Low-fare airline JetLite has been ordered by a consumer forum here to pay Rs 45,000 to a passenger as compensation for the loss of valuables from his baggage during transit from Guwahati to Delhi.
Pulling up the airline for its "careless attitude" in handling the flier's grievance, the South West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum held that once the baggage was handed over to JetLite, it was responsible for its safety and security.
"Once the bag is submitted by passenger to the custody of the opposite party (airline), it is responsible for its safety and security. In the instant case, it is apparent that during the custody of the opposite party, the bag of the complainant was unlocked and the valuables were removed from it.
"Complainant has suffered financial loss and harassment due to careless attitude of opposite party which amounts to deficiency in service and he is entitled to be reasonably compensated," a bench presided by Narendra Kumar said.
It directed the airline to pay the passenger Rs 25,000 for the loss of valuables and Rs 20,000 as compensation.
The forum's order came on the plea of Delhi resident Girish Kumar Jain who had said that he had travelled by JetLite from Guwahati to Delhi on June 12, 2008 and on arriving here he found his bag was damaged and valuables, including an expensive camera, were missing.
JetLite, now known as JetKonnect, in its defence had said that as per the conditions of carriage printed on the ticket valuables are to be carried in the cabin luggage.
The forum rejected the contention saying the conditions on the ticket are "only an advisory" and "it is not mandatory" that valuable articles have to be kept in the cabin luggage.
"We are not convinced with the defence taken," it said.
It also expressed surprise that JetLite took no action on Jain's complaint.