From now on, travelers at Ben Gurion Airport will have to use their credit cards to use baggage trolleys there. The Israel Airports Authority has introduced 3,500 new trolleys operated by credit card. Using a trolley for up to five hours now requires a NIS 10 deposit. When the trolley is returned to its place, the credit card is credited for the amount of the deposit.
No fee is being charged for use of the trolleys so far, but this cumbersome procedure is designed to preserve order by making passengers return the trolleys to the rack in a way similar to supermarket carts.
The new luggage trolleys are placed in a special device, as is the case at most international airports. These devices are dispersed at Ben Gurion Airport Terminal 3 and Terminal 1, which is scheduled to reopen in July, to accommodate low-cost flights.
The Israel Airports Authority says that the use of the luggage trolleys will decline. This conclusion is based on studies conducted of the volume of activity at airports similar to Ben Gurion Airport, where the volume of passengers is 15-25 million annually. The studies indicate that the increased use of wheeled luggage is making luggage trolleys less necessary.
According to the Airports Authority, NIS 8.5 million is spent annually on keeping luggage trolleys in proper condition. After the trolleys are used, they are left around in the airport parking lots, and some of them disappear or are run over and damaged by cars. There have also been cases of cars being damaged by luggage trolleys left in the parking lot.
Passenger congestion at Ben Gurion Airport has already begun to increase, and is expected to escalate on Sunday, when schoolchildren go on vacation. 63,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airport on Sunday, and crowding is likely, given that international flights will take off only from Terminal 3, while Terminal 1 is being renovated. The number of passengers at the airport is expected to reach 77,000 a week from Sunday.
More than 130 airlines will operate at Ben Gurion Airport during this Passover holiday season. The number of passengers on international flights passing through the airport in April is slated to top 1.6 million. The most prominent destinations are Turkey (primarily for continuation flights), the US, France, Germany, and Italy.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on March 30, 2017
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017