The next time you travel by air, be sure you have a ‘back-up wardrobe’ in your destination city. Reason:
Incidents of airlines delaying passengers’ luggage have become a regular feature for flyers.
The Chaudhary Charan Singh airport has seen 12 such incidents (involving various airlines including A-I) during the last five months when passengers have protested because the airlines had forgotten to carry their luggage on the same flight.
As per records available at the Amausi airport, most of these cases pertained to the national carrier - Air-India.
So what is leading to such incidents? It’s because of overworked staff, greed for more profits by the airlines and the fact that the airlines know they cannot be penalised for the delayed delivery in domestic sectors, said flyers.
RK Singh, resident of Alambagh, said: “I came to Lucknow from Mumbai for a job interview with a company but my luggage never arrived with the flight. I had to go for it without my certificates and proper attire. I protested but in vain as officials never paid heed to my complaints.”
“I came from Mumbai along with 13 others in my family to attend a marriage but our luggage didn’t come with the flight. The airline staff said the luggage would arrive the next day. We had to borrow clothes for the function. We also paid extra money as we were told that we cannot carry baggage in excess of 25 kg,” lamented SM Farooqui.
According to rules, the airlines cannot be penalised for delayed delivery of luggage in domestic flights. But they are liable to pay a penalty in international flights that too in case the luggage is delayed beyond 24 hours and a passenger has no access to his own wardrobe. An amount of Rs 3,000 is paid, said an Air India official.
Suresh Chandra Hota, director, Chaudhary Charan Singh airport, said: “It’s a problem between the airlines and the passengers. But the Airport Authority of India has to bear the brunt in the form of protests by passengers because they mistake us as the airline staff.” He said many times people don’t understand that the AAI has no role in luggage delivery.
However, in case of damage to baggage, complaint must be made in writing within 7 days (for international flights) and within three days (for domestic flights). In case of delayed delivery and damaged baggage, the complaint must be made within 21 days (for international flights) and within 14 days (for domestic flights) from the date of baggage delivery, said the official.
Speaking on the reasons behind the delay in delivery, he said, “Some times the luggage is overbooked and then we have to hold back some of the articles. But yes, sometimes delays also happen due to laxity and mismanagement. In most of the lost luggage cases, it has been found that the work was not properly supervised.”