Air India asks passengers to report three hours prior to departures after terror alert

Air India has asked passengers to turn up three hours ahead of flight take-off times as stringent security measures came in force at airports, in the wake of the Pathankot terrorist attacks and the run-up to India's 66th Republic Day celebrations.

Check-in counters for domestic flights that shut 45 minutes before departure and issuance of boarding cards to those travelling abroad will continue to stop an hour before the scheduled take-off time.

While that would not change, AI officials said that the appeal issued yesterday was a preventive measure to avoid delays owing to slow terminal movement.

''Baggage checks have become stringent in the wake of the heightened security arrangements. As a result it is better if people report early for their flight,'' an official told the media.

Air India said in a statement, ''Air India accords utmost importance to the safety and security of its passengers and equipment. In view of the recent security alert in the country, passengers / baggage may have to undergo more stringent checks at airports. To avoid any delays to the flight departures owing to these procedures, Air India has requested passengers to report at the counter well in time for check-in.''

All Indian airports were put on high alert following the terror attack at the Pathankot Air Force base on 2 January.

Counters for both international and domestic flights operating from International terminals close 60 minutes ahead of the scheduled departure of flights.

Boarding gates for both international and domestic flights close 25 minutes prior to departure.