Monday, July 2, 2012

Malaysian Airlines ordered to pay compensation to passenger

Malaysian Airlines ordered to pay compensation to passenger

R. SIVARAMAN

CHENNAI, July 2, 2012

A district consumer forum has ordered Malaysian Airlines to pay a compensation of Rs.50,000 to a passenger whose baggage was found missing, holding that "it amounts to deficiency in service."

Apart from directing to pay compensation for the mental agony and Rs.5,000 for cost of proceedings, the Chennai (South) forum also asked the Malaysian Airlines to pay $ 400 equivalent payable in Indian currency to the passenger for the missing items within six weeks. If the airlines failed to pay, the said amount should carry interest at the rate of 9 per cent till date of payment.

A. Antoniasamy of Coimbatore had travelled from San Francisco to Chennai on October 20, 2006. Before commencing journey, his baggage was checked-in by the airlines. On reaching Chennai, he found that in the 'check-in' baggage, a LCD TV and a tuner were found missing. He received only the carton box which contained TV.

In complaint, Mr. Antoniasamy said he had filed the Property Irregularity Report to the Malaysian Airlines in Chennai.

The Malaysian Airlines came forward to settle the issue by paying $ 400 towards the loss of baggage. But he did not accept the offer and he insisted that the Airlines pay cost of Rs.58,292 for the stolen things.

However, the Malaysian Airlines contended that the baggage of the complainant was first checked-in by the original carrier Cathay Pacific at the time of boarding in San Francisco. Later it, was shifted to another air carrier in Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific handed over baggage to Malaysian Airlines in Kuala Lumpur to be delivered to the complainant in Chennai. Major part of the journey of the complainant was through Cathay Pacific and Cathay Pacific had recorded the weight of baggage. However, the airlines said according to the Warsaw Convention, the carriers' liability was US $ 20 per kg weight loss but it offered US $ 400 for the loss.

Delivering an order on the complaint, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, comprising its president V. Gopal and member L. Deenadayalan said that out of the two baggage, one of the baggage alleged to contain LCD TV and tuner was not delivered to the complainant. The loss of baggage was admitted.

"One of the baggage was not handed over to the complainant by the opposite parties (Malaysian Airlines) and this act of the opposite parties in not delivering the said baggage amounts to deficiency in service."

Rejecting the complainant's claim to pay of Rs.58,292 towards the loss, the forum said he had not declared to the customs at the time of boarding that the cardboard contained TV. Only on his return to Chennai, he had filed Property Irregularity Report.

The forum also said the airlines already offered US $ 400 towards the loss of baggage as per Warsaw Convention and the complainant was entitled to that amount.

Courtesy_

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