The aviation ministry on Tuesday asked airlines to deploy adequate staff at check-in and baggage drop counters amid complaints of crowding and congestion at airports.

“It has come to the notice of the Ministry of Civil Aviation that the airline check-in counters at certain airports are found unmanned or inadequately manned during early morning hours leading to congestion at the airports,” the ministry said in its advisory.

It also requested the airlines to share real-time data regarding waiting time at respective airports’ entry gates on their social media feeds.

Passengers have been sharing their ordeals on social media for the past few days about crowding and congestion. Many commuters posted pictures of long queues at security checkpoints on social media, complaining about crowd mismanagement at Terminal 3 of Delhi airport.

On Monday, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia visited Delhi airport and spoke to airport management officials at Terminal 3 of the airport.

Scindia said there was congestion at airports because the aviation sector was recovering from the issues that cropped up due to coronavirus restrictions. He also added that number of entry gates at the airport would be increased from 14 to 16.

Meanwhile, airlines have advised passengers to arrive at the airport at least 3.5 hours prior to domestic departures and carry only one piece of hand baggage for a smooth security check.

“The Delhi airports are experiencing high footfalls and the check-in and boarding time is expected to be longer than usual,” Indigo said. “Please use gate numbers 5 and 6 for entry... as these are nearest to the IndiGo check-in counters.”

SpiceJet said passengers travelling domestically should reach 2.5 hours prior to their flight departure and 3.5 hours prior for international travel.

Air India also asked international passengers to arrive four hours before departure for a seamless security check, PTI reported.

“We request our passengers to complete web check-in for faster movement at the Airport,” the airlines said in an advisory.