Chaos at Mumbai Airport: Took Me 95 Mins To Clear All Checks, Finally Made It!
I stopped to check my flight's time and noticed that literally all flights were 'delayed'.
Today, I can perfectly sum up what happened with me at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Friday, 8 October, with the famous quote by Ibn Batuta: "Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller."
I left my home in Thane for the airport at around 7:45 am. I had a flight to catch for Darbhanga, Bihar at 11.20 am. I always keep a safe margin of time when I travel. But it turns out, even that wasn't enough on Friday.
I always do all the checks-in on time and I have never missed a flight. But for the first time, despite being before time, I wondered if I would be able to board the flight. I wasn't alone in this feeling, many other travellers were also feeling helpless. We were so close to our flights, yet so far.
As I entered the airport, there was a sea of people. I stopped to check my flight's time and noticed that literally all flights were 'delayed'. 'Excuse me, please,' 'Excuse me, please,' was the only sentence I kept saying on a loop from the time I stepped into the airport.
Usually, we are welcomed with long queues at check-in counter or at the security gate but this time, there was chaos everywhere and long, long queues at each and every stop. It took me half-an-hour to clear my check-in and nearly an hour for the security check.
No Social Distancing Maintained
There was a moment when I thought I would miss my flight. The security line was hardly moving.
One of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel present at the airport casually mentioned that people have been missing flight since 6 am in the morning, which added to my fear. I had a work meeting scheduled, which at that point I wasn't sure if I would be able to attend. The boarding for my flight was supposed to be at 10.50 am but my flight was also delayed by 30 minutes.
At that moment, no one knew why there was such a chaos at the airport. Maybe it was the festive rush, but one thing we all knew was that no social distancing was being followed. But this also seem like an unrealistic expectation when the whole airport was packed with people. What could have anyone done?
I eventually caught my flight, but as I sat comfortably on my seat, I couldn't stop thinking about those who had indispensable travel to make and yet couldn't make it because of the absolute lack of planning.
Never have I ever been so thrilled to be on a flight, to successfully managed to clear all those hurdles. It gave me a sense of victory considering all this while it looked like I wouldn't make it.
(The author is a Managing Director at GoodHums Lifesciences. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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