Airline Ordered To Compensate Couple

Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ordered the British Airways (BA) to compensate an elderly couple from Rajkot — Dr Hansmukhrai Druva, 72, and his wife Nira, 68 — for failing to deliver their complete baggage with them at their destination, Vancouver in July 2007, causing them unnecessary agony and stress.

British Airways A bench presided by the commission president — justice SB Mhase, judicial member SR Khanzode and member Dhanraj Khamatkar — directed the airline to pay Rs20,000 as compensation for their misplaced baggage and causing them agony and anxiety. The couple will also get an additional amount of Rs5,000 to bear the cost of the proceeding.

Druvas took off on July 5, 2007, from Mumbai, where they handed over their baggage to the airlines’ staff. However, they were shocked to find that only one out of their three bags had reached Vancouver.

“I have diabetes and blood pressure problem and the bag containing vital medicines was undelivered,” Druva told Hindustan Times. “I could not buy medicines abroad without a proper prescription.”

The airlines paid the couple 160 Canadian dollars, equivalent to Rs1,26,870 then, to meet their urgent necessities. “We had to restrict our movements and avoid eating outside. We were in fear that something might happen to us because we had stopped our medicines,” Druva said.

The two bags were handed over to them on their return to Mumbai on August 13.

The commission ruled that even though the airlines had paid the couple, it did not cover any compensation for causing mental agony, stress and anxiety, which the complainants had to suffer unnecessarily.

A spokesperson for the British Airways, said their lawyers were looking into the case.

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