Thursday, January 04, 2018

No way to get out, flyers arrive in Mumbai and stay put at airport

On most days, getting to Chembur from Mumbai airport may cost you less than flying to Kochi, but on Wednesday, a flyer, Shojo George, was charged Rs 4,000 for a 10km cab ride to get to his home in the eastern suburbs. Mumbai-Kochi airfares start at Rs 3,000.
George boarded a SpiceJet flight from Kochi at 11.30am and landed in Mumbai at 2pm, only to spend the next four hours inside arrival terminal 1B as there was no transport available. "Finally, a private transport company quoted Rs 4,000," said George. The transport company has issued a bill (see graphic).
Thanks to the bandh, those who arrived in Mumbai on flights that landed between noon and 6pm had to pay through their nose to get a cab or auto.
The bandh also led to cancellation of 31 flights—17 departures and 16 arrivals. Several flights were delayed by 20-30 minutes.
Mumbai Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL) had activated its contingency plan in the morning itself. Most of the airlines too had waived cancellation and rebooking fees. None of the airlines gave an indication on how many flyers missed their flights.
"While the flight operations were smooth, MIAL had arranged for BEST bus services from terminal 1 and 2 to nearby stations for flyers," said a spokesperson. But as the unrest escalated, crew members of some airlines reported late and a few could not make it, leading to cancellations, said the official.
Hundreds of passengers who arrived on flights post-noon had to stay put inside the terminal building as the state-wide bandh took cabs, autos and buses off the roads. "As passengers opted to stay inside the airport terminal buildings, we arranged for free refreshments," said the MIAL spokesperson.
04/01/18 Manju V/Times of India