Air passengers grounded

Passengers were stranded at the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) for hours on Monday as taxis and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses were off the road in view of the Bharat bandh.

While most drivers belonging to the BIAL concessionaries Meru and Easy Cabs, which together operate around 1,000 taxis, did not turn up, the BMTC suspended its services from 10.30 a.m. onwards citing “violent incidents in some parts of Bangalore”.

Flights cancelled

Thirty flights from BIA — 15 arrivals and as many departures — were cancelled mainly because of low occupancy. Airlines combined/rescheduled their flights on many sectors, sources in the BIAL told The Hindu.

Several passengers were seen standing in long queues at the taxi boarding area to board the few taxis that were available.

A team of officials led by the airport's Landside Traffic Head Venkataramanan were coordinating with taxi operators and passengers, arranging taxi pooling and ensuring that a good number of got transport to reach their destination.

Quick buck

Exploiting the situation, some unauthorised taxi operators made a quick buck by scalping the passengers. A stranded passenger said that a driver demanded Rs. 2,000 for a Koramangala drop.

Those who could not afford to fork out such extortionate rates waited till evening, hoping BMTC would resume its services. Syed, who works as a driver in Kuwait, arrived here by an Emirates flight around 10.30 a.m. As he did not get any transport to reach his hometown Madanapalle in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, he spent most part of the day on the lawn near the restroom outside the terminal building.

Those who foresaw the misery reached the airport much in advance. L. Varnan said he turned up at the airport around 5 a.m. as he did not want to miss his 7 p.m. Mumbai flight!

Meanwhile, food and beverage outlets outside the terminal building did brisk business catering to stranded passengers.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 8:02:50 AM |

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