The impasse over baggage handling and check-in facilities at the Airport Expressline Metro network has finally come to an end. Come May 1, you will be able to get your boarding pass at a Metro station of the Expressline, before boarding the train to Indira Gandhi International airport.
These two facilities are the main USPs of the service, without which the high-speed Metro service failed to attract the expected number of commuters since its inception last month.These facilities will be available at three stations — New Delhi, Shivaji Stadium and Dhaula Kuan.
Dhaula Kuan station is likely to be operational by the end of this month.
The deadlock over the issue was resolved on Thursday in a meeting that was attended by representatives from Civil Aviation ministry, Reliance Infrastructure (the concessionaire company), Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Air India among others.
Secretary of Civil Aviation, Nasim Zaidi, fixed May 1 as the deadline for the value-added services, which are expected to give tremendous boost to the success of the new service, sources said.
According to source, talks with Air India and a few private airlines, including Jet Airways and Kingfisher, were at an advanced stage and these airlines were likely to start offering baggage check-in and boarding pass facility at the Metro station from May 1.
Once the services are in place, domestic as well as international air travellers can get their boarding passes at the Metro stations and also can get rid of carrying their luggage all the way up to the airport.
“It has finally been decided that baggage handling and passenger check in facilities would be in place in Metro stations by May 1. These services would definitely augment the ridership figures,” KT Maheswari, director of Reliance Infrastructures, said.
Mangu Singh, director (works), DMRC, however, said: “The civil aviation secretary though verbally announced the date, we will officially announce the date after we get the minutes of Thursday’s meeting. It is yet to be decided whether passengers will have to pay for the services or not. We proposed the services should be free of cost, while airlines are keen to charge passengers for the service.”
Zaidi has also asked to start trials on these services in the Metro stations from March 25.