When Andheri resident Dr Vikram Pal boarded his Mumbai-bound Air France flight at Amsterdam on June 13, he was carrying a small bag that he did not wish to check-in as it contained some expensive items he had bought while on vacation. But, the aircraft's overhead cabins happened to be packed that day so the staff told him his bag would be sent to Mumbai separately.
Three days later, when the bag arrived, the general physician-cum-entrepreneur was shocked to find that a blue Louis Vuitton shawl and a Celio stole collectively worth 470 Euros (approximately Rs 34,000) were missing from the bag. His complaint to Air France mentions this.
“I was late boarding the aircraft as I needed to collect VAT (value added tax) refunds from the customs department and by the time I got on board there was no space for my bag,” said the 43-year-old.
Around 10 other fliers travelling with him did not find their bags after reaching Mumbai, Pal said. “An elderly woman who lives in Pune did not get a single bag,” he said.
An Air France spokesperson confirmed that the airline had received a complaint about the stolen items. “As our valued customer, we have already been in touch with Mr Pal and a settlement is at the final stages of conclusion,” said Yeshwant Pawar, Air France-KLM, general manager, South Asia.
While misplaced baggage cases have more than halved globally over the past decade, it continues to be a common passenger grouse according to industry reports. According to aviation consultancy major SITA’s 2015 ‘The Baggage Report’ 7.30 bags per 1,000 passengers were misplaced in 2014 marginally higher from 6.96 bags witnessed in the previous year.
More than eight out of 10 misplaced bags were delivered late, about 14.3% were damaged and just over 5% bags were stolen.