I usually have nothing but good words to state about Mumbai’s new Terminal 2, but I am really getting tired with the whole immigration and customs clearance set-up there, and an ineffective meet & greet service at the airport really got me disappointed last week.
See, I’m usually not a meet & greet sort of guy, but I do use them at some international airports when I know I need to get into a meeting quickly after arrival or bottlenecks are apparent. Last week, I was due to arrive into Mumbai after a 4 hour long flight from Kuwait, bang in the middle of the night at 3 a.m. This trip was last minute, and I already had plans to travel to Mahabaleshwar the next morning via road. Hence, I booked up one of my Meet & Assist service in Mumbai with the aid of the Citi Prestige yQ benefit which I recently covered. I just needed to get out of the airport as soon as poss ible to be able to go home and pack for my next trip.
What happened next was truly useless. I touched down ahead of time, slightly, at the Mumbai airport and we were allocated a non-aerobridge parking spot. Hence, I arrived in a coach to the arrivals gate, and there was no sign of the guy who was supposed to meet me on arrival. I trudged along to passport control, where I saw at least a queue of 50 deep per immigration officer, and no expedited queues for premium cabin travellers. So, I joined the queue. I now get a text from the Mumbai CSIA Meet & Greet service, telling me to call a particular number in case the meet & assist guy has not been found. So, I am supposed to find him rather than he finds me. Meh!
A bit of back and forth later, 2 people arrive to meet me, and they put out a strong resistance and a case that they were waiting for me at arrivals gate, while I waited a minute or so and I found no one there waiting for me.
Anyhow, I asked them to do something about the queue and they just shook their head and said they could do nothing for expediting my passport control or customs clearance. I asked them what could they really do, and they said
Sir, we could assist you with your bags retrieval from the baggage claim.
So, I just packed along the guy(s) and asked them to not to bother with me anymore. I did not have any bags apart from my little rollaboard bag, since I was just on an overnight trip. Here is an insight into the queues I waded through that night at the airport.
But, which brings me to ask the question, are they really a meet & greet service or just a glorified porter service?
What has been your experience with the Mumbai Airport’s Meet & Greet Service?