A man sued an airline and won a compensation of Rs. 8,000 after a wheel of his trolley bag, which was with the checked-in luggage, broke. The man, identified as Rabi Kumar Padhy, fought a legal battle with a consumer court for four years after he was unhappy with the responses from the ground staff at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport.
The judges hearing the case reportedly reprimanded the airline for service deficiency and ordered that the customer be paid Rs. 5,000 as compensation for the luggage and an additional Rs. 3,000 towards his court expenses within 45 days.
The incident happened in 2017, in July, when Padhy was traveling to Bengaluru from Vishakhapatnam and checked-in his trolley bag. But when he received it back from the conveyer belt at Bengaluru’s KIA, he allegedly found that one of the four wheels on his bag was missing.
According to reports, Padhy then filed a Property Irregularity Report, called the PIR, with the ground staff of the airline at KIA. The airline’s representatives got in touch with him two days later, when he was asked to hand over the damaged luggage to a specified vendor for it to be repaired. However, the representatives allegedly took three months to get back in touch with him and told him even then that his trolley bag was beyond repair as the vendor did not possess spare parts.
The airline then reportedly offered to pay a compensation of Rs. 1,000 to Padhy, which was later increased to Rs. 3,000 as a full and final settlement. Padhy was reportedly unhappy with the three-month delay in communication from the airline staff and sent a legal notice to them after approaching the Bangalore Urban 2nd additional district consumer disputes redressal commission in Shantinagar with a complaint against the customer service manager of the airline.
In the hearings that first started in November 2017, the advocates of the airline staff claimed that Padhy’s complaint was baseless and asked for the case to be dismissed. The airline had reportedly said that the broken wheel was replaced but was in a different colour. Therefore the airline had changed all the wheels of the trolley bag so they could be of the same colour.
The judges heard arguments from both sides and concluded that even though the passenger had failed to produce a bill to stake his claim of Rs. 20,000 for the bag, he was entitled to the Rs. 8,000 compensation as the airline took three months to find a solution and failed to explain the reason for the same in court.