Sonakshi Sinha’s suitcase damaged in air travel; here’s what the rules sayhttps://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/sonakshi-sinha-baggage-luggage-damaged-broken-air-travel-shubhendra-rao-guitar-indigo-air-india-rules-dgca-india-flight-passenger-6102455/

Sonakshi Sinha’s suitcase damaged in air travel; here’s what the rules say

If you find your luggage broken or missing, here's what you must do.

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Sonakshi Sinha’s baggage on a flight was broken. (Photo: APH Images/ Sonakshi Sinha Twitter; designed by Gargi Singh)

Actor Sonakshi Sinha recently took to Twitter to share a video of her damaged baggage saying how the luggage handles of her suitcase were broken and one of the wheels even missing when she collected it after landing at the airport.

Taking a dig at the airline carrier, the Dabangg actor captioned the video as, “Hi @IndiGo6E, Hulk is 6E, this was not so 6E. You broke the unbreakable.”

Immediately responding to the actor’s tweet, Indigo replied saying: “Hi Sonakshi. We’re sorry to see your bag has been damaged. We wish to speak with you. Could you please DM us your contact number and a convenient time to call? ~Shashi”

After both the parties spoke to each other, Indigo wrote on Twitter, “Sonakshi, thanks for connecting with our team. We are really sorry about the bag and have taken it up with our handling team. We wish you all the best for your future projects and hope to see you soon! ~Siddhi”

Responding to the actor’s Tweet, many users also shared comments on how it is a regular affair with airlines and that a complaint must be lodged before one exits the airport.

Recently Indian classical musician Shubhendra Rao accused national carrier Air India of damaging his sitar on a fight to New York.

The musician soon took to social media where he shared pictures of his broken instrument and wrote on Facebook, “Just arrived in New York to perform at #VedicHeritageInc and this is how my Sitar has arrived.” He went to ask how artistes and their art will survive if they are not respected enough.

If you are also troubled by lost or damaged luggage, here’s what regulatory body Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) rules says on compensation for the same. On its website http://www.dgca.nic.in, the aviation regulator points out:

1. You should check the liability of airlines in case of loss, damage or delayed baggage.
2. In case of loss, damage or delayed baggage, you are required to contact airline and collect Property Irregularity Report (known as PIR) before leaving the airport. You will also need to put in a written claim to the airline.
3. In case of damaged baggage, airline may pay you for repair of your baggage or provide replacement baggage.
4. Airline is liable to pay you compensation in case of loss, damage or delayed baggage as per the provisions of The Carriage by Air Act, 1972.

As per the ‘tariff for air transportation’ section of the Act, point 18. (1), the carrier is liable for damage sustained in the event of the destruction or loss of, or of damage to, any registered baggage or any cargo, if the occurrence which caused the damage so sustained took place during the carriage by air.

As per 22.(2) (a) section of the Act, the liability of the carrier is limited to a sum of 250 Francs per kilogram (About Rs 17,900), unless the passengers or consignor has made, at the time when the package was handed over to the carrier, a special declaration of interest in delivery at destination and has paid a supplementary sum if the case so requires. In that case the carrier will be liable to pay a sum not exceeding the declared sum, unless he proves that, that sum is greater than the passenger’s or consignor’s actual interest in delivery at destination.

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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation states that one should check the liability of airlines in case of loss, damage or delayed baggage. (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

However, section 20 of the Act points out that the carrier is not liable if “he proves that he and his servants or agents have taken all necessary measures to avoid the damage or that it was impossible for him or them to take such measures”.

As per the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Passenger Charter – Know your Rights when you fly, which came into effect from February 2019, for international carriage, in case of loss, delay or damage to baggage, the liability is limited to Rs 1,131 SDR per passenger.

In the case of domestic carriage, the carrier liability is limited to Rs 20,000.

Here is what you need to do

1. You can lodge and claim compensation at help desks placed at arrival and departure stations, or do so electronically.

2. If not satisfied with the resolution of the airline, you can file the grievance on AirSewa app or portal.

3. If not satisfied, you can also approach any statutory body or court set up under applicable laws.

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4. For more information, you can also check http://www.airsewa.gov.in.