Passengers at a public hearing on Tuesday complained of widespread irregularities, harassment, non-cooperation and bad behaviour of staff at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Bangladesh capital Dhaka.
Most of the complaints came about the poor management of Biman Bangladesh Airline authorities ranging from flight management to delays without any prior notice.
Outbound passengers made most of the complaints at the hearing organised by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh and HSIA authorities.
Some passengers said that they felt like ‘hostages’ in the airport due to the aggressive and bad behaviour of staff there.
CAAB chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman presided over the programme while HSIA executive director Group Captain AHM Touhid-ul Ahsan moderated the event.
At the beginning of the hearing, Saudi Arabia-bound passenger Md Riad Sarker said that he had a flight scheduled at 3:00pm Tuesday but it was delayed to 11:30pm without any prior notice.
The passengers were not even informed about the delay in the flight.
‘When I went to enquire about the delay, staff of Biman misbehaved with me,’ Riad said.
Riad said that staff usually stay alert when some VIPs come to the airport, otherwise they act rough.
‘They act as if we are beggars… people are being treated like hostages here,’ he said.
No Biman officials were present in the public hearing when Riad was narrating his ordeal.
CAAB president expressed his displeasure about the absence of Biman officials.
Biman’s Dhaka airport station manager Arifuzzaman Khan later apologised for the suffering of the passengers and assured to address the issue.
United Arab Emirates-bound passenger Touhidul Islam complained about the excessive price of air tickets while travelling from Bangladesh.
He said that while coming to Bangladesh he had to spend Tk 50,000 for air tickets, but different airlines charge Tk 80,000 to over 1 lakh while travelling from Bangladesh.
Touhidul said that often items from passengers’ luggage got stolen. His mobile phone was also stolen from his luggage after landing at Dhaka airport.
Touhidul complained about the theft with no outcome.
Golam Mostafa, hailing from Lakshmipur, lives in Jeddah of Saudi Arabia for 33 years.
He said that he frequently travels and often faces delays in Biman’s flights without any notice.
‘It can be accepted if a delay happens once or twice, but repeated and frequent delays are unacceptable,’ Mostafa said.
He said that it took a few minutes to clear immigration and baggage screening in airports of other countries, but Dhaka airport took hours for the clearance, which was annoying for passengers having travelled a long distance.
The United States citizen Carl Augustsson participated in the hearing and expressed his satisfaction with overall services, but said that internet connections were very poor which put foreign travellers at odds after landing at the airport.
Responding to the complaints, CAAB chairman Mafidur said that would increase staff in immigration and ground handling for ensuring quick and smooth services.
He said that the government was working with different airlines to reduce ticket prices.
Addressing complaints about Biman services, Mafidur said that he would raise the issues in Biman’s board meeting and try to resolve those.
Airport Armed Police Battalion commanding officer Rashidul Islam Khan advised passengers not to carry any unknown person’s items while leaving the country and also not to carry gold bars from any middlemen while coming to Bangladesh.
– With New Age input