Baggage woes delay Air India passengers at T3

New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) Baggage and delay woes continued to trouble domestic passengers of national carrier Air India (AI) at the new terminal-3 (T3) of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport here Friday.

According to some angry passengers, the airline delayed their leaving the T3 terminal by about one to two hours as there was much delay during de-boarding and luggage collection.

‘Our plane landed on time, but we had to wait half an hour inside the aircraft as the aerobridge wasn’t connected to the plane,’ S.P. Singh, AI passenger on the Raipur-Delhi flight, told IANS at the arrival area of T3.

He said the airline staff did not even bother to inform him and fellow passengers about the delay in arrival of their baggage or even the reason behind it.

‘There was no one whom we could ask about where our baggage was and when it would come, there was complete chaos,’ Singh added.

Mansi Srivastav, another passenger on the same flight, said the delays in de-boarding and getting their luggage took around two hours.

‘We had to stand for 45 minutes to get our luggage as there was no one to assist us or even other passengers,’ said Mansi.

On Oct 31, the air carrier shifted its domestic operations to the new terminal, which it had planned as its hub.

An AI official who did not wish to be named agreed that there were some problems like lack of manpower and coordination between various agencies to take care of the baggage and informing passengers.

‘We are supposed to be provided with trained baggage handlers and other supporting staff by agencies like AI-SATS (Singapore Airport Terminal Services), who have failed to do so,’ said the official.

According to him, the agencies were supposed to have provided around 500 staff, but because they have far less staff it was leading to delays in baggage handling and other essential operations.

According to the official, the flights from other destinations which arrive late also contributed to the delays.

On Thursday, many passengers on various domestic flights said they were stranded for hours as the airline failed to provide them with any information about the status of their flights or luggage.

The airline on its part had said in a statement that around 45 departures and 40 arrivals were handled from Terminal-3 till 6 p.m. without any glitches.

‘Air India managed 100 percent on-time performance. However, the second phase of operations with incoming aircraft from other bases saw some consequential delays due to late arrival of the aircraft,’ the statement said.

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