Slow services irk passengers at Srinagar International Airport

Air travel takes less time, collecting luggage takes more

GK CITY CORRESPONDENT

Srinagar, Nov 30: Air travel could be saving precious time of passengers but those landing at Srinagar International Airport nowadays curse their decision of taking the flight as luggage collection takes more time than flying in to Kashmir. This is what has been true for the past few weeks since the inflow of passengers increased with return of Hajjis from the Holy pilgrimage.
 A beeline of passengers is seen stuck helplessly at the arrival lounge of the airport waiting for their turn to collect luggage. And multiple flights pouring in, add to the chaos of who would get the belongings first.

THE DELAY
 Passengers flying in from Jammu said they have to waste around an hour to get their luggage, a timeframe almost thrice the 20 odd minute air travel to Srinagar.
 “What is the fun of taking a flight when time much longer than the air travel goes waste in collecting your belongings?” argued a flier who often shuttles between Jammu and Srinagar.
 Passengers said wait for the luggage puts them to embarrassing situation. “It looks as if we are stuck in the chaos at some Bus Adda,” lamented a passenger. 

CONVEYOR BELT SHORTAGE
 There is a shortage of conveyor belts, which ferry the luggage, at the Airport catering to 30 odd flights a day. Of the four belts in place, two have been reserved for international lounge, while two cater to the domestic passengers.
 But given the fact that there are no international flights pouring in, the domestic lounge has to bear the brunt.
 Tourism players concerned
 Tour operators said delay in collection of luggage brings a disrepute to Kashmir’s hospitality.
 “The first impression tourists get about Kashmir is of poor hospitality at the Airport, which the government has been projecting as international,” said a tour operator.
 Commenting over the issue, Chairman JK Tourism Alliance, Nasir Shah said the airport was running short of conveyor belts.
 “The number of conveyor belts should be increased otherwise passengers unduly have to bear with wastage of time,” he added.

THE INSTANT SOLUTION
 Travel experts said the conveyor belts at international lounge should also be pressed into service to cater to the passenger rush.
 “International arrival lounge is not any showcase but actually aimed to improve services. And at a time when we don’t have any international flights, why not to make use of the facility for domestic passengers,” he said.

OFFICIALS SPEAK
 When contacted the officiating Director, Srinagar International Airport said every effort was being made to provide best of the facilities to passengers.
 “We have been making use of all the conveyor belts… Still, we’ll look into the matter and get the needful done,” the Director told Greater Kashmir.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 30 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 30 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 1 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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