Some things don’t change and I wish those traditions are preserved forever. My last trip abroad was in June 2019, and when I returned last night from Qatar, I was happy to find Chennai International Airport maintaining their world-famous baggage claim record of getting your bags only after an hour of landing even at 2 AM with only one other flight in the airport. Over the years, Madras Airport has fine-tuned the process of baggage handling, ever-increasing the delay, so that passengers are given plenty of time in the airport to look around, and stretch their legs after a long flight before venturing into the outside world.

This tradition is coordinated by the Airports Authority of India, the Ministry of Civil Aviation Government of India, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and the Tamil Nadu Police. I wish with the opening of the new terminal and eventually the planned airport in Parandur, Kancheepuram this tradition is not lost in the name of efficiency and traveller delight.

Oddly, the immigration counters were staffed well, and they cleared at record speeds with no delays for a full flight; the customs were nearly invisible.

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