Air travellers in India will soon be able to avail airport service packages in which they can hire assistants to help them complete their airport journey.
These assistants will help passengers complete check-in formalities, speed them through security check and immigration, wait for their flight with them at airline lounges, and take to the boarding gate in a golf cart, even if they are travelling economy class.
Government officials have said that the Union civil aviation ministry is set to approve this new ‘meet and greet’ plan, under which airports across the country will hire a company for helping passengers, for a price that entitles them to these additional services.
Departing passengers will be received in the parking area and will be provided with assistance at every point till they board the plane. Similarly, those arriving will be received at the aerobridge.
Currently, there is no procedure to issue an airport entry pass to an outside person to facilitate passengers. Commercial entities, mostly hotels, are given commercial passes, but even then, they are allowed to receive passengers only from the Customs area. This proposal is to give all-area passes to employees of the ‘meet and greet’ company.
Only one company per airport will be given a license for the service, and the airport operator will have to set its own rates. The average cost is expected to be Rs 5000.
The porter service will continue, so will the wheelchair service provided by airlines for old or physically challenged. Many passengers opt for the wheelchair to avoid walking at long terminals. Those who can afford it will now be able to pay and use these add-on services
This service will not compromise security since the background of the employees hired by the company will be thoroughly checked.
This service will be helpful for those passengers who are old, first-time flyers or differently abled and are traveling alone.