Increase compensation for lost baggage, death of air travellers: MPs

April 30th, 2008 - 8:47 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) MPs from all parties Wednesday demanded more compensation for loss or damage to baggage or death or injury of air travellers in accordance with the Montreal Convention, an international law governing civil aviation. During a discussion over Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2007, in the Lok Sabha, moved by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, MPs sought a better compensation package for air travellers as per the Convention.

It is not only the common air traveller who is deprived of compensation in case of loss of baggage. Even MPs said they had not received compensation from airlines for lost baggage.

Sudhangshu Seal of the CPI(M) said he along with four other MPs had lost their baggage in June last year while going to New York by British Airways.

“None of us have got the compensation for our lost baggage,” the MP complained.

M.S.K. Bhavani Rajenthiran of the DMK sought increase in compensation for air travellers to ensure they are not harassed. Her demand was echoed by S.K. Kharventhan of the Congress and Bhavani Rajenthiran of DMK.

Welcoming the amendment bill for introducing a two-tier regime for compensation in case of injury or death besides loss or damage to baggage, the members said the new bill would put India at par with international standards on civil aviation.

The members also pointed to sudden delays and cancellation of flights and accused Air India employees of colluding with private airlines to help the latter get more travellers. “This is being done at the cost of our national carrier Air India,” alleged Seal.

Former civil aviation minister Shahnawaz Khan of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) urged his successor to reduce air congestion in the Indian sky.

“This has resulted in a waste of fuel of Rs 14.6 billion every year. The air congestions are more at Delhi and Mumbai airports,” he added.

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