The airline was asked to pay Rs 40,000 as compensation, Rs 26,556 for hotel expenses incurred by the travellers and Rs 3,000 for other expenses incurred by them along with Rs 10,000 as litigation cost to Delhi resident Rajendra Kumar Gupta, who had booked the tickets for himself and 18 others to go on a pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi.
The South West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum awarded the compensation holding that the reason given by the airline for off-loading the baggage of the 19-member group, from the flight they had taken was "not satisfactory".
"We are of the opinion that the decision of the opposite party (SpiceJet) of off-loading the baggage should have been justified by valid reasons. In the instant case, no reasons have been explained. The airline has only stated that due to technical reasons, the baggage could not be sent by the same flight.
The explanation given by it is not satisfactory. "It is obvious that by its action, the complainant (Gupta) and his colleagues have suffered. We agree with the contention of Gupta that by this action of the airline, he and his colleagues faced hardship, inconvenience, harassment... for which he and his colleagues are entitled to be compensated," the forum presided by Narendra Kumar said.
The forum's order came on Gupta's complaint, which alleged his and his friends religious trip was spoilt by the airline, which delivered their luggage in batches and after much delay due to which they also had to divide their group into two.
One group had gone on to Vaishno Devi and the other had to stay at a hotel near the airport to wait for the luggage, Gupta had said in his complaint.