British Airways asked to pay Rs 2.05 lakh for losing luggage

British Airways
New Delhi, May 21: British Airways has been asked by a consumer forum here to pay Rs 2.05 lakh to a passenger for losing his bag containing goods worth over Rs two lakh during a flight from London to Delhi.

UK's largest airline had earlier attempted to settle the claim of the passenger by offering him Rs 20,521.42, which he had rejected and then it had paid him a sum of over Rs 44,000 as final settlement of his claim but without his consent.

"We direct the OP (British Airways) to pay Rs 1,55,700 to the complainant as the balance claim and we also direct it to pay Rs 40,000 to complainant as compensation and Rs 10,000 as cost of litigation," the South West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said.

The UK flag carrier had taken the stand that it is liable to pay only limited compensation under the Warsaw Pact. The Forum presided by Narendra Kumar rejected the contention of the airline saying it was not shown in the Warsaw Pact that the liability of British Airways was limited.

"The contents of the Warsaw Convention have been given. However, on going through the contents of these articles, we did not find liability of the OP is limited. Further, the OP has failed to explain the criteria of the settlement or the limitation as per the clauses. We are not convinced with the defence taken by the OP," the bench said.

The forum's order came on the plea of Haryana resident Rajkumar Bhatia who had said that he had travelled on British Airways flight from London to Delhi on July 13, 2007 and on reaching here he found that one of his four bags was missing.

He alleged that the airline had assured him that his bag would be traced within 24 hours but despite providing all the details regarding the lost luggage, British Airways failed to find it and had instead offered him a sum of over Rs 20,000 as damages and had later paid him over Rs 44,000 as final settlement, without his consent.

Agreeing with his contention, the forum said his claim was justified and held that he is also entitled to compensation for harassment suffered by him.


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