Airline to pay Rs 1 lakh to passenger for loss of bag

delhi-state-consumer-dispute-redressal-commissionDelhi State Consumer Commission has directed British Airways to pay Rs one lakh compensation for losing a bag of a passenger who was flying to London eight years ago.

Delhi State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, while upholding the compensation amount decided by a district forum here, observed that the incident caused “mental agony and harassment” to Shimla native Ramesh Bhargava, who did not get one of his two bags after landing at Heathrow Airport in 2008.

“The loss of baggage of complainant (Bhargava) is admitted by the airline. Loss of baggage has certainly caused mental agony and harassment to the complainant.

“Keeping in mind the totality of facts and circumstances of the case, District Forum has awarded the compensation of Rs one lakh which is just and proper,” the commission’s Presiding Member Justice Veena Birbal said.

The commission dismissed the appeals of the airline and the complainant seeking reduction and enhancement of compensation respectively.

“(It) is not a case for lesser compensation as is alleged by the airline. It is not the case of complainant that he made declaration of contents of bag. In these circumstances, complainant is not entitled for higher compensation as alleged by him,” it said.

According to the passenger’s complaint, he had travelled by British Airways from New Delhi to London on June 7, 2008 and had checked-in with two suitcases of 24 kg each.

He had alleged that on reaching Heathrow Airport, he received one of the two suitcases and when their staff could not locate the missing suitcase, they assured him of a compensation in three weeks but no action was taken.

Accordingly for the deficiency on part of the airline, Bhargava filed a complaint before the district forum seeking amount for cost of baggage, expenses incurred for stay of at hotel, cost of other valuables in the bag and also prayed for compensation for mental torture.

The airline had denied that the missing baggage had items as were alleged. It also claimed that the amount awarded by the district forum was very high and contended that the complainant was entitled to USD 20 per kg in accordance with the un-amended provisions of the Carriage by Air Act, 1972.

The commission, however, rejected the claim.

“The contention of the airline that Bhargava is entitled to compensation as per weight of baggage has no force. Simply because no hotel bills are produced is no ground to reduce the compensation,” the commission said.

JetLite to pay Rs 40,000 for misplacing passenger’s luggage

JetLite airliner has been asked by a city district consumer forum to pay Rs 40,000 to one of its passengers for rendering his luggage untraceable for five days.

Formerly known as Air Sahara, JetLite was asked to pay the amount to Delhi resident and complainant Rajesh Kumar by New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, for misplacing his baggage and forcing him to buy items during his brief outstation stay in Mumbai.

“We have considered the matter. The deficiency to the extent of loss of bag at Bombay is proved. The inconvenience, mental tension and agony for five days can be imagined.

“We allow a sum of Rs 15,000 towards purchase made in Bombay for 3–4 days. For harassment, loss of bag, mental agony and litigation expenses, we award Rs 25,000. The opposite party (JetLite) is directed to pay this amount to complainant within 30 days,” said forum’s President C K Chaturvedi.

Kumar in his complaint had said he had checked-in his luggage with the airlines when he had boarded the JetLite flight in June 2007 from Delhi but on reaching Bombay he found his bag missing and he had to lodge complaint for it with the relevant authorities.

Kumar said his bag was returned to him five days after returning from Bombay, but on checking it he found that Rs 25,000 in cash and a camera were missing from it.

While awarding the compensation, the bench, however, said he “himself was to be blamed for the loss of cash and camera, as valuables are not to be kept in the luggage”.