaking very generally, do not start to have any altitude issues until at least the 10,000 foot mark, so it is unlikely that altitude will play any role in the walk. (The railway station at the top of the Jungfrau in Switzerland is just over 11,000 feet and as I know you have been there, and assuming you had no altitude issues there, you should be fine on the walk.) People of all ages and abilities do the walk. You also have the option to ride a pony for at least part of the way up if you want to take that. I would not be overly stressed about this walk. The views will make you forget how long it is taking as well.

Skip events in Paro on the first day if you want or are concerned about being tired for the walk.

For Delhi, find out what hotel you will be staying at. You need to be at an airport hotel, not a downtown Delhi hotel, as you don’t want to spend a lot of time going back and forth to the airport in the evening or the morning. As I have mentioned in your other posts, you do not need an OAT rep to meet you if they are not available, it is quite easy and perfectly safe to use a hotel car or pre-paid taxi to get to your hotel. Pre-paid taxi desks will be on your right as your come out of baggage claim/Customs at Delhi airport, they will call out to you if you don’t see them. Money changers are there as well, most pre-paid taxis also take credit cards. Actually IMO using a hotel car is easier, as you can charge it to the hotel, and they will help with bags. They meet you just past the pre-paid taxi desks, just outside the main doors, your name will be on a sign. With a 9:30 pm arrival, with a bit of luck and depending on what hotel you are at, you may be at your hotel by 11 pm.

The advantage of the 7 am departure is that you will not encounter Delhi rush hour traffic, the airport will be relatively quiet for check-in and security (both of which can be chaotic in India), and your flight should depart on time as it will be one of the first take offs of the day. I always prefer early morning departures to ones later in the day for those reasons. I would say arriving at 5:30 am for the flight is fine, you could even push it a bit further and arrive later, but 5:30 is fine. (The 3 hour rule for international flights only applies in the US) If you can tell me what hotel you will be at, I can give some advice on time distance from the airport, etc.
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Old Mar 26th, 2009, 07:42 AM
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Thank you so much Cicerone for putting things into perspective! True, the Jungfrau was no problem at all. I am also glad you put the early flight as an advantage. There is a silver lining!!!.

Whatever happens, I am prepared. Forewarned is forearmed. Also "soldado avisado no pierde la guerra". (A warned soldier does not lose a war) Thanks.
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 08:31 AM
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We are scheduled to do the OAT trip to India and pretrip to Bhutan in October of this year. Are you flying Air India? When are you leaving? We arrive the same time in Dehli as you do. However, we have not received any information about departing for Paro. We will probably get that closer to our departure date. OAT still shows that we would have a day layover in Dehli to sightsee. I emailed OAT for an explanation, but not sure I'll hear from them.
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Old Apr 12th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Stainless,

I am flying Jet Airways Private Line (??) and leaving in September. I am taking the new Nepal and India trip with Bhutan pre-extension.

I know better than to try more than one country in one trip, but, with the economic uncertainty and advancing age (unpreventable!), I decided to go for all of it. I am not taking the post trip extension to Kochin. I do know (sometimes) to do things in moderation.

Lots of good advice in many sites. Are you doing Nepal also?
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Old Apr 13th, 2009, 09:53 AM
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Susanita,

We leave at the end of October and come back the middle of November. We waited until Hurrican season is almost over. Last year when Ike hit Houston, we left for Moscow the day we were supposed to evacuate to safer grounds. We debated to go or not, but decided to go and take our chances. Fortunately, we only lost a few shingles and some of the fence. We had updates from friends via the internet all through Russia.

We are on the pre-trip to Bhutan and are NOT taking the post trip extension. My wife can't stay away from work that long. Besides, I have a feeling we will be ready to come home to the good old USA by then. We decided to do Bhutan since they limit the number of tourists and as long as we were that close, we decided to do it. A couple we are friends with are goint with us. The only part of Nepal we will see is when we depart Paro for Dehli, we land at Katmandu for a stop. Probably won't even get off the plane.

We got our air through OAT and they had switched from BA to Air India. This did away with the stop in London. We have AI nonstop from NY to Dehli and change for a flight to Calcutta. My friend called OAT and confirmed that we do have one day in Calcutta to see the sights before going on to Paro.

The flight in to Paro should be interesting. If you want to see what it is like, go to Youtube and search for "flight to Paro" or Bhutan and you will get a view from the cockpit as Druk flies in to Paro. The pilots must be good. Haven't heard of any accidents or such coming from Bhutan.

Hope you have a great time on your trip.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 03:22 PM
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PLEASE - contact OATs and insist on speaking to a supervisor. Keep calling - squeaky wheels get oil! For the first time in a long time, the traveler is in the driver's seat. Business is so bad in the tourist industry. They want more business, not less. We have been told NO before but persistence has always gotten what we want. We are very pleased with Grand Circle and OATs and I'm sure there is always a way to get what you want....especially since you were initially told you could arrive early.
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Old Jun 28th, 2009, 03:23 PM
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I must thank Egypt2008 for the words of encouragement and advise to be persistent. I had called, I had e-mailed, etc. etc. and then one more time I called and I got the right employee who went to check and found that indeed, I could opt out of the international fare with OAT. I got my $1400 discount and I will be flying AA one day ahead. I did send a letter to OAT commending this employee.

I must also recognize Thursdaysd who sent me an article about OAT trying to improve their flying options... and that was the argument I used.

All is well.

Thanks to eveybody.
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Old Jun 29th, 2009, 08:11 AM
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Excellent!!! We always arrive SEVERAL days before our "trip experience" whether meeting friends, family, or our one group trip. What a difference it makes to us. I was amazed at the particpants of the group trip who flew from all over USA to China on long, long, many transfer flights, got to Beijing and took a city tour on the way to the hotel, had a group dinner and were up, ready, and pleasant very early the next morning for more fun. Better than I could have been. You will enjoy Bhutan so much more having the extra day. If not already booked...two days might be even better.
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