Air India directed to pay Rs 50,000 compensation to flier

Air India Ltd has been directed by a consumer forum here to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to a woman flier for causing her inconvenience by not loading her luggage in a flight from New Delhi to Abu Dhabi in 2007.

The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum asked Air India to pay the compensation on a complaint filed by Delhi-resident Sandhya Sharma, who had said that she suffered great difficulties due to loss of suitcase which was delivered to her three days after she reached Abu Dhabi.

"We can understand that without suitcase, complainant (Sharma) must have suffered a lot of inconvenience, humiliation and great difficulty and also spent money on purchases.

"Although some compensation of 300 Dirham was given to the complainant by airlines, it is not sufficient for the inconvenience suffered by the complainant. Considering the complaint, we award Rs 50,000 in toto as compensation for the inconvenience suffered by the complainant including litigation cost etc.," the bench presided by C K Chaturvedi said.

Sharma had approached the forum, saying she had booked air tickets on an Air India flight from New Delhi to Abu Dhabi for July 9, 2007 and at Indira Gandhi International Airport here, she had checked in her suitcase.

After reaching Abu Dhabi, she waited for over two hours near the conveyor belt for her suitcase but it was not found following which officials at the Abu Dhabi airport filed the irregularity report.

Sharma had said she faced difficulty at Abu Dhabi as her clothes were in the missing suitcase and on her complaint, Air India had paid 300 Dirham (around Rs 3,000 in 2007) as compensation to her on July 11, 2007 but it was not sufficient for purchasing clothes and the luggage was delivered to her on July 12, 2007.

Air India had opposed Sharma's plea, saying her complaint was "baseless" and liable to be dismissed. It said her baggage was not loaded on the flight by which she reached Abu Dhabi but later it was traced out and delivered to her.

Air India also said that they had paid her interim relief as per the norms of the company and there was no deficiency on their part.

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