Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Not quite world class this airport

Not quite world class this airport


BANGALORE:“Nightmarish,” recalled Ms Pauli, still shaken fromher first landing at the BengaluruInternational Airport (BIA) onSunday by a private airline. Theonly smooth affair was her Kolkataflight’s touchdown on BIA’s brandnew runway. The troubles, that began with her flight circling over theairport for over 20 minutes, werejust about to get worse.

The flight had landed, and thefirst thought in every passenger’smind was to get out and head home.But it took over 15 minutes for theladder to arrive.“When it did reachus,the personnel operating it couldnot attach it properly to the aircraft. The employees were so amateur,”said Ms Pauli.

Eventually, they alighted andwere on the tarmac expecting a busto take them to the terminal building. “There was only one bus, andwas packed.I squeezed myself into it.” If she thought the problems ended there,she was mistaken.The bus driver was clueless aboutwhere to take them. After wandering over three gates,they managed to finally get into the main buildingthrough Gate 4.“We had to wait another 40 minutes and still there was no sign of our baggage.” Finally, she managed to get out with her luggage.But awaiting her outside was a serpentine queue for ataxi. “It started to rain then, and there was no weather shelter. I waited in that queue for an hour, and I could see only three taxis. Inthe end, what saved me was an Innova, and after much bargain I managed to get in. There was noVolvo bus in sight,”recalled the harassed passenger. “I will never come to this airport again,” she said with finality.

The same fate awaited another passenger, Mr Victor, who landed in Devanahalli by a private airline from Pune.Forty minutes,that wasthe time he and his fellow passengers spent on the tarmac waiting for a bus to the terminal. “There were some elderly people waiting with me. The queue was as long as from one end of Brigade road to the other,”he recalled.

An old diabetic patient wasstruggling to push his luggage trolley.In a rush came the official help but with a price. “The passenger was asked to shell out Rs 75 for this trolley push. Since there was a third piece of luggage, he was asked to fork out another Rs 25,” noted Mr Victor. The passengers were livid, terming it a daylight robbery. Ms Pauli was convinced that the airport would take another six months to get things organised. “But even if they do it then, I will never step in here again.”


At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 1:40:00 PM GMT+5:30, Blogger UdayN said...

Thanks for the info.


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