New Delhi, Mar 29 (PTI) Chaos prevailed at Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport here today as hundreds of passengers faced delays in baggage clearance, leading to long queues and flight delays. Also Read - SP Objects to Use of Red, Green Tiles in Railway Hospital Toilet, Calls it Insult to Party Flag

The problem in the baggage handling system affected flight operations, with Vistara Airline issuing a statement late in the evening, saying bags were not being loaded on to the flights and that the airline had taken up the issue with the airport officials. Also Read - Blow to Mayawati As 5 BSP MLAs Withdraw Support, Set to Join Samajwadi Party

Vistara operates from the terminal along with Air India and international operators. Also Read - Need to Ensure Timely, Equitable Availability of Covid Vaccines, Says Union Minister Goyal

The GMR-led Dial International Airport Ltd, the airport operator, attributed the delay in baggage clearance to an increased level of dangerous goods particularly power banks and lighters being carried by passengers in checked-in luggage. This incident rate was 30 per cent higher than average days as the rush was more because of the long holiday weekend.

This impacted the baggage handling processing due to manual reconciliation of the suspect baggage with the passenger and removal of prohibited items, a DIAL spokesperson clarified, adding the issue was now under control .

Several passengers took to social media to vent their anger over the inordinate delays in baggage clearance. One of the passengers tweeted that though she landed at her destination after several hours of delay, her bags were yet to arrive.

BJP Lok Sabha MP Hema Malini was among the passengers whose bags were also stuck in the clearance process. There were uncomfirmed reports that Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav’s bags were also stuck.

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal arrived at a function in Mumbai hours behind schedule as source close to him said that his flight from Delhi had got delayed.

The DIAL spokesperson dismissed allegations that a section of the staff had delayed the baggage handling system because of issues arising out of the suspension of a colleague.

A DIAL statement said that passengers were being reminded not to pack dangerous items in checked luggage to avoid inconvenience.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.