Baggage screening tags go away at 6 major Indian airports

One of the most irrelevant to today’s times practices in Indian aviation was the stamping of the baggage tag. Across the continents I’ve been to, it was only at home would I see the practice of a security agency (CISF) X-ray screening bags and then putting a stamp on a tag to signify that the bag was checked and okay. Further, other security apparatus would check if the bag was stamped, all the way till you got on the plane.

I’m sure the process had relevance back in the day, but with most procedures being automated and X-ray scanners able to automatically isolate most troublesome material, those times were gone.

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With effect from today, 6 major airports in India are conducting a trial, where the CISF will no longer be stamping the cabin baggage tags. The six airports under study are:

  • Mumbai
  • Delhi
  • Bangalore
  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Kolkata

It is the plan of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, that if this pilot goes through smoothly, the airports will no longer require the baggage tags to be stamped after a successful screening of the baggage. Also, there is potential to take it to the other airports of the country as well. Remember, the trial is only for passengers travelling domestically to start with, and to be held if you are flying between December 15 to December 21, 2016.

The archaic rule going away would save us quite some time at the airports. Somebody put a 10 minutes per passenger number. My wife who is travelling today already sees the difference.

This discontinuation of stamps is also a logical first step to a larger discussion where the boarding passes will no longer be required to be stamped, and that would make it easier to bring in mobile boarding passes across the country.


This has been a move I have been waiting for, for a long long time. The baggage stamping is irksome. Next steps, I’d expect the security apparatus to enable mobile boarding passes and do away with the frisking till there is a beep, also let go off the stamp the boarding pass business.

How do you think the new move will impact your air travel across India?

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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. Stamping is a nuisance, but I don’t see how it takes 10 mins? The screening has to be done anyway. We’ll only “save” the time needed to affix stamp.

  2. I can personally confirm that this move has had absolutely zero effect on the queues and time it takes to clear them. It takes same time in Mumbai as well as Bengaluru as it took before. More than anything, I think someone senior in CISF saw that due to lack of staff, security personnel would stamp the tags before the bags even went into the x-ray and hence decided to do away with this.

    It would be better if CISF followed the more popular approach of physically scanning only those who fail to come clean from the x-ray gates.

  3. Good move indeed! Another annoying security feature of the Indian airports is the inability to exit the terminal building once a person enters it (even for perfectly valid reasons). It defines any logic to me!

    • @Udai it may defy logic to you but it has good reason. given every Indian wants to drop of their family be it at railway station or airports, this is a crowd control and security measure only to let valid passengers inside. So logically it makes no sense to let you out once you are inside. At other airports there is no security control on entrance to the airport hence people can walk out once still kerbside, but for us it is different. If you have a perfectly valid reason, convince the airline personnel and they will sign off for you in the access control book and let you out.

  4. Yeah! I’ve had my share of times that the stamp got missed. What a pain that is if you don’t notice right away! And even if you do….

  5. Question – How does teh security then check if someone has an ulterior motive in their bag? Like a gun or a bomb?

    • @Gowri Shanker, the job of the tag was to indicate that the bag has been checked, not to indicate that their is an ulterior motive in their bag. That is the job of the x-ray machine scanning the bag.

      • Ah, believe I got the understanding wrong. I thought the xray’ing itself was also done away.

        So, the passenger will still go through the same process of waiting for his/her bags to be xrayed. Just that the CISF folks won’t be stamping anymore.

        Got it

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