Actually, he heard right about the traffic being affected by the pollution. In addition to the authorities making public transport free on high-pollution days, they often instate alternate-plate-only driving (i.e. on Mondays, license plates whose numbers end in an even number can be on the roads, on Tuesday, license plates with an odd number, or however it works out).
I don't understand as it would seem to halve the number of vehicles on the roads, but somehow it makes it more of a mess.
For quite a few days last week, Uber drivers were protesting as well due to Uber's having increased its rates while decreasing or holding steady the drivers' commissions, so it WAS taking people a long time to get to/from the airports on the road. That's not related to pollution restrictions, of course, but may have played into what he was hearing about.