Mamata, 5 MPs get a first-hand experience of AI mess at T-3

Banerjee along with three Trinamool MPs and a Left MP were to take AI flight IC-264 to Kolkata which was scheduled to depart at 5 pm.The flight got delayed by two hours since there was no sign of the crew, an airport official said. The flight finally took off around 7 pm.

Air India today shifted its entire domestic operations to terminal 3 of the IGI Airport here but delayed flights, long wait for baggage, missing crew and confusion for passengers marred the first day.

The crew members got stuck in the traffic near Mahipalpur on NH-8 en-route T3. Since no other set of crew was available, the flight could only be operated after they arrived, the official said.

The flight of former Minister of State for External Affair Shashi Tharoor also got delayed by over two hours due to shortage of cabin crew.

Tharoor, along with his wife Sunanda, had boarded AI flight IC-465 toThiruvanathapuram via Kochi. But the flight, which was scheduled to depart at 5.30 pm, could only take-off after two hours delay at around 7.30 pm with another set of crew.

Earlier, Tharoor and some MPs from Kerala had met Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav and expressed their concerns over the cancellations and delays of the flights.

Air India shifted its domestic operations from T1A to T3 from midnight last night as scheduled. The first domestic flight to depart from T3 was IC 867 to Goa which was pushed back from the aerobridge on schedule at 0455 hours.

The first domestic flight to arrive at T3 was IC 601 from Mumbai at 0755 hours.
The airlines managed to handle the flight operations smoothly during the initial hours, but as the day progressed, the flights were delayed.

About 6,300 passengers had booked tickets to fly out of Delhi to various domestic destinations on 45 flights.

Passengers complained that they had to wait for about half an hour to deboard the plane after landing as airport staff were facing problems in docking the aerobridge with the aircraft.

Flyers also complained about the long wait for getting their baggage. There were also reports of problems in computers at the check-in counters for Kochi, Bhopal and Patna-bound flights due to which long queues were seen."These are initial teething troubles and everything will be be sorted out soon for smooth passage," an airline official said.

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