Delhi-Airport chaos: Power-banks, snags misplace thousands of bags, delay flights
There was chaos at Delhi's IGI Airport yesterday evening: the check-in process was drastically slow, hundreds of passengers' bags were misplaced, and as a result, several flights were delayed. The reason? An increased number of flyers carrying prohibited items like power-banks in their luggage, according to airport management. But airlines blamed technical snags instead. Hema Malini and Akhilesh Yadav were among the thousands impacted.
What was different yesterday?
The Delhi Airport saw more departures yesterday as people left the city ahead of a long holiday weekend. 30% more flyers had packed goods like power-banks and lighters, said Delhi Airport representatives. The check-in process had anyway slowed down after last week, when a flight had to return after taxiing out because a power-bank was belatedly found in a passenger's bag.
This passenger expressed the collective anger at IGI yesterday
But how do power-banks delay check-in?
Aviation rules demand that power banks, a must-have accessory for travelers, have to be carried in cabin baggage and can't be checked in, due to risk of explosion. Apparently, poor quality power banks, when scanned through the X-ray machine, resemble Improvised Explosive Devicesa (IEDs). This means an additional 15-30 minutes per passenger at security check: the bag is opened and all its contents checked.
DIAL says 30% more check-in of power-banks, lighters and others
Contrary to IGI, airlines blame problems with baggage handling system
Incidentally, airlines blamed "challenges with the baggage handling system" instead, without mentioning power-banks or prohibited items. "All airlines and hundreds of bags have been impacted, not being loaded on to flights," Vistara said. "System failure detected in baggage handling system at Delhi Airport, thousands of bags reported to be misplaced as of now," ANI too had reported yesterday.
Luggage problems didn't leave passengers at their destination either
Among the affected were Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, who arrived at a Mumbai function hours after schedule. However, the issues apparently didn't get resolved even after people reached their destination: many complained their baggage hadn't been delivered yet.