Sunday, June 30, 2019

Long queues: Harrowing time for flyers at airport

Patna: Flyers are experiencing a harrowing time at Jayaprakash Narayan International (JPNI) Airport, Patna, these days. They are not only forced to stand in long queues to enter the terminal building, but also wait for a longer duration for security clearance. Those who are aware of the problem reach the airport several hours before the scheduled departure of their flights. Otherwise, there is possibility of flyers missing the flights.
Several flyers complained that it took almost half an hour to get inside the terminal building and another half an hour to get into the security hold area (SHA) after security check, frisking, luggage checking and collecting boarding passes.

Sandeep Pandey, an entrepreneur, was to board the IndiGo’s flight for Mumbai at 3.45pm on Saturday. “But I reached Patna airport at 12 noon to ensure not to miss my flight,” he said and pointed at the serpentine queue: “You can see the situation here. Not only the number of flights has increased, but there has been considerable jump in the number of passengers as well. However, the airport authorities have not taken any step to minimize the passengers’ woes,” he said.

Altogether 45 flights operate from Patna airport between 7.10am and 9.40pm under the ongoing domestic summer schedule. The number of flights will further go up to 47 in coming days. To avoid the congestion at the terminal building, the passengers who arrived much before the scheduled departure of their flights, have to wait outside.

Ajay Singh, who works in a private firm in New Delhi said, “I missed the flight on Thursday because of long queue in the security check area. I had to book my tickets again.”

Another flyer, Tamanna, complained that she never gets a seat in the SHA. “I travelled thrice in June but could not get a chair to sit any time. Majority of the people stand in the SHA,” she added.

The CISF personnel make three separate queues to enter the gate. A marketing professional, Rahul Kanishta, took to Twitter to vent his anger. “Patna airport is horrible!! Passengers have to wait for 20-30 mins outside in hot sun to enter airport, 5-15 mins at x-ray machine for luggage scanning, 5-10 mins @ airline check-in que, 20-40 mins for security check #Patna airport is the most chaotic airport in India (sic),” he tweeted.

Some other passengers also shared their horrific experience at Patna airport. Ahinav, an advocate, posted a picture of a serpentine queue and tweeted: “Please look at the queue to enter the patna airport to catch the flight. It takes almost an hour to enter into the airport and another hour to cross security check. How long passengers would suffer. any answer (sic).”
30/06/19 Faryal Rumi/Times of India

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