After four months of the high-speed airport metro service becoming operational, the much-awaited passenger and baggage check-in facilities for domestic fliers have started in two stations of the showcase airport expressline. The service for the international fliers is likely to start within a few months.
Domestic fliers who would fly from terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport can now get rid off their luggage at the New Delhi and Shivaji Stadium metro stations. They also can get their boarding passes from these two stations. The service had missed its May 1 deadline, as the airlines were reportedly not ready to start the service from metro stations.
But international fliers will not be able to enjoy this facility until the airlines get clearance for the same. Sources in Reliance Infrastructure, the concessionaire company, said clearance for checking in international fliers will soon be achieved and subsequently the service will be in place.
Domestic operators Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines have set up two counters each at both the metro stations where domestic fliers can enjoy check-in facilities. The same facility will also be in place in Dhaula Kuan.
Seeing an overwhelming response, Air India has asked for two more counters to be opened, said sources. The service began at 3pm on Friday and continued till 7pm. A total of 21 fliers availed the facilities from the New Delhi metro station, said an Air India spokesperson.
"Priyanka Sharma, who took Mumbai bound flight AI 863, was the first to check in through the expressline metro station at New Delhi," said an executive of Air India.
"From Saturday, the check in service will be available through out the service hours — from 5am till 11pm — and the entire system will be under CISF surveillance. This commuter friendly value added service will benefit thousands of fliers and help increasing footfall on the expressline, which presently registers about 10,000 footfall every day," said a Reliance Infrastructure official. Fliers can now check in their baggage minimum two-and-half hours and maximum six hours prior to their flight's departure and go around the city.
Those who avail the service will have to report to the dedicated city check in counter at T3 terminal at least one hour before the departure, failing in which their baggage will not be taken to the flight. This arrangement has been made on security grounds, said officials.