Thursday, April 11, 2019

Calcutta Airport lacks information desk

Calcutta: 30 planes were hovering over the airport when a squall hit the city on Tuesday evening. Worried relatives of many of the passengers were desperately calling the “helpline” numbers mentioned on the airport’s website.

The relatives were eager to know the status of the storm-struck flights but the numbers were that of the airport manager’s office. Most callers were asked to call the respective airlines, sources said.

The government-run Calcutta airport — unlike privately run facilities such as the one in Mumbai — does not have a dedicated information desk.

“Several flights were hovering over the airport during the squall, unable to land because of strong winds and lightning. A couple of flights were diverted, too. Such situations trigger confusions and airport managers are flooded with calls from worried relatives of passengers. On Tuesday, there were people calling up several times to know the status of the affected flights,” an airport official said.

Though most anxious callers were asked to call up the airlines, the airline call centres do not have real-time updates when flights are disrupted because of bad weather, an official of a private airline said.

“The airport should have an information desk that will coordinate with the air traffic control,” he said.

Calcutta airport’s website contains two mobile numbers and as many landline numbers. Sources said all four numbers are of the airport manager’s office.
11/04/19  Sanjay Mandal/Telegraph