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Last-minute move from 1A to T2, rude staff, irk Air India flyers

Passengers get raw deal from Air India staff after being told at the last minute that their domestic flights would take off from international terminal T2; some couldn’t make it on time

Air India passengers met with a great deal of turbulence even before taking off on Thursday. So much that some could not even step aboard their flights. Their ordeal began when, at the eleventh hour on the night of February 20, two domestic flights were scheduled for take-off from the new international terminal T2.

One of the passengers clicked a photo of Air India staffer Jeevan Jatkar, who allegedly behaved rudely with them
One of the passengers clicked a photo of Air India staffer Jeevan Jatkar, who allegedly behaved rudely with them

The passengers travelling by AI 0101 to Delhi and AI 342 to Chennai went in a flurry when they were informed that they would have to go to T2. A rude and utterly unhelpful airline staff only darkened their travelling blues. Some of the passengers of AI 0101, which was to take off for the Capital from T2 at 9.30 pm, had reached the domestic terminals of the domestic airport.

Roma Singh, from Delhi, one of the flyers, said, “We reached 1A around 7.30 pm, but upon inquiring learned that the flight would fly from T2. We immediately left for the new terminal. Due to peak hours, there was a lot of traffic, but we managed to reach by 8.30 pm.”

Hither, thither
Jatin Arora, another passenger who was in the city on an official tour from Delhi, was on the same flight. He said, “We only had hand bags, so did not require any baggage clearance. But, we were not allowed in by the authorities, who said we were five minutes late.

This was beyond my understanding. We were domestic passengers and had to report 45 minutes prior to the scheduled flight, why weren’t we allowed in? We did not even need to use the baggage counter.” Others like Arora were then asked to go to the domestic terminal 1A and board the 11 pm flight to Delhi.

The passengers alleged that the airline staff at the domestic terminal was clueless, and only after the frustrated flyers kicked up a noise did they bother to make alternative arrangements to shuttle them, but not before each of them forked out an additional sum of Rs 1,500.

In AI 342, which was to take off at 9.25 pm for Chennai, passengers faced a similar situation. They had to rush from the domestic to the international terminal. “The staff told us that we couldn’t be allowed in, as we were late by two minutes and the counters had closed.

Moreover, the staffers used demeaning language with us. Since it was the last flight for the day to Chennai, we had no option other than an unnecessary night-halt in the city,” said a passenger on the flight, requesting anonymity.

Airline says
The Air India spokesperson said, “The passengers of flights flying from the international airport are informed to report an hour prior to the flight time. They are informed through our call centres, messages and our website displaying all the information. Our helpline numbers are also mentioned, in case of any help is needed by the passengers.”

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10 Comments

  • vinita22-Feb-2014

    It's high time that Air India has been handed over to the Tatas. See how it starts working as the most efficient and one of the best airlines in the world...

  • ZAHIR25-Feb-2014

    INDIAN GOVT DON T KNOW HOW TO HANDEL AIR INDIA.....HAPPY TO SEE THAT AIR INDIA IS SIFTED TO TATAS

  • bala23-Feb-2014

    Being a responsible paper, Mid day should check facts before publishing. 101 and 342 are international flights and have always operated from international terminal at Sahar and clearly mentioned in the ticket as well as website... .indian

  • rajat22-Feb-2014

    what a load of bullshit! I have never been to Mumbai and I know that AI101 and AI342 are international flights that have a domestic leg.......their website is very clear about it. Abuot time people take some responsibility and media look at the facts....!! AI101 - BOM - DEL - JFK and AI342 - BOM - MAA - SIN

  • Sandesh07-Mar-2014

    It's totally the passengers fault, it is their duty to check from where the flight departs. just giving a lame reason that we are from Delhi and we dont know where the flight departs from. Shame on these passengers for trying to rub off their ignorance on to Air India. i'm glad that Air India did not entertain these fools thereby avoiding discomfort to another 200 odd people.

  • huh22-Feb-2014

    AI Tickets clearly mention that AI 101 and AI 342 depart from International Terminal. These flights have always departed from the international terminals and never from 1A. The pax should have been more aware and read their tickets properly. Apart from these two errants, there were many others who made it to their flights on time. Then why should AI delay the flight for these people who were fools? Mid-Day, please stop defaming AI for any reason whatsoever. It was clearly the pax's fault.

  • we indians23-Feb-2014

    Thanks to Airindia for keeping up ontime. Some come late and get dirty stuffs published thru personal contact in media. Govt is spoiled by people like this idiot who publish these news.

  • Shamed 22-Feb-2014

    Mumbai air India staff is like any other govt deptt, customers are the least priority to them. However staff at other cities are much more polite and customer oriented

  • Nikhil Rao22-Feb-2014

    MidDay Reporter Neha LM Tripathi, atleast do a basic research before mouthing off. AI 101 is an international flight - Mumbai to Delhi to New-York AI 342 is also an international flight - Mumbai to Chennai to Singapore. Why on earth would someone go to the Domestic Terminal 1A when these flights always depart as scheduled from the International Terminal 2 ? Mid-Day, please sack your reporter for defaming the National Carrier and it's overworked staff. It was clearly the passenger's fault.

  • preeti22-Feb-2014

    Wrong Information.AI 101 and AI342 both are international flights one going to newyork from delhi and other going to singapore from chennai.it has till date never taken off from domestic terminal.passenger who wanted to travell on domestic leg of the flight ignore information that is always ther Terminal 2B. now which is T2.Dont Blame employees for your mistake of ignoring most important information.News makers should first find facts and then jump to conclusions.

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