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Delhi Airport Metro line opens!

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  2. Mr. Khan

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    Airport Metro check-in kicks off at New Delhi & Shivaji Stadium stations to flying start

    NEW DELHI: The Airport Express metro line's baggage check-in facility started functioning on Friday.
    At 3pm on Friday, Priyanka Sharma, a Mumbaikar, was the first passenger to check in her luggage on the Airport Express metro line. Afrequent traveller, Sharma, added she's envious of Delhi's ease of travel. "The experience was astounding. I had no clue about this facility till I reached the metro station. For a frequent traveller like me, the check-in facility is great," said Sharma, who was travelling by Air India to Mumbai.

    Four months after the launch, the Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium finally got its check-in facility started at two stations on the IGI metro link - New Delhi Railway Station and Shivaji Stadium. Targeted at the airport-bound passengers, R-Infra's Airport Express metro has been seeing comparatively lower turnout of commuters as it awaited the check-in facility. Three airlines - Air India, Kingfisher and Jet airways - opened counters on Friday. While Air India and Jet have two counters each at NDRS and Shivaji, Kingfisher has only opened counters at the NDRS metro station.

    The check-in facility is being provided only to domestic passengers at the moment , said airline sources. An R-Infra spokesperson added that there was no timeline to facility being extended to international fliers. "It's the decision of the airlines ," said the spokesperson . The IGI metro link ends at the Indira Gandhi International airport from where passengers need to take a connecting bus ride to the domestic airport.

    According to airline officials , about 30 people checked in at the counters set up by the airlines during the first hour after the facility started. The figure went up to 95 passengers by evening. "It was a good show for a first day," said the official. Senior aviation ministry officials said Friday's soft launch didn't have any problems. Added the official, "We learn from the experience of the first few days and will iron out problems, if they arise. Once that is done, we will have a full-fledged formal launch."

    Interestingly, passengers who check in at the metro station have to report at the airline help desk at the airport to ensure that their baggage has been checked in and boarded. Added an official working at the check-in counter of Air India, "The passenger would have to report at counter F, numbers 12 and 13, for the baggage checked in at the metro station." Passengers of Jet and Kingfisher would have to do the same.

    For most passengers boarding the IGI metro though, it was a pleasant surprise to have the check-in facility at the metro station. "The facility is great. Usually , I would need to go through two layers of security checks or my luggage if I travelled by metro to the airport. Today, I am travelling baggage free," said Parul Sharma, a passenger travelling to Indore in an Air India flight.

    While New Delhi metro station was abuzz with passengers checking in and making their way to the airport , counters at Shivaji Stadium saw less activity. Station officials claimed this was because of the location of the Shivaji Stadium station . "New Delhi metro station is the starting point and its connectivity to other areas makes it more popular with commuters," said the official . However, the concessionaire is hoping that with more public awareness, the station would see increasing traffic. Incidentally, sources say that aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi pursued to get the check-in facility launched at the earliest.

    Airport Metro check-in kicks off at New Delhi & Shivaji Stadium stations to flying start - The Economic Times