Luggage collection at TIA a weighty woe

Kathmandu, January 22

Incoming passengers at Tribhuvan International Airport’s domestic terminal are being forced to make heavy weather of collecting their luggage.

Passengers complain that the luggage clearance process at the domestic terminal in TIA is not only time consuming, but loaded with challenges. Lack of conveyor belt at the domestic terminal has only added to their hassles, rue passengers.

“The difficulty that passengers face while collecting their luggage at TIA’s domestic terminal is only one among a load of other instances of ineffective airport management. In fact, the domestic terminal has failed to ensure even fundamental facilities that an airport should have,” Rabin Rijal, who returned to Kathmandu from Surkhet, told THT.

Rijal added that TIA officials at the luggage collection area did little to take the load off passengers’ minds while they struggled to find their baggage.

At a time when the government has identified 100 tourist destinations across the country targeting the ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ and has put all its weight behind their promotion, such an awful management in TIA’s domestic terminal section might discourage international tourists from travelling beyond the capital. It is high time that the government took necessary steps to address such fundamental problems passengers face at TIA, add stakeholders.

“The country today has a tourism minister who is young, energetic and knows what is wrong with TIA. However, even basic things at the airport have not improved,” said Raju Bhattarai of Chitwan, who is also a tourism entrepreneur. He added that the minister should throw his weight around to put the house in order at TIA.

Bhattarai said the luggage collection zone at domestic and international terminals of TIA should be expanded.

As luggage handling and other competitive services in the airport are crucial for promoting the tourism industry, air travellers have also urged the government to enhance not only physical infrastructure at TIA, but also the services being rendered there.

Raj Kumar Chhetri, general manager of TIA, when contacted, tried to make light of the weighty problem, saying the luggage handling problem will be addressed shortly.