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Anonymous7 Dec 2010
I will be departing Mumbai for London early in 2011. Is it true that business class passengers departing on BA get extra attention/assistance to negotiate the terminal/check-in and security?
Any comments or useful suggestions in this regard to make the whole departure experience from Mumbai as stress free as possible would be appreciated.7 Dec 2010
I can tell you Swiss have a “Fast Track” lane at Mumbai for F and C so I presume BA would also use the same facility.
I know Swiss F pax are usually escorted through security and immigration cutting out the queues, and then taken to the plane from the lounge if requested. I don’t know if BA offers the same service though.8 Dec 2010
Sorry to say, “special handling” at Mumbai is a hit-and-miss affair, entirely depending on who’s on duty that particular day. You usually have to INSIST that the airline makes sure they can fast-track you through the interminable queues. As a premium passenger, its the least they should do!8 Dec 2010
But be aware of someone who approaches you looking smart, often with quite a few BA pins/buttons saying they’ll help you get through quickly, etc. They are just after money from you. BA ground staff never seem to shoo them away…but they do pester customers and promise fast processing.8 Dec 2010
This has happened to me a few times in various African airports and once in Mumbai. They can be a nuisance but in fairness for about $10 they will whisk you past all the queues and take you through the VIP/Diplomatic passport and security checks.
On arrival it’s the same but they will take your tags, get your bags, find a porter (if needed) and a half decent taxi that does not rip you off if you are not being collected.
It’s well worth $10 and I tell them what they will get but only pay when you are in the lounge / taxi.
I guess BA does not shoo them away since if BA offer the service they have to pay to use Fast Track, for the assistance etc. This way the customer is happy and they save a few Rupees or whatever.8 Dec 2010
Thanks to everyone who has provided an answer to my question- it seems to confirm my opinion that this airport seems a difficult one to negotiate and I will need all the help I can get so that me and my wife arrive unhassled and still sane in the BA lounge pre-departure for London.8 Dec 2010
Stephen and Lugano,
I had that once at Baku. Naively I thought they were from the Ministry I’d been working for, but found out they weren’t when they’d got me to the front of the queue and requested money. I also felt highly embarrassed at having queue-jumped about 80 people…….
Live and learn? Perhaps one day I will.
Simon9 Dec 2010
Don’t worry about the queue jumping Simon, I too get embarrassed, but as a friend told me, chances are you will not see anyone in the queue again, they will not remember you even if you do, and by the next day will have forgotten it anyway.
BTW, did you have enough cash to pay him, or having made it to the front of the queue did you have to run to the ATM? 😉9 Dec 2010