August 23, 2008

Flight Check-INS at Metro Stations

By Megha Suri

NEW DELHI: The airport is coming to the heart of the city. Soon, passengers will be able to complete their airline and baggage check- in formalities at two Metro stations on the airport express line which are being developed as city airport terminals (CATs).

The stations - at New Delhi Railway Station and Shivaji Stadium - will each have a sprawling 7,000-sq-m area and be equipped with all facilities offered at airport terminals. So effectively, you can buy your air ticket, check-in your baggage, collect the boarding pass and even shop at CAT before you board a fast train to reach the actual airport terminal.

All you will need at the actual airport terminal is a final security check before you board the flight. Your baggage will automatically be delivered to you at the destination city.

The designs for the station terminals have been finalized, and will look different from all existing Metro stations. The idea, according to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), is to make the CATs feel just like the actual airport terminals.

Both Metro stations will have more than 50 check-in counters each, where passengers can check in their baggage and get boarding passes for the flights.

The Metro stations will also have ticket counters operated by airlines for those who have not bought their tickets in advance.

Once passengers have checked in the baggage, they can either sit around in waiting lounges with comfortable recliners, flat screen TVs and music or browse around the retail spaces, being developed on the lines of the airport duty free.

The Metro station at New Delhi Railway station will also have a multi-level parking lot, which DMRC is planning to operate using machines which lift a car and place it automatically in the assigned slot. This will be the first such parking lot in Delhi. To ensure that there is no pilferage of baggage, a special tunnel, equipped with a double-decker conveyer belt, is being created between the IGI Metro station and Terminal 3 of IGI.

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