Two-and-a-half years after Air India caused a city businesswoman inconvenience and hardship during a trip to New York via Paris, the national airline has been asked to pay her a compensation of Rs 1 lakh.
A city consumer forum has directed the national carrier to pay the compensation amount, along with interest at the rate of nine per cent per annum from March 2010, to Parvana Noorani, who runs an architecture company.
According to Noorani's complaint, she had booked a first class ticket in June 2008 through an authorised agent of Air India, to fly to New York via Paris. The flight was scheduled to leave at 7.20 am, but got delayed and finally departed at 10am. However, to her dismay, there was no Air India lounge service at the airport, she stated.
The 57-year-old, suffering from severe back pain, then realised that the seat she had been allotted did not recline to the full 180 degrees, making her journey, "extremely uncomfortable".
When she reached Paris on July 4, 2008, the connecting flight was delayed by nearly four-and-a-half hours. Again, there was no Air India lounge service to assist her, she stated. During the return journey, on August 1, the flight left on schedule, but on arrival at Paris she found that her suitcase was missing.
There was no one from Air India at the baggage arrival counter, the complaint stated, adding that she had to seek the help of an Air France employee, who located someone from Indian Airlines.
Though her suitcase was located and returned four days later, there was more hardship in store. On August 16, the return flight from Paris was rescheduled twice and got delayed by four-and-a-half hours, but again there was no lounge service, she stated.
After Noorani lodged a protest, the national airline offered her a token compensation. She declined the offer, however, and instead approached Central Mumbai District Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum, seeking a compensation of Rs 10 lakh.
The consumer forum subsequently issued a notice to Air India, but the national airline chose not to contest the complaint.