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Confusion on opening day

delhi Updated: Apr 20, 2009 00:16 IST
HT Correspondent

The new domestic departure terminal 1D of Delhi airport finally opened on Sunday with an inaugural Delhi-Mumbai IndiGo flight.

The first day, however, witnessed a lot of confusion among passengers arriving to catch their flight.

The new terminal would replace the old terminal 1B but the shifting of airlines would take place in phases. Kingfisher, Kingfisher Red and IndiGo are the first airlines to shift to 1D.

On Sunday, however, most IndiGo passengers went to the old terminal 1B and then had to come to 1D, which is at a distance.

"There was no one to guide us to the correct building and we went to 1B. Then the airport staff directed us here," said Sanjay Desai, a Mumbai based businessman.

Desai's problem didn't just end there. "There was some time for my flight to depart and I was feeling hungry but there are no eateries outside 1D. I had to go back to 1B to eat at the Balaji Restaurant next to that building," he said.

"We had no idea that our flight would depart from a new building and the airlines had not informed us. However, the airport staff helped us in reaching the right building even though we lost half an hour in the confusion," said Seema Das, a BSNL employee who had come to Delhi from Kolkata.

Though confusion reigned supreme at the domestic airport throughout Sunday, there wasn't much chaos. Airport developer Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) had deployed adequate number of customer care executives next to entry gates to guide passengers.

DIAL had also deployed some golf carts to ferry passengers between the terminals. The airlines too had put passenger coaches for the same purpose.

On its first day of operation, passengers coming to 1D were presented mementos, sweets and gifts.

Apart from the changed building, the new traffic layout too foxed some passengers. "I had to go to 1B but I ended up on the ramp next to 1D as there were no signages showing that I had to turn right," said Razak Mehtar, who had to take a Jet Airways flight to Kochi.

Apart from Kingfisher and Indigo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, JetLite will also shift to terminal ID from old terminal building in the second phase which will begin after April 26.