‘Welcome to the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. Outside Temperature is…’ and on goes the Airhostess as we landed in Delhi or for that matter any other airport. The airports in India have changed a lot in accordance with the growing commuters. But this change is not entirely in the positive direction.
System Crash & Duplicate Boarding Pass
My recent flight from Kolkata to Delhi illustrated the same. Though it does not mean that this was the only time i witnessed it. While checking-in at the airport we were delayed by almost 35 mins as the system had crashed on the JetLite counter which freezed the check-in for all passengers going to Delhi. All this while the screens flashed ‘security-check’ and people behind me were getting frantic and were inquiring repeatedly to make sure they do not miss their flight. This was on Kolkata Airport. Now some may say that the airport is ancient as compared to other newly reconstructed airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore. But just because airports were renovated does not mean that everything has improved. In a similar situation, about a month back, i was at the Mumbai airport and Air-India’s server crashed and was not fixed before late in the evening. When? It was the 22nd May. The very same day when a Mangalore bound (Dubai-Mangalore) Air-India aircraft crashed on the Mangalore Airport. Well, i flew from that very airport on 22nd May (after about a 4-hour delay to the Air-India flight) to Mumbai. At Mumbai a common scene at Air-India counter where Boarding Passes were being issued by writing on them with a pen coz there system had crashed. What was the consequence? In my flight there were about 30 duplicate boarding passes and those people had to get off the aircraft later. I was lucky enough to have secured myself a place. Now again if you blame that on the day, i can go on giving countless such incidences. Even yesterday on the Jetlite flight 10 passengers were issued duplicate boarding passes. Lucky enough, they got themselves some place to sit.
Trick: Free Coffee
The Airhostesses in some of the flights are extremely polite. In the flight, the guy next to me took a Coffee and when asked to pay the amount due replied, ‘I have only dirham, do you accept that?’. Airhostess could only say, ‘It’s ok Sir, You can have the coffee without paying for it in Indian Rupees’. She never came back to take the foreign currency. End Result? Coffee for Free.
Additional Runways & Miles of Travel to the Arrival Terminal
In Delhi, i noticed the change from the moment the aircraft touched the runway. For a moment i thought it would never land as it continued flying over the runway, next few seconds it descended and touched and within 6-7 seconds it had decelerated completely and was now turning. Seriously, i had never seen this quick deceleration before. But not everything is quick. Next it took good 10 mins to taxi around and travel miles before finally parking in the bay. Then a 10 min Bus ride which seemed as if it would never end. And if you feel that is nothing, then spend another 45 mins waiting for the baggage. All this while, i was aware of this trend and had got myself a trolley and was comfortably sitting on it besides the conveyer belt. People who used to travel 6-7 years back know that the wait in arrival was not that long.
After all it has to have a good face!
The departure terminal bears a completely different scene. As there are countless counters, the check-in and security check are a breeze. After that comes the area that Industrialists have spent crores on to get some space for their retail outlets. Some of the being Bakers’ Street, Pizza Hut, KFC, Croma etc. This coupled with Free Wi-Fi Internet makes a good combined experience. The price for everything stated above is obviously escalated to make up for the huge amount being paid for the site’s rent.
Thus, these airports have changed as was much required coz of the ever growing congestion. These changes have been both suitable and unsuitable depending upon the change brought and the target customer. But if you thought that whatever was possible is done, you are wrong. The technology, the ideas, the requirements will keep changing and these airports will continue evolving.
Needless to say, these points i mentioned do NOT define the complete scenario. It can just help you look around and notice them.
If you would like to talk about your Flying experience or would like to share something, do leave a comment.