The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission of Chandigarh has directed an airline and its ticket agent firm to pay Rs 38,695 to an Armyman for not allowing 20 kg baggage in the flight.
The complainant, Lieutenant Colonel Manpreet Singh stated that he had booked a ticket on October 13, 2020 to join his duty at Srinagar and a return ticket for his wife and a minor son, with a total payment of Rs 18,695.
The complainant said that his wife’s ticket mentioned that baggage of 20 kg was allowed. But the staff at the airline stopped his wife Jagmeet Grewal when it exceeded 15 kg. They said the amount of baggage on the ticket was misprinted and asked her to adjust it in her husband’s hand baggage, which was checked-in already.
The total weight for the complainant’s wife and minor son’s luggage was approximately 39 kg. The airline staff asked the complainant to pay Rs 4500 for extra luggage.
The complainants requested the airline’s staff to provide tickets for the next flight or adjust the amount in fresh tickets or refund the amount but they refused and the complainant had no option but to book fresh tickets of some other airlines.
The complainants said that they suffered financial loss due to the act of the airline, and that they are liable to refund the amount of Rs 18,695 to the complainants and also Rs 13,953 that the complainant spent on fresh tickets.
The Indigo Airlines submitted that the complainant has annexed the ticket issued to them by Balmer Lawrie which is their third-party travel agent who incorrectly mentioned the free check-in baggage allowance. The airline stated that the complainants are relying on the free check in baggage allowance provided by their third-party travel agent and not InterGlobe Aviation Limited. The dispute, if any, is between the two.
Balmer Lawries replied that it had issued the tickets being the ticketing agents of the airlines, and it had no role in the alleged refusal by officials of airlines to allow the complainants to board the flight.The Commission after hearing the matter said that on the top of the ticket issued by the agent company, the baggage is clearly shown as 20 kg per person. As per the ticket two persons were required to travel on the said ticket, so the permitted baggage works out to be 40 kg.
Since the complainants were carrying a baggage of 39 kg, by not permitting them either to board the flight or by asking an extra payment of Rs 4,500, the airline and its ticketing agent have indulged in unfair trade practices, it said.
The Commission thus directed the Indigo Airlines and Balmer Lawries (ticket agent) to pay an amount of Rs 18,695 charged towards the unused tickets, with an amount of Rs 10,000 as compensation and Rs 10,000 as costs of litigation.