Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Stale food irritates flyers at airports

27/12/2017

PUNE : Akhil Sinha bit into the sandwich he had bought for Rs 200 at the airport, and immediately regretted his decision.

The smell churned his stomach. Karan Doshi’s wife had it worse. Consuming a sandwich bought at the Pune airport gave her severe stomach upset and she had to visit the doctor. Unfortunately, these are not isolated cases. With many similar complaints being raised, the authorities at the Pune airport have now decided to increase the frequency of checks on the food outlets to monitor the quality.

"I had worked the whole morning and had to rush to the airport to catch a flight to Kolkata in the afternoon. As I was very hungry, I bought a sandwich, but it smelt foul. the shopkeeper had the strangest excuse. He said the sandwich was smelly as the chicken was boiled. Now I have had many sandwiches in my life but I have never come across anything like this. I am sure the food was spoilt," said Sinha adding that he had to throw away the overpriced, yet stale sandwich.

The premium pricing for such poor quality of food is another big issue. One passenger's experience showed how the food outlets are openly fleecing the customers. In October, the said passenger had paid Rs 300 for a vegetable burger at the airport's lone restaurant. However, he caught one of the restaurant employees sneaking in the burger, wrapped in a newspaper, from outside. On being questioned, the man allegedly said the restaurant was out of burgers and hence it was brought from outside. Though the restaurant denied the allegations, not everyone was convinced.    

A still-upset Karan Doshi recalled his wife's nightmare. "She had finished a night shift before coming to the airport and grabbed a sandwich from a food outlet. For three days after that, she suffered from a severe stomach upset. Are the airport authorities even taking such matters seriously?" he asked.

When contacted, a senior airport official said random checks are conducted on food and beverage outlets of the airport. "The authorities do conduct random checks to see if the food being served is fresh or not. However, there will be more checks from now on. Those found serving or keeping sub-standard food will face the music," the official told pune-news.com.

 There are also plans to add more diversity to the menu. At a recent meeting of the Pune airport advisory committee, the officials decided to add some local dishes. The meeting was chaired by Pune MP Anil Shirole, who is also the chairman of the committee. While there are two major outlets outside the terminal building — selling pre-cooked as well as cooked-to-order foods — another outlet serving South Indian dishes will open near one of the exit gates.


Anant Sardeshmukh, an active member of the committee, said the issue of food quality will be taken up. "We have come across such reports and the matter will be taken up in the next meeting," he said.

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