Air India / lost baggage and incompetent service
*** First Letter ***
Re: Letter of complaint Ref: 33342
E-ticket : 098-[protected]
My name is Steve Victor, I recently visited Delhi with your airline, Air India. Due to issues with my luggage I was unable to complete my visit and was left extremely disappointed. I purchased me ticket from Southall travel on the 29th September’10.
Below is a summary of the below standard service I was afforded by you:
Checking in for flight AI 116 Lon Heathrow to Delhi International @ 13.30
The beginning of my trip was excellent; I was able to extend my flight back departing flight from Delhi to London at no extra cost from the 18th to the 21st.
During the flight I was given a seat with no headphones, when requesting the headphones three times, I gave up. The staff onboard the plane were unpleasant, unhelpful and showed a direct lack of enthusiasm. I travel a lot domestically with Easy Jet, Ryanair and internationally with Thomas Cook and Virgin Atlantic. In comparison with those airlines I would say Air India are nowhere near that standard. The above, airlines believe in customer service and deliver it with extreme competency. In addition to having no headphones, the TV Screen in front of me was also faulty, I requested that your staff look into this and they said it was a technical fault and that it will resolve itself, this did not happen. All the passengers around me had working monitors, I do not understand why you don’t ensure every monitor would work (on board entertainment working).
Once the flight landed, I made my way to the immigration section. Once getting to the front of my queue I was rudely asked to complete a section of a form that was required to be submitted. I agree this my fault, but the reason I am bringing this to your attention, as Air India cabin staff prepared us for the immigration with the form but with no pens. I was fortunate to have someone next to me with a pen, but was rushed due to the flight about to land. I’d like to add Delhi international security staff are the most ignorant, uncooperative and obnoxious people I have ever come across. After the immigration fiasco, I made my way to the baggage retrieval section and waited patiently for over 1hr for my baggage until there was only me standing. I eventually asked the airport worker if the remaining baggage was the last, he stated ‘yes’. I then made my way to the lost baggage enquiry section were I was greeted with several half asleep staff who would not take ownership of my enquiry. I put my foot down and got everyone’s attention in the room. A gentleman in the room then passed me a form to complete, when requesting to use his pen he halted and reluctantly allowed me to use it. Once I completed the form, it was received with a lack of urgency towards it. I decided to have another look at the baggage section and was informed only one baggage was unclaimed this bag looked similar to mine, a ‘Dunlop’ suitcase same dark blue / black colour and D motif on the front. I requested the baggage handler to bring this baggage to the loss enquiry area and then requested the half asleep gentlemen to scan the baggage tag to bring up the customer details and contact them. However, there was no contact number and only a home address. I asked for this to this detail to be inputted into my report and was told that this would be completed, I was then given several contact numbers (even a mobile number! This was their insurance) that I could contact them up for an update. I asked what initial compensation would be granted, but they said it would go through the claims process within a 20days time period,
What is Air India policy? Is it not that emergency fund will be made available to buy essentials? If so why aren’t the current staff aware of this policy? This again leaves me thinking lack of customer service?? I find this utterly ludicrous
After leaving the airport
For the first 3 days I was vividly contacting the numbers provided but to no avail. I decided to that to go to the Airport, to speak to someone from Air India. I was told by the security staff that I was not allowed into the building as I had only flown into the country 2 and 3 days ago and would need permission to come into the Airport. The helpdesk team then sent me to Air India Departures Domestic and International enquiry counter who both were unable to assist. I was then sent back and forth, but not given any positive information. I eventually tracked down the security office and was given a form to complete but would need to speak to Air India to grant me authorization. I was told that I would be required to go to T2 (terminal 2) Air India office, once making my way there I was told that the office moved over to T3 (terminal 3) by one of the other offices open. After 6hr wasted I decided that I had no more patience left and the only option was to book a return flight to the UK.
Final Day on the 13th December
Having booked my flight my return flight via the help of the British embassy who contacted Air India City Booking direct for me to get my fight changed to 14th which is 7 days earlier than intended due to the circumstances at the start of my journey my BAGGAGE being lost.
Once the booking of my return flight was complete, I decided to come to the airport 6hrs before my flight was to depart to ensure that I made a last ditch effort to chase up my lost baggage, the Air India counter clerk and team leader were extremely helpful. It was agreed that a counter clerk would escort me to arrivals section to enquire about my baggage. After a number of delays i.e. permission approvals, authorization etc I made my way to arrival baggage lose area, I then asked for answers
· What the latest was with my bag?
I was told that nothing was showing on the system, indicating that it had not been found.
· Why the contact numbers given had no response?
The gent was not able to answer
· What is the latest with bag that was similar to mine?
The gentleman was unaware of this, and stated this was not on my report.
· Has the passenger contacted? What is the id of the bag? Is it still there?
The ID of the baggage was unable to be located due the gentleman not having access to the back office system.
This confirms the genuine lack of interest shown by your staff during arrival flight!! I requested a contact name and number for the team that would be able to access the back office system. (please see below)
Ms S Gulia
Air india T2
In addition, I requested that gentleman to request that this team contact me within 48hrs.
I decided that as I knew what the bag had looked like, I searched throughout the lost baggage and found the unclaimed suitcase (which was on the same flight as mine, as well as being alike) however the label was not on it or any label for that matter? The staff on my arrival flight had taken it off to find out who the owner was but did not replace it after use?? This kind of behavior sums up Air India complacent and inept. I requested that a label be put on the baggage to say it might be in connection to mine.
Now my answers are simple
1. What is the compensation package? For my baggage? My time, inconvenience, financial costs incurred?
2. What will be happening with the baggage that was unclaimed? Have you got a record of it? Is there an address for the passenger if so what are your next steps in contacting them? Could you find when there return flight to the UK? Could you contact the migration team at the airport to find out if passenger passed their contact number to them.
I can promise you I will not let this matter rest, as I want actions and answers.
Do not waste my time any further.
Compensation Claim Package
I am looking at an overall compensation package of over £4000
I am due to fly to Delhi for my best friends wedding in February and request that you upgrade his parties’ seat to first class. I am still deciding whether to travel with Air India as I would like to travel with my friends, however, this seems unlikely and I just couldn’t not deal with a repeat of this incident
The purpose of my trip was not only visiting the country as a tourist but to organize parts of the wedding i.e. the clothes / wedding suits. I had over £4000 pounds worth of clothes, cloth for the suit ‘finest Italian wool’ which took me 2 weeks to order from Italy. In addition all the measurements for the wedding suits. Moreover, I have now had to rely on my friend to organize this which impacts; cost, time and stress.
*** Second Letter ***
RE: Letter of complaint and lost baggage enquiry - Ref: Delhi 333
After countless of calls and emails to your baggage and complaints department, I have still not been contacted. Over two weeks since my initial email and contact to the baggage department where I was told I would be sent a response within minutes of sending my letter of complaint.
This morning I had a call from my friend in India that my baggage has been found in Ahmedabad after he had been given a call from Air India.
I have a few questions that need addressing
· How did the baggage find its way there?
· If for example the baggage was mistakenly by another passenger (whose baggage case was similar and plus it was the only baggage that wasn’t claimed and was travailing to Ahmedabad) why was I informed by the Air India staff at the lost baggage area, they would
A) They would contact the passenger
B) Contact the Ahmedabad airport
C) Call me within 2days with an update.
· Air India staff who contacted my friend advising him that they were not allowed to contact the UK, when he asked for them to call me personally. In addition, informed that they would not be able to post the suitcase to me directly as they were still having baggage issues and that I should pick it up from Heathrow.
· Why has no one since the day the baggage was lost contacted me?
Air India has your company got policies or do you make your own ones that suit your needs. I don’t expect an reply but I will continue to bombard you with emails for an response.
I am expecting a full reimbursement off my
o flight tickets ( Approx £550)
o the cost of clothes brought in emergency due to the loss (Approx £250)
o Travel cost; two and from the airport in India and the UK ( Approx £100)
o Phone bill cost; Contacting Air India ( Approx £50)
o Time of work; for picking up my baggage ( Approx £200)
o Parking costs ( Approx £20)
Approx Total: £1200, this is depending on whether my baggage is one piece or not.
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