Domestic travellers taking an Indigo flight will have to leave even earlier to catch their flights for the rest of the month as the airline on Tuesday advanced the closing time for its check-in counters for the month.
The carrier, which caters to about 40% of domestic fliers, has advanced the check-in time by 15 minutes owing to stringent security checks in the run up to Republic Day. The new check-in time, which came into effect on Tuesday, will last until January 31.
“Keeping in mind the security alert for Republic Day, there is congestion in the security hold area, hence IndiGo has notified its passengers about the change in the closure of check-in-counters to 60 minutes from 45 minutes. This is one way to ensure that flight delays are minimised,” said an Indigo spokesperson.
According to the rules laid down by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), domestic airlines close check-in counters 45 minutes prior to take-off time.
Last week, however, Air India also asked its passengers to turn up early at airports. While the national carrier did not make any changes in the closing time of its check-in counters, it asked domestic passengers to reach the airport three hours before the departure time.
“Air India accords utmost importance to the safety and security of its passengers and equipment. In view of the recent security alert, passengers and baggage may have to undergo more stringent checks at airports. To avoid any delays to the flight departures, Air India has requested passengers to report at the counter well in time for check-in,” read a statement issued by the airline.
Air India flies around 16% of all domestic travellers. With Indigo advancing its check-in deadline, too, more than half of all domestic passengers will have to report early at airports.
All Indian airports went on high alert soon after the terror attack at Pathankot Air Force Station on January 2.
According to directives issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the number of armed jawans posted at watch towers ahead of airport entry gates was increased. The advisory also directed airlines’ security personnel to randomly frisk passengers before boarding the aircraft- described as ‘secondary ladder checks’.