Chaotic and crowded perfectly defined the Friday morning scene at Mumbai Airport. The airport saw a huge uncontrollable rush of passengers, who got stuck in long queues. The slow-moving queues unfortunately also translated into missed flights for many of them. Due to the heavy rush, domestic carrier IndiGo advised passengers, "to report early to allow sufficient time for security check."
In the meanwhile, the airport authorities have attributed the chaos and rush to the "festive season." They also said that this sort of traffic was not unprecedented. The airport also released a statement, "Similar experiences have also been witnessed in other city airports of the country. Further owing to recent intelligence reports received by stakeholders and threat at another airport in the state, security measures have been further enhanced at the CSMIA (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport). The security and safety of our passengers are of utmost priority and our endeavour is to continue to not compromise on these critical aspects. CSMIA airport has deployed additional staff for a quicker turnaround at all the security checkpoints for a smoother passenger experience."
While helplessly waiting in the queues, unhappy passengers took to social media. "What just happened here? Breakdown of system? Mismanagement? Inexperience of the corporate running the airport?" questioned one user.
Music composer Vishal Dadlani was one of the harrowed passengers who vented out on Twitter using harsh words.
"Mumbai Airport is a mess. It takes atleast 1 hour to enter and do check-in and then this crowd for security check. How can someone board a flight even reaching 2 and a half hours before domestic flight. This is the real commercial capital of the country," tweeted entrepreneur Prakarsh Gagdani.
Some of the users also tweeted about several Covid protocols not being followed, right from absolute lack of social distancing to masks not worn properly. The CSMIA also announced that Terminal 1 operations will be open from October 20, 2021.
The busiest airport in the world
When it comes down to the sheer number of passengers, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) reportedly was the busiest airport in the world in 2020, with more than 40 million passengers. Just a year before in 2019, the airport had recorded traffic of over 73 million passengers. While Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) was the world's busiest airport in 2019 with over 110 million passengers.