An IAS officer from Bengal has lodged a complaint with the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) against budget carrier Indigo for missing his flight from Delhi to Kolkata over packing a power bank in his check-in baggage.
He put the device in his registered baggage, but airline officials told him that he and his wife couldn’t board the flight even after they were issued boarding passes and had cleared security checks.
Nikhil Nirmal, the additional district magistrate of Burdwan, and his wife offered to take it out from the baggage and carry in the cabin bags, but the crew refused and said the flight had taken off.
The incident happened on December 10 and Nirmal lodged a complaint four days later. Indigo did not respond to repeated queries from HT. “We are conducting a probe,” said a DGCA official.
The couple stayed back at New Delhi airport and had to buy tickets for Jet Airways for around Rs 70,000. He was on an official visit, but paid for the tickets from his own pocket. “It was an emergency and I had to rush back to Kolkata,” said Nirmal.
The couple was booked on a Delhi-Kolkata flight scheduled to leave at 4.55 pm on December 10. They reached the airport, checked in and collected the boarding passes on time. When they were waiting at a boarding gate, airline officials asked them to go to the baggage X-ray machine as they were carrying a power bank which is prohibited in check-in baggage.
“Before the problem was resolved, we were informed that the flight had taken off. Airline officials refused any alternative accommodation saying that officially we had not appeared in front of the boarding gate after collecting the boarding passes,” said Nirmal.
“They were also reluctant to reimburse the fare for the Jet Airways flight that I had to book. I shelved out around Rs 70,000 for the new tickets and waited for 12 hours at the airport running from pillar to post to retrieve my power bank that was confiscated in the meantime,” said Nirmal.
An airline official told HT if a boarding pass is issued, flights usually wait for such minor accommodation. “Even if Indigo wanted to maintain punctuality, it could have accommodated the couple in a later flight,” he said.
Nirmal and his wife also had a tough time getting back the power bank confiscated by the airline.