Nation Current Affairs 13 Jan 2016 Tamil Nadu: Baggage ...

Tamil Nadu: Baggage delays irk passengers

Published Jan 13, 2016, 4:40 am IST
Updated Jan 13, 2016, 4:40 am IST
Commuters cry in agony while airport officials blame carriers for delay.
A huge crowd of passenger wait for their baggage to arrive irritated by the long delay at Chennai city airport.
 A huge crowd of passenger wait for their baggage to arrive irritated by the long delay at Chennai city airport.

Chennai: Once landed, the delay in getting out of airports
is becoming a perennial problem and particularly so at Chennai airport.
This is primarily because of the delay in getting baggage and wheelchair among others, caused by the shortage of manpower and equipment.

Passenger Amal Kanti Pal, who arrived at Chennai on a SpiceJet flight from Kolkata on Sunday for the treatment of his wife at Apollo Hospital, had to wait for nearly 40 minutes for his wife’s wheelchair to arrive.


“For more than half an hour we were stuck with no proper responses. Officials of SpiceJet kept asking us to wait. At least, passengers traveling with wheelchair should not face such harassment,” Pal said.

Another passenger from Hyderabad (name withheld) also had to wait for 25 minutes. “Someone should take this matter up seriously. How long are we to
suffer like this?” he asked.

Shortage of equipment and manpower is leading to the delay, an airline staff handling baggage told Deccan Chronicle. “We also called BMA staff to hurry up but it is simply a bad day.”


“Delays will continue till February as this is peak period. Flights get delayed leading to a delay in baggage delivery,” the official said.

With several aircraft being forced to park away from the domestic terminal due to space crunch, baggage delays are a perpetual problem at Chennai airport.

Even when flights land on time, passengers have to wait for an additional 20 odd minutes before they can head out of the terminal.

On Sunday, luggage of three flights of SpiceJet from Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata were put on the same conveyor belt. “The Delhi flight got delayed due to fog leading to delays in other flights,” said another SpiceJet official.


Interestingly, other conveyor belts at that particular moment were virtually empty.

Airport director Deepak Shastri did admit that such  delays do happen but not often. On delay of wheelchair the onus is on the airline, he added.

The main problem lies elsewhere, according to Sudhakar Reddy, president, Air Passengers Association.

“Apart from parking in remote bays another major factor is the time taken for unloading of luggage as the mechanical system is outdated and all the unloading is done in the open.”

A Jet Airways spokesperson pointed out that tractors carrying baggage do not have high speed. “The old airport is quite far and with a speed of around 10-15 km per hour it does take time.”