Are all airports in India withdrawing Premium privileges?

A few days ago, I happened to read a news article, where it discussed that the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the authority responsible for aviation security setup across India, had ordered to remove the special screening queue for Business & First Class passengers.

The argument used by BCAS was:

We can’t have empty queues at Business Class queue when Economy queues have all the rush.

According to another report, the segregation already was repealed as of February 26, 2015. However, while passing through Delhi earlier this month, I did not see these measures implemented.

Just yesterday, I was at Mumbai Airport’s Terminal 2, and I noticed that the special queue for Business/First Class passengers for passport control was done away with at departures. There was a queue for Diplomats and Official Passport holders, but none for premium cabin travellers, something I remember seeing on my last flight abroad towards the end of January 2015.

The nature of premium cabin ground services implemented by airports across India has been dodgy at best over the years. One queue for Premium Cabin travellers at passport control? Half baked thinking to say the least.

Which makes me wonder, people who are paying multiples of the coach class ticket, are not going to be assured some sort of premium ground services any more. Is this a good move or a bad one? And what has been your experience – have you seen changes on the ground at other airports?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. As a business/first class passenger,I have earned miles or money and paid in those earned miles or money to fly in a premium class. With that, I expect certain comforts and privileges.If premium passengers are denied premium services, I will think really long and hard about traveling to India, if the country is going back to its Socialist ways.

  2. Oops. I misunderstood. There were no separate lines for security screening at Bangalore airport. The same for economy, business and first passengers.

  3. Traveled EY Business Class on 21st March from Bangalore. Can vouch that there is no change there. There was a line dedicated to Business and Etihad Guest Gold members.

  4. Just based on queuing theory this is a good idea, provided everyone gets through the queue in a short period (<5 min). Otherwise passengers (esp premium) will get restless. But the big problem at Indian airports for immigration is having enough staffing for all the counters.

  5. A few months ago I travelled from Heathrow to Delhi on 9W in their Premiere Cabin.
    Heathrow has separate queues for business/first passengers, and despite being one of the busiest airports, there is hardly any queue for the premium passengers and yes their economy queues are 3 times longer than the queues in India!
    Ground Services should know that the premium paying passengers pay 2-4 times for their tickets, in addition to paying more airport taxes on their tickets. It is their prerogative to have separate queues wherever there is a rush.
    Poor thinking from the Indian Admin really!

  6. Do you think they would ever apply the same logic to separate queues for diplomats, “official” passport holders, VIPs, bureaucrats etc? One babu in an office somewhere applying his typically opaque and lumbering thinking to matters in which he is not an expert. #TII

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