Queues and chaos: woes unending for passengers at Chennai airport

Officials of the Airports Authority of India said they have been taking various measures to mitigate the problem. File
| Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

From a tiring walk to board a cab to getting stranded in the traffic inside the airport premises, air passengers claim instead of an improvement, the situation has actually worsened after the multi-level car parking (MLCP) was thrown open to the public at Chennai airport.

Vidyasagar Jagadeesan, a resident of Chennai, who recently returned from Hyderabad said, traffic management was very poor and passengers had to struggle to exit the airport by cabs or private vehicles. “From the time I left the domestic terminal, the walk to the area where I had to board the cab was tiring because the pathway was not convenient at all. Then, I had to wait for almost 15 minutes to leave the airport and end up paying ₹75 as fee for overstaying. Why should we pay for their mistakes and mismanagement. This is unfair,” he added.

Officials of the Airports Authority of India said they have been taking various measures to mitigate the problem. From December 14, the number of exit counters will go up from the existing four to seven counters and FASTag will be introduced as well, which will ease the congestion. “If FASTag comes into place, then the waiting time for vehicles will come down drastically. There is an exclusive pathway and a ramp built for arrival passengers from the terminal to the multi-level car parking. Roofing will be done soon and the pathway and ramp will be covered. We will ensure that there are no further issues for passengers,” an official said.

Some passengers say, they were unaware of the pathway and the ramp to the parking space too.

Samuel Sathish, who recently went to the airport to pick up his relatives said, there is an urgent need for additional signage to guide passengers. “I went around in circles within the airport and was lost owing to lack of signage. When a bunch of passengers exit the terminal at a time, it is chaotic and the lifts that take them to the MLCP are unable to handle the volume of the crowd. There needs to be support staff to help passengers as well,” he added.

Ever since the facility was launched, social media platforms like Twitter too has been flooded with numerous complaints from irate passengers.

Asokan Sattanathan, a passenger, posted: “Arrival facilities at Chennai International airport are pathetic. A long walk to MLCP in torrential rains is the latest punishment meted out to arriving passengers. Incompetent officials bereft of any customer orientation.”

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