Passengers at mass hearing share bitter experiences at the Dhaka airport
Passengers at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, most of them migrant workers, today (August 10) opened up about their bitter experiences at the airport including mismanagement in luggage handling and misconduct by different staff and officials of HSIA and airlines.
They expressed their helplessness while participating at a mass hearing programme at the HSIA in presence of top officials of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh and the Dhaka airport.
CAAB organised the programme as part of its move to improve the quality of service for passengers at the main gateway of Bangladesh by air.
Sharing his experience, SM Ishaq, a Bangladeshi migrant worker living in Saudi Arabia for the last 27 years, said he visited Dhaka at least 25 times during this time and always chose Biman Bangladesh Airlines to travel to Dhaka as part of his love for the country.
"But on many occasions, officials and staff at the airport and of Biman misbehaved with me when I was seeking assistance," he said.
"In exchange of hard work at the foreign land, we earn foreign currency for the country. But the airport and the Biman officials on different occasions do not show bare minimum respect to us," Ishaq said.
"It's my plea so that the airport and the respective airlines' officials show us at least minimum respect," he said while drawing attention of CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman who presided over the programme.
Citing an example of mismanagement in luggage handling, he said, on July 8 he found one of his three luggage were opened up and many things were missing inside.
Another passenger Oliullah from Cumilla alleged that while returning to Dhaka from South Africa on July 18, he did not find one of his luggage at the airport.
Several other passengers, who used the Dhaka airport in the recent days, said it often takes two to three hours to get luggage due to mismanagement in luggage handling at the airport.
Journalists present at the hearing raised the much talked about recent incident of a custom official slapping a passenger coming from Malaysia while checking his luggage. The CAAB chief sought apology over the incident.
Two passengers -- Md Russel and Md Anis -- alleged that they bought air tickets from an agency of Salam Air from outside the country to travel to Oman today (August 10) at 1:30pm.
But after coming at the airport, they came to know that Salam Air does not have any flight at that time.
The CAAB chairman asked officials of the HSIA and of respective airlines to instantly resolve the problems of the passengers.
For misconduct by officials and staff working at the HSIA, the CAAB chief said they are preparing a code of conduct for all stakeholders at the airport.
"Every person will have to follow this code of conduct if s/he wants to work at the airport," he said.
The CAAB chief also said they will also organise training for all airport officials and staff so that they behave with all the passengers showing due respect.
On the issue of mismanagement in luggage handling, the CAAB chief said that they have formed a committee following instruction of the Prime Ministers' Office to look into the issue on a regular basis to improve the vital service to the passengers.