A number of flyers missed their flights due to inadequate measures at the airport terminal which couldn’t handle the passenger crowding brought on by the weekend and festive season.
The only few domestic flights that departed on time were those scheduled before 6 am such as Air India flights to Goa, Hyderabad, and Nagpur, SpiceJet flight to Cochin, IndiGo flights to Udaipur and Kolkata.
Almost all the domestic flights’ scheduled post 6 am, barring a couple of them, were delayed beyond 15 minutes, with most of them delayed by 20-30 minutes and some delayed beyond an hour. Said airline personnel, “We have been seeing long queues on weekends, but this weekend, probably due to the commencement of the festive season, the morning peak hour passenger rush was unprecedented in recent pandemic times.”
#ImportantUpdate: Due to Security Hold Area congestion at Terminal T2 Mumbai Airport, we recommend our customers to… https://t.co/6anbfEwg6v
– Vistara (@airvistara) 1633671624000
“Literally feels like we’re in the dark ages. Endless milling crowds, machines breaking down, tempers frayed, chaos everywhere,” tweeted Vishal Dadlani, a passenger.
T2 AT CSMIA (Mumbai Airport) is a shambles. Literally feels like we’re in the dark ages. Endless milling crowds,… https://t.co/RfBIVzmZ1q
– VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) 1633658470000
Arjun Vas tweeted, “I missed my flight this morning because of this utter chaos. Security and other airport officials doing nothing at all to regulate the people. People were breaking queue, throwing their luggage on the belt. I saw one child getting crushed by the crowds, she could barely breathe.”
Said another passenger, “People were standing packed like sardines, pushing and jostling each other. Some passengers fell down, others were scrambling to clear security.”
The Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL), responded with a statement at 11 am. It said, “With the onset of the festive season, there has been a surge in passenger traffic and a sudden spike witnessed at CSMIA (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport- Mumbai airport) this morning. Similar experiences have also been witnessed in other city airports of the country. Further owing to recent intelligence reports received by stakeholders and threat at another airport in the state, security measures have been further enhanced at CSMIA.”
The security and safety of our passengers are of utmost priority and our endeveour is to continue to not compromise on these critical aspects, said the statement.
“CSMIA airport has deployed additional staff for a quicker turnaround at all the security checkpoints for a smoother passenger experience. Additionally, CSMIA is following all the COVID protocols laid down by the government to ensure a smoother transition. CSMIA regrets the inconvenience caused to any passengers and is offering them all the support required. In addition, in keeping with the growing increase of passenger traffic and to ensure a seamless service experience, CSMIA has planned to open Terminal 1 operations from 20th October, 2021,” the statement said.
In preparation for the festive season crowd, the Mumbai airport has decided to reopen Terminal-1 in Parle from October 20.
However only four airlines — GoFirst, Star Air, AirAsia India and TruJet, that will move all their domestic flights to Vile Parle terminal 1 of Mumbai airport from October 20 midnight. It won’t be of much respite to passengers, especially those booked on weekend flights departing from Terminal 2-Sahar.
From November though, there might be some respite as IndiGo, country’s largest airline, will move some of its flights to terminal 1-Parle from October 31. But most of the IndiGo flights will depart from T2. T1-Parle will cater to approximately 156 flights daily, while T2-Sahar will handle about 396 flights.
Watch Ruckus, chaotic scenes at Mumbai airport, passengers miss flights