Consumer Court : Ruling on Lost Baggage

Airline directed to pay Rs 2 L for lost baggage




      New Delhi: The state consumer commission has directed Emirates airline to pay Rs 2 lakh compensation to a doctor of Indraprastha Apollo Hospital for the loss of baggage in transit as well as tampered baggage on the return journey.

       Dr Rakesh Chopra, chief of haematooncology division at Apollo, attended an international conference at Athens between 6 and 10 November 1998, accompanied by his wife.

      On arrival at Athens airport, out of his two checked-in baggage, one did not reach the airport. As a result, he could neither participate in the conference nor attend any of the official functions and his entire trip was horrifying experience. Till date, his baggage has not been traced.

      It got worse when on their return, the doctor and his wife found locks and zippers tampered with at the Dubai airport on their remaining checked-in baggage.

      The airline pleaded that as per the Carriage Act it was liable to pay a sum of US $20 per kg only and with respect to damage of suitcase, it reimbursed US $150 as an interim relief at Athens.

      This did not find favour with Justice Kapoor who noted,‘‘Liability under the Consumer Protection Act arises from the offence of deficiency of service which is to be judged independently. Loss of baggage, non-delivery, late delivery and pilferage is in itself a deficiency in service. Hence the consumer who suffers mental agony and harassment needs to be compensated.’’

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