Irregularities in passenger handling at IGI Airport

Last Updated: Sunday, April 24, 2011 - 10:46

New Delhi: Serious irregularities were
found in the passenger handling by Air India-SATS employees at
Terminal 3 of the IGI Airport here during a recent surprise
check by the airline`s vigilance department.

There was utter confusion in the airline`s passenger
handling work besides lack of floor level co-ordination at the
check-in counters, as AI-SATS deployed "inexperienced and
newly-recruited" staff, according to airline sources.

AI-SATS, a joint venture of Air India and Singapore
Airport Terminal Services, provides ground handling services
to various airlines at many major airports, including Delhi.

The sources said AI-SATS employees who man the
check-in counters, were regularly shifted from AI counters to
those of the other customer airlines of the joint venture,
thereby hampering the work of the national carrier.

Apart from this, the checks found that only a few
AI-SATS staff were working with their individual confidential
sign-in codes, which is a pre-requisite for performing
check-in formalities. Most of them worked on one common shared
sign-in code.

This was highly irregular and prone to manipulations
and misuse, the sources said, adding that the vigilance
department asked the national carrier stop such practice
immediately.

The checks also pointed to the fact that Air India
duty managers were not being provided with proper guidelines
of the service level agreement between AI and AI-SATS.

While the duty timings of AI-SATS staff was not
synchronised with those of the AI, the airline officials were
not being provided with the lists of employees who were being
deployed by the joint venture firm.

These employees were also being changed frequently,
even during a single shift, the sources said.

The vigilance team also found that the AI SATS staff
at the check-in counters were found to be going frequently to
cash counters for issuance of Excess Baggage Tickets (EBTs) or
Miscellaneous Charges Orders (MCOs), leaving the passengers
unattended at the counter.

This practice was neither passenger-friendly nor staff
friendly. An appropriate system must be put in place for
issuance of EBTs or MCOs at the check-in counters itself, the
sources said.

Reacting to the findings of the vigilance check, Air
India officials said, "We are aware of these problems and
taking all the corrective measures that are necessary".

PTI



First Published: Sunday, April 24, 2011 - 10:46

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