Thursday, July 5, 2007

Still no passport.

Yesterday was a holiday, so no movement yet. As soon as it gets here, I think we'll be safe in booking the tickets. From what I understand, the consulate here is quite quick about processing visas (much better than our passport service it seems). I finally spoke with Air India, and they stated that we'll need to take a different flight. Our pets can't go trough London. They suggested we put the pets on as extra baggage along with our 3 boxes of cargo we were planning to ship separately. They also said that I don't need to go to the USDA to get an International Veterinarian Health certificate - that the vet's form would be enough.

The date on the veterinarian certificate is 6/28/07.

The carriers are the following dimensions:
Greyhound: 36"H x 48"L x 30"W
Cat: 15"H x 34"L x 16"W

Instead of sending them as cargo, this is a much cheaper proposition. Grace, at over 100 lbs, with crate, will cost $359. Lance will cost $226. Each of the three boxes of personal effects I was planning to ship separately will cost $133.

The flight they suggested is the following:

Air-India 126
Depart: 7:00pm Chicago, IL (ORD)
Arrive: 10:15am Frankfurt, Germany (FRA)
2 stops
* 8hr 15min
* Boeing 747
No plane change. Time between flights: 1hr 30min

Tue, Jul 24

Air-India 126
Depart: 11:45am Frankfurt, Germany (FRA)
Arrive: 11:15pm Mumbai, India (BOM)
* 8hr 0min
* Boeing 747

Change Airline. Time between flights: 7hr 35min


Jet Airways 201
Depart: 6:50am Mumbai, India (BOM)
Arrive: 9:20am Kolkata, India (CCU)
* 2hr 30min
* Boeing 737
Total duration: 27hr 50min

This flight arrives two days later.

This means that we won't be arriving in Kolkata until 3 days after my self-imposed deadline, but we will have everything with us. We will not need the services of Jetex Oceanair, the agents who were supposed to manage the pet relocation process and haven't bothered to respond to any of my emails, so we can save those charges as well. :-) It looks like we can come in way under budget. :-)

$1,700 for plane tickets
359 for Grace
226 for Lance
399 for boxes (all three)
250 for transport to O'Hare Airport in Chicago
$2,934 total.

Peace of mind - priceless.

My only concern is going through customs in Mumbai. If there are any glitches in the paperwork for my pets, they'll be left in Mumbai. Air India did state that the vet certificate should be 6 weeks out, so if we have to leave later, so be it. At this point, it's just a matter of time.

I also learned that India doesn't carry a lot of wine, and most of what's available is not great quality and very expensive. I decided to splurge on a few bottles to partake in before we leave. I will surely miss a good Reisling with my curry.


Unknown said...

Hi - I think what you're planning is facinating. About the wine; there are some domestically produced wines. The ones that stand out: Grover Cabernet Sauvignon and Riviera.

The Grover is the better of the 2, and can become palatable over time :).

Unknown said...

I've heard that India has the potential to become the next Australia or Chile as a wine growing region. I'll keep the Grover in mind when I get there. Thanks for the information! :-)

Anonymous said...


I am originally from calcutta, live in the US now. We were in cal recently and i must agree, there are some domestic wines of decent quality available almost everywhere. Grover wines and Sula wines are the ones we tried and my in-laws (americans) thought it was good enough. I wont say its the best... but its good enough.

Good luck with your move. If you have any questions about calcutta do let me know. I can try to be of assistance.

Unknown said...

You are the second person to recommend Grover wines, so I will definitely be seeking them out when we arrive in 2 weeks. I can't wait to get there!!!!

Thanks for the post. :-)

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