Daily Reflections

The Most Disappointing Airport in India ?


…. It shouldn’t be difficult to guess. Every time I have entered this airport, I have either picked a fight during the security check or the boarding gate gets changed at will or the food outlets will not even acknowledge your existence or some alpha male (*&$#@) will strut about letting his wife carry five bags and the two brats he helped produce.

Be prepared to see a sea of people at the security gates whatever time your flight is at. Hey don’t be anti-social. Talk to people, get to know strangers and what their life is all about provided you can get them off their phones ! That moment when their phones are dropped into the dirty plastic tray you can pick up the separation anxiety syndrome – how can you take away my lifeline ? Then the jostling will begin at the other end of the security gate, where you have to pick up your stuff. Its almost as if every passenger expects that their things would come first no matter where they place it and everyone crowds around the small corner, in the process no one gets their “things” off the conveyor belt.

This time when Krishnan and I reached the airport early in the morning, the self help kiosks won’t dispense the tickets because I guess the customer service guys at the counter were having no work ! Suddenly none of the four self-help kiosks showed Spicejet’s logo. Once we got our boarding passes from the counter, we went up to the lounge. The food was fantastic and I saw that they were giving filter coffee in brass tumblers, so after having some breakfast I went to the counter that was dispensing this coffee only to be told it will take a few minutes. Krishnan went to check after ten minutes and he was told filter coffee will no longer be dispensed as there was some problem with the filter.

We faced another typical “Tamilian” issue – one old gentleman sitting in the lounge had an evangelist’s talk playing on his laptop at full volume forcing everyone in the lounge to listen to a sermon. I asked the customer service lady to ask him to use headphones or reduce the volume totally. He relented after repeatedly being told :(:(. Everywhere you turn in TamilNadu there is someone wielding a Bible ready to convert you into an incentivised sinner. Anyway, thats a sore topic.

Hopefully by now you have guessed that I am talking of the Chennai airport. It never disappoints me by living upto its status as the most disappointing airport in India.

The latest from Aug 8th, 2019 – the flight was to board from gate number 15. We reach that gate and suddenly the Spicejet representative announces that the Delhi flight is boarding from gate number 16. We all rushed to gate number 16 which was displaying a different flight going to Mumbai. Why such utter confusion ?

Then we got onto the airport shuttle that was to take us to the aircraft. I almost expected the airport shuttle to sprout wings and take off … we drove interstate to reach the aircraft. If you miss the airport metro, hop on to the SpiceJet shuttle and get off in the next metro station. Metro Hop on Hop Off service should be offered by SpiceJet at least for their SpiceMax passengers. Another service they can offer is a free drop to Hotel Trident – just get a door in the airport boundary wall to open out and while they drive you around to the aircraft they can drop you off across the Hotel as the shuttle went within a few hundred metres of Hotel Trident.

The view from the farthest end of the airport .. picture taken from the airport shuttle

Why waste fuel, time and get the passengers on a forced joy ride through the airport property? Its just a scheduling and parking bay issue. As an operations person, it just puts me off totally.

Thankfully, the Spicejet flight took off on time and we reached Delhi on time, but the Chennai airport continues to disappoint. Thankfully nothing fell on anyone’s head this time around !

#ChennaiAirport

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1 reply »

  1. Is there a method in this madness? With Airport security on high alert, even terrorists will find it hard to execute any of their sinister plans.

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