Delhi Airport Luggage Fiasco: Hema Malini Among Affected Flyers

The baggage handling system at IGI Airport detected a failure leading to widespread confusion.

2 min read
Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. 

In an odd incident that caused huge inconvenience and confusion to travellers, the baggage handling system at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport detected a failure late on Thursday, 29 March.

Thousands of bags were misplaced after the malfunction, reported news agency ANI.

Among those who were stuck at the airport were Bharatiya Janata Party Lok Sabha MP Hema Malini and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, reported PTI.

Reportedly, Malini’s bags were stuck in the clearance process, and Goyal arrived at a function in Mumbai hours behind schedule as his flight from Delhi got delayed, a source close to him said.

There were unconfirmed reports that Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav's bags were also stuck.

Flight Operation Delayed

The problem in the baggage handling system affected flight operations, with Vistara Airline issuing a statement late in the evening, saying bags were not being loaded on to the flights and that the airline had taken up the issue with the airport officials.

Vistara operates from the Terminal 3 along with Air India and other international airlines.

Power Banks & Lighters Led to Chaos

The GMR-led Dial International Airport Ltd, the airport operator, attributed the delay in baggage clearance to an “increased level of dangerous goods” particularly power banks and lighters being carried by passengers in checked-in luggage. This incident rate was 30 percent higher than average days as the rush was more because of the long holiday weekend.

“This impacted the baggage handling processing due to manual reconciliation of the suspect baggage with the passenger and removal of prohibited items,” a DIAL spokesperson clarified, adding the issue was “now under control”.

The DIAL spokesperson dismissed allegations that a section of the staff had delayed the baggage handling system because of issues arising out of the suspension of a colleague.

A DIAL statement said that passengers were being reminded not to pack dangerous items in checked luggage to avoid inconvenience.

Earlier this week, when the Terminal 2 of the IGI Airport became fully operational, and IndiGo and SpiceJet partially shifted their operation there, scores of travellers arrived at the wrong terminal leading to widespread confusion.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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