Masks, distancing norms and half-empty planes — passengers recount experiences at Chennai airport

‘It was surreal to see people wearing PPE throughout the journey’


From having to use personal protective equipment and maintain physical distance to travelling on half-empty flights, flying domestic for the first time since the lockdown came into force was a very different experience for passengers.

Nithyanandan Karuppusamy, a 26-year-old working professional, who took a flight from Chennai to Coimbatore, said, “The plane was half-empty, and there were just about 40 of us. It was surreal to see the crew donning PPE and passengers wearing face masks and gloves throughout the journey.”

Departing from Chennai airport was a smooth experience, as there were no issues on the first day of resumption of flights, he said. “But I didn’t expect to be required to undergo institutional quarantine for a day after landing in Coimbatore. That disappointed me,” he added.

Usha Srinivasan, a 58-year-old resident of Delhi, who took the first flight to Chennai, said she was surprised to see around half the seats vacant.

“I have never seen anything like this. I was praying that my flight should not be cancelled,” she said.

“Both in Delhi and Chennai, everything went well, and I walked out of the airport without any hassle,” Ms. Srinivasan said.