Almost all on 8 October morning domestic departures from the Mumbai airport were delayed due to chaos at Terminal 2, which saw long queues at CISF security gates with passengers jostling and struggling to reach their boarding gates on time.
A number of flyers missed their flights due to inadequate measures at the Mumbai airport terminal which couldn’t handle the passenger crowding brought on by the weekend and festive season.
The only few domestic flights that departed on time were those scheduled before 6 AM such as Air India flights to Goa, Hyderabad, and Nagpur, SpiceJet flight to Cochin, IndiGo flights to Udaipur and Kolkata.
Almost all the domestic flights’ scheduled post 6 AM, barring a couple of them, were delayed beyond 15 min, with most of them delayed by 20-30 min and some delayed beyond an hour. Said airline personnel, “We have been seeing long queues on weekends, but this weekend, probably due to the commencement of the festive season, the morning peak hour passenger rush was unprecedented in recent pandemic times.”
Arjun Vas tweeted, “I missed my flight this morning because of this utter chaos. Security and other airport officials doing nothing at all to regulate the people. People were breaking queue, throwing their luggage on the belt. I saw one child getting crushed by the crowds, she could barely breathe.”
Another passenger said, “People were standing packed like sardines, pushing and jostling each other. Some passengers fell down, others were scrambling to clear security.”
Media contacted the Mumbai airport authority (Mumbai International Airport Ltd) at 8:15 AM for a statement, but is yet to receive one. No statement has been issued by the CISF either.
In preparation for the festive season crowd, the Mumbai airport has decided to reopen Terminal-1 in Parle from 20 October.
However only four airlines GoFirst, Star Air, AirAsia India and TruJet, that will move all their domestic flights to Vile Parle terminal 1 of Mumbai airport from 20 October midnight. It won’t be of much respite to passengers, especially those booked on weekend flights departing from Mumbai airport Terminal 2-Sahar.
From November though, there might be some respite as IndiGo, country’s largest airline, will move some of its flights to terminal 1-Parle from 31 October. But most of the IndiGo flights will depart from T2. T1-Parle will cater to approximately 156 flights daily, while T2-Sahar will handle about 396 flights.