Weird Things Happen In Indian Airports – Process Disconnects, Lack of Training
In the list of Worlds Busiest Airport By Passenger Traffic, a report by Airports Council International, Indian airport (Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi) stands at number 30. Quality of Indian airports are definitely becoming better every year, few initiatives by Indian government proves this – Expansion of Bangalore Airport has already begun to meet the future needs and make it really world-class, Delhi recently opened its T3 terminal.
Airport management is still a maturing market, no airport in the world has attained a state where travelers can say “There is nothing wrong in this airport”. There are always some discrepancies in some processes involved in an airport. We noticed few strange things happening in Indian airports. Few of them are just process disconnects or non-uniform processes. All of below pointers are based on our own experience in the last one year of air travel.
Self-service Kiosk Turns Irrelevant: If you are a person who does self-service check-in via kiosks, then be ready for surprises. But, not always. When travelers check-in via kiosks, obviously the airline’s seal won’t be there in the machine generated boarding pass. When travelers show the boarding pass to the security guard in boarding gate, sometimes the guard allow the traveler to board the flight and sometimes denies boarding by citing “no-airline-seal-on-boarding-pass” as a reason, in this case the traveler has to run back to the airport counter to get airline’s seal. This inconsistency has been noticed between Mumbai and Delhi airports. The purpose of self-service kiosk was clearly defeated in this case. Boarding gate security check process works in different protocols in different airports. Strange.
Entry Time Limit: If you are a person who enters the airport well ahead of your flight departure time, then this one is for you. We have noticed that in Bangalore airport, travelers are not allowed to enter the airport until the airline opens for check-in. Whereas in Mumbai airport, travelers are allowed to enter the airport even before airline opens for check-in. Again, same process works in two different protocols.
Baggage Tagging: While passing the main security check, if you had forgotten to tag your bags, then nobody really cares (except for the security guard in the boarding gate). Security guards doesn’t demand tag in bag, they just ignore it after scanning. Shouldn’t they ideally pull out the bags without tags from conveyor belt and ask travelers to tag it? Travelers can genuinely forget to tag their baggage.
What You See Is NOT What You Get: This is the most interesting of all. If you are a person who selects flight seats in self-service kiosk, then be double sure before doing it. Assume you are looking for a seat with extra legroom and you select a seat next to Emergency Exit. While in the flight, don’t be surprised if the seat is far away from Emergency Exit. This discrepancy between seat map in kiosk and actual seat placement in flight was noticed In Mumbai airport. But, we believe this cannot be an airport specific issue, rather the issue might be with the seat map in all airport kiosks.
Overall - These issues aren’t big. We can certainly live with these. As we mentioned earlier, these are either process disconnects or lack of training. Some of these issues can also be rectified with technology help. SITA and IATA are talking about game changing futuristic airports that are planned with heavy technology as backbone. Hopefully, in future, with the influence of technology, awareness and proper training, the airports operate hassle-free and unquestionable.
Author: Karthick Prabu