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Lost baggage is fliers’ top grouse

Adheer Joshi is still trying to get over the embarrassment of attending a high-profile business meet in denims and sneakers two months ago.

mumbai Updated: Jan 11, 2010 00:40 IST
Soubhik Mitra

Adheer Joshi (42) is still trying to get over the embarrassment of attending a high-profile business meet in denims and sneakers two months ago.

His baggage carrying his formal suit, tie and shoes went missing when reached New Delhi airport on November 30.

“I had no time to shop,” said Joshi, a senior executive with an infotech firm.

Lost baggage was the main grouse of air passengers in 2009, with a total of 92 complaints received by the Air Passenger Association of India (APAI).

“People have been losing belongings worth lakhs but no one seems to be care,” said Sudhakar Reddy, national president, APAI. Flight delays is the second frequent complaint, followed by problems faced by passengers in getting ticket refunds from airlines for cancellations.

In contrast, a report by Geneva-based aviation IT service provider, SITA, says 3.28 crore bags were mishandled in 2008 against 4.24 crore in 2007. Bags lost or stolen reduced from 12.8 lakh to 7.36 lakh.

SITA operates an automated luggage tracking system used by 440 airlines and ground handling agencies in 40 countries. This does not help domestic travellers as only Bengaluru airport uses an advanced baggage-handling system. “Twelve Indian airports use IT support for passenger check-in. They might adopt advance baggage movement systems soon,” said Maneesh Jaikrishna, director, SITA (India).

While the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) says 80 per cent of domestic flights are on time, APAI got 21 complaints of delays in 2009.