Air India asked to pay Rs.26,000 to a passenger in damages

January 22nd, 2009 - 6:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Indore, Jan 22 (IANS) A Madhya Pradesh consumer forum has asked Air India to pay a compensation of Rs.25,000 to a passenger for not informing her about the precautions before using dry ice to kill a pain during a flight.The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has also asked the airlines to pay additional Rs.1,000 as cost of the complaint.

Business woman Seema Sanghi, 52, complained to the forum that she had an acute back pain while travelling on Air India’s lA 432 flight from Kuala Lampur to India March 13, 2007.

She asked a flight steward for painkiller tablets and ice for fomentation. The flight steward gave her painkiller and carbonated dry ice wrapped in plastic bag, about whose use she was ignorant.

She fomented her shoulder with dry ice bag for about 20 minutes but when she landed at the Mumbai Airport, her back had become stiff and shoulder had burnt.

She had to undergo treatment first at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai and later at a dermatologist clinic in Indore.

“And all this happened because the staff of the airlines did not inform me about the precautions to be taken while fomenting my back and shoulder with dry ice,” Seema said in her complaint.

Dry ice is solidified carbon dioxide having temperature of 20 to 40 degree Celsius below freezing point and can burn the skin similar to frostbite if used without insulated cover.

The forum dismissed the plea of the airlines that dry ice was wrapped in plastic cover and then placed inside a pillow cover and, therefore, the complaint be dismissed.

The forum also rejected the plea that the passenger never complained of burns during the flight.

Asking the airlines to pay the fine, the forum held Air India guilty of not doing its duty to properly caution the passenger.

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