British Airways has been directed by a consumer forum here to pay Rs. 2.26 lakh to a woman passenger from Haryana as compensation for loss of her luggage while she was travelling from Miami in the US to Delhi.
The South West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum rejected the airline's argument that it was governed by the Warsaw Convention as per which its liability was limited, while ruling in favour of Monika, a resident of Jind district in Haryana.
The forum said: "India may be a signatory to the convention, but a legislation based on it has not been passed by the Indian government."
The South West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum observed that the UK-based airline was not able to trace the passenger's bags which contained valuables worth Rs. 1.81 lakh and had, as such, failed to perform its duty.
"We find that the opposite party (British Airways) could not trace the two lost bags of the complainant wherein the valuable articles of Rs. 1.81 lakh were lying and as such failed to perform its duty...," a bench presided by Narendra Kumar said.
The forum directed the airline to pay Rs. 1.81 lakh to Monika towards cost of lost articles, along with Rs. 45,000 as compensation for harassment and litigation cost.
According to Monika's complaint, two of her four bags were lost when she had travelled from Miami to Delhi on February 24, 2010.
When she had arrived at Delhi, she found that her bags were missing. She had immediately informed the airline and had also visited its office, Monika had said, adding that British Airways had assured her that both the bags would be traced and delivered to her.
The airline, however, failed to deliver her bags despite several communications, she had said.