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

Feb 22, 2014, 08:56 IST | Neha LM Tripathi

Air India staff tell passengers at the last minute that their domestic flights would take off from international terminal T2; some couldn't make it on time, allege mistreatment by staffers

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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