The long weekend plans for many passengers flying out of Delhi airport took a hit Thursday, March 29. The terminal 3 at the Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi was in total chaos after the airport officials faced challenges with the baggage handling system, leading to many flights being delayed.
The Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao (GMR) group, airport operator of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) claimed that the delays happened due to a high number of check-ins with dangerous goods like power banks and lighters. The number had increased to over 30 % than the usual check-in rate which led to the delays inside the airport.
Passengers were left stranded inside the airport for hours as they stood in queues waiting for their misplaced bags. Among the passengers that were affected was Bharatiya Janata Party member of parliament Hema Malini and the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, Times of India reported.
A spokesperson working with DIAL also said that the airport staff had to manually trace the luggage to its passenger and ask them to remove the prohibited items. This eventually led to the delay, NDTV reported.
"We would like to inform you that Delhi airport has been facing challenges with the baggage handling system post check-in. All airlines and hundreds of bags have been impacted and not being loaded onto flights," Air Vistara had also issued a statement.
Items like power banks, e-cigarettes and lighters are prohibited from check-in luggage as there is a chance for it to catch fire inside the baggage hold. The frustrated passengers stranded at the Delhi airport took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the delays. However, the operations inside the airport started functioning normally soon after.
On March 22 this year, an Air Vistara flight was delayed after a passenger remembered that he had kept his power bank inside his check-in luggage, according to a Times of India report.