Bus Gates are Evil: Jet Airways Bus Crashed into Air India Plane, Took 5 Days to Remove

On Tuesday morning a Jet Airways passenger bus crashed into a parked Air India ATR turboprop in Kolkata.

The development came after a major disaster was averted at the Kolkata airport last week, when the shuttle bus rammed into the Air India ATR aircraft. According to airport officials, the aircraft was parked at Bay no. 32 in the airport and was preparing to leave for Silchar. It was then that the driver of the Jet Airways lost control of the vehicle and rammed into the aircraft close to its left wing, causing crores of rupees worth of damage to the National Carrier.

…”The aircraft sustained extensive damage on the right engine, right landing gear and also some other parts because of which the flight operations to Silchar and Shillong had to be cancelled.

It took nearly 5 days just to separate the two from each other, and the aircraft at that point still wasn’t movable. It took engineering teams from Mumbai and Kolkata a full night to pull the two apart.

I’m tempted to say it’s karma for bus gates. I’ve had too many bus gates in my life, it’s one of the least pleasant things about an airport. I never seem to have a gate flying Thai in Bangkok, or Etihad in Abu Dhabi.

If there were no bus gates, buses wouldn’t crash into planes. Of course, buses aren’t all that pleasant for changing terminals, either.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Yes, bus gates suck. As I’ve said before, NOBODY has the right to ever complain about USA airports (which have no bus gates) until the rest of the world eliminates bus gates. I’ll take the worst USA airport (LGA, MIA where ever) over any foreign airport where I have a high likelihood of getting a bus gate. Which seems to be the majority of major world airports. Does the rest of the world not know the miracle of USA airport design?

  2. @iahphx – You’ve apparently never been to the DL terminal @ LGA. Plenty of bus use there. Will never fly DL into LGA again.

  3. @iahphx – no bus gates at US airports??? I’ve had them at LAX. The old US Express (now American) 35X at DCA… Non-United international arrivals at IAD get the moon buggy treatment…

  4. JFK terminal 4 uses them extensively for international arrivals. Thank goodness jetblue moved into their own IAB so I won’t have to worry about terminal 4 any more.

  5. Bus gates are much more common in Europe than in the US. In Europe all airports use them – offering airlines a choice to pay top dollar for a gate, or lower fees for bus gates. Hence many (all?) of the LLC’s use bus gates.

    Some airports simply do not have the capacity to offer jet bridges to all aircraft, and the most common approach is to use bus gates for smaller aircraft. Bus gates for large aircraft (larger than a B737/A321) is extremely rare.

    The one upside is that most of the better airlines offer priority services for their business pax. So it is not uncommon to disembark an A320 and have a private bus for 5 pax or so. Depending on the airport this is sometimes faster than a jet bridge as well, as the busses generally drop pax off right at the luggage belt – eliminating a long walk through the terminal.

  6. I don’t know if they still have them, but there used to be satellite terminals at DFW and MIA that you took a bus to. They were numbered as if they were a gate. If you didn’t know this, you might not allow enough time to get to the actual gate. People missed connections and planes frequently.

  7. We were coming off an CA flight from SIN in F and they had an entire bus for just the two of us. Such a waste.

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