Rudeness, baggage loss, dirty toilets bugged Indian fliers

Rudeness, baggage loss, dirty toilets bugged Indian fliers

Rude behaviour by security personnel, loss of baggage and unclean toilets are among the major complaints of fliers across the country, according to a Civil Aviation Ministry document.

The ministry says there were 9,440 complaints lodged by fliers in 2012, the latest figures which available, but it feels the numbers could be much more as not all passengers lodged complaints, owing partly to undefined procedure on grievance redressal.

Studying the pattern of complaints, the ministry's “Consultation Paper on Ombudsman for Civil Aviation” said there was no authority to compel airlines to implement these guidelines.

“Not all passengers lodged their complaints, and even if they wished to do so neither was there any clearly defined procedure nor was any airline personnel available to assist them,” it said.

According to the statistics, the highest number of complaints was regarding baggage mishandling (2,531), followed by refund (677) and misbehaviour by airline staff (667).

“The instances of missing baggage, pilferage and replacement of articles are visibly higher, as is evident  from even the small sample of consumer grievances obtained from various stakeholders. The growing grievance amongst passengers concerning staff misbehaviour and indifferent attitude is an area of serious concern. In many cases, it is observed that consumers do face the brunt of unacceptable behaviour on part of the airline and airport officials,” it said.

Another issue was passengers' complaints of rude behaviour by CISF officials. “This appears to be the most common complaint noticed in the airport with respect to security personnel,” said the paper.

In airports, unclean toilets attracted the highest percentage of complaints. Almost 20 per cent complaints were related to unhygienic toilets.

The consultation paper quoted data furnished by Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) frome January to June in 2011, in which it said they received 368 written feedbacks from passengers, of which about 42 per cent is said to be in the nature of complaints and the rest as feedback or queries. 

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