Shaji is an active social worker and DCC general secretary at Thrissur, who has been in the headlines a year ago for raising his genuine concerns regarding the non-budget friendly refreshment at the airports. Narrating the incident Shaji says that though our country has budget-friendly airlines, the refreshment is not very budgetfriendly at the airport.
Time has changed and the airport is not just accessed by the riches but also by the common man which include senior citizens to children. We all know that for passengers of the domestic flight have to report two-three hours before the scheduled departure.
Shaji realised the exorbitant price for snacks and beverage is not at all affordable for the common man and is an injustice to their rights. “During a trip to Delhi last year, I had to board a flight at CIAL airport. I had reported hours before the departure time and felt like having a coffee or tea. I had very less money with me and went to a shop for a cup of tea. I had ordered a black tea and the shopkeeper asked me to pay Rs 100,” he said. The incident caught in Shaji’s mind and according to him, this was wrong. He also pointed out that almost all the shops at the airport terminal charge to 10 times higher than the normal price. Having four airports in Kerala, CIAL receives an average of 10 to 15 thousand passengers on a single day. Out of which a majority of the passengers are the common man and these sky-high prices are not affordable to them.
“Airports are run with taxpayers’ money and it was a shame to know that there was not a single shop selling tea, coffee or snacks at a reasonable price to protect the interest of the common man,” said Shaji.
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September - October 2020