✅ Trip Verified
| The architectural and aesthetic beauty of this airport is completely negated by the ridiculous and demeaning experience of the security procedure. After checking in, you follow signs that indicate where international passengers are supposed to proceed. Then, a long snaking line leading to security starts forming somewhere in the rear of the main departures area. In our case, my wife and I joined the line which slowly moved toward the security area. Then, suddenly, it seemed, the line was separated into two lines: split by gender. As the number of passengers swelled, both gender lines again separated into four or five, spread across a wide area. My wife and I completely lost sight of each other as we trudged onward to where the other people in line seemed to be headed. As we approached the checkpoint where the trays with personal belongings, electronic gadgets, belts and hand baggage are to be put on the belt/rollers to the X-ray machine, there were no instructions (as at other Indian airports), and each airport is slightly different) as to what went where. So we took our best guess and separated or metal belongings, electronics, etc. and proceeded to the line(s) now forming to go through the metal detector and pat-down/frisk area. The pat-down (which all passengers are subjected to) is ridiculously intrusive, with repeated frisking of the same area of the body. In most airports, this then concludes the security procedure. But not at Mumbai - there is one more checkpoint where your passport and boarding pass is stamped to validate your leaving the country. The area between the security pat-down and the departure validation line is so big that it is completely possible to lose your travelling companion or spouse or kids (e.g. a teenage daughter travelling with her father) in the various clusters of people. Furthermore, it is also possible that one person would wait after the exit from security and the other might assume that their companion has already proceeded to the next line. I spent close to 4 -5 minutes searching for my wife. When we finally exited the departure checkpoint into the duty-free/retail/food court area, we felt too exhausted to consider any purchases, food or drink. So grabbing our bottled water, we walked to our gate and collapsed into a couple of chairs. We had arrived at least two hours before the flight, yet, we were only 10 minutes away from boarding when we got to the gate. I truly hope the airport authorities revamp and humanize the horrible procedure for departing passengers - it is a shame that such a beautiful facility is ruined by this experience.