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-   -   Mumbai Airport - is is a mess? (https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/mumbai-airport-is-is-a-mess-826871/)

gopp Feb 16th, 2010 05:15 PM

Mumbai Airport - is is a mess?
 
I am connecting in Mumbai Airport from Udaipur to Bangkok on Jet Airways. Right now, I have around a 3hr layover to go from the domestic to international terminals (which are several miles apart). We are scheduled to arrive at 9AM at Mumbai, depart at 1PM for Bangkok.

Mumbai Airport is in major renovations for the next few years, with new terminals being added, etc. It has also been rated one of the most chronically delayed for arrivals and departures.

Do you think 3hrs is enough time to make this connection (taking into account any aircraft delays arriving or departing)? Does anyone have an recent experiences making a connecting flight at airport?

Let me know and thanks!!

Cicerone Feb 16th, 2010 06:14 PM

Actually, IMO and experience, Mumbai is in very good shape. (It’s Delhi that is a bit of a mess). IMO and experience, 3-4 hours should be fine for the connection (9 am arrival and 1 pm departure is 4 hours, but perhaps the flight times you gave are approximate and not exact). As you know, you will have to change terminals from the domestic to the international, but as both flights are on Jet, most likely your baggage will automatically be transferred for you, so that should speed things along. (You might check the website or call to confirm, but I did a Udaipur to Hong Kong flight on Jet about 3 months ago and that was the case.) You should also be ticketed in Udaipur for your flight on to Bangkok, which again should save you time as you won’t have to wait in any check-in lines at the international terminal.

The domestic airport is quite new and I don’t think any work is planned there over the next few years. You can take a free shuttle bus between the two, and if your flight from Udaipur is on time, you should have ample time for this. Follow signs once you land. Another option is to take a taxi. This is just easier and faster (esp if you have to take your luggage.)

The international terminal had major work done over the past 2-3 years, and is actually in quite good shape as far as the transit area where you will spend most of your time, in that there are plenty of food outlets and some shopping. There is no internet access that I have ever yet found, but if I think you can find enough to keep you from being bored. The only issue you may have are immigration and security lines, which can be a bit on the long side. However, with a 4-hour connection, you should be fine. You are not departing in the evening, when most US and European flights depart, so I think you will not find Immigration lines to be too long. However, if you get to the international terminal with only a bit of time to spare, speak up at Immigration and Security and they will move you to the front of the line. (There are separate security lines for women and men, although at Mumbai international terminal the split in lines is not always apparent until quite late in the process; if you are a woman, then again speak up and ask for the location of the women’s line which is faster than the men’s line.)

I really can’t speak for arrival and departure timing issues, all I can say is that in my experience, this has not been a problem. I also am surprised that Delhi, with its fog issues in the winter, would not rank higher for delays overall in India. Not sure where you are getting your information.

Frances Feb 16th, 2010 11:42 PM

My daughter travelled from Heathrow to Goa via Mumbai in December. She was complaining in advance of having 6 hours between flights. As it happened she only just made her connection.! She was ticketed through on Air India but said that by the time she had reclaimed her bags which took 2 hours to get off the plane the 6 hours was rapidly disappearing. She said that the queue for the bus had to wait until there were enough people to fill the bus and only then was it allowed to come to the stop and pick them up.She said that she would get a taxi next time.

gopp Feb 17th, 2010 09:07 AM

Thanks for the advice. We are planning on just having carry on luggage (hopefully it will pass with Jet Airways--not sure how strict they are) so it should make things go quicker. my flight times were off--we have a little under 3 hours layover--it could be tight, but I don't think it warrants taking an evening flight the night before and staying in a hotel at Mumbai airport. Oh, the joys of unpredictable travel!

Cicerone Feb 17th, 2010 05:20 PM

The flight from Udaipur is usually on a smaller aircraft with quite limited cabin room, and therefore you may be required to check luggage. What you could try is to bring it to the plane and they can gate check it, which means you may be able to get it back as soon as the plane lands by waiting for it at the steps of the aircraft. (You won't use a jetway in Udaipur and most likely will not use one when landing in Mumbai).

Generally in my many years of flying Jet, waiting for baggage does not take long on Jet (the above experience on Indian Airways is completely typical and just one of the many reasons to avoid flying the state airline). However, as I mentioned I believe your baggage will be checked through to Bangkok, so if you have to check the luggage in Udaipur, I would encourage you to do so provided you can check it all the way through to Bangkok. This will save you have to lug it around and potentially wait for it in Mumbai.


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