Complaints and concerns of domestic air passengers about luggage mishandling show no signs of decline, with aviation regulator DGCA stating that 27.5 per cent of all complaints received in June were related to baggage.
There was a rise of over 10 per cent in baggage-related complaints as compared to the corresponding period last year (16.6 per cent). In 2016, the figure was 19.7 per cent.
The complaints shot up from 21 per cent in April to 23.9 per cent in May and to 27.5 per cent in June, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, adding that in June, the domestic airlines flew 17.57 lakh more passengers at over 1.13 crore, compared to 95.68 lakh in June last year, registering a growth of 18.36 per cent.
Failure to load the bags onto the aircraft, tagging errors and technical issues were cited by sources in the airline industry as some of the key reasons for mishandled baggage.
A system failure in the baggage handling system at the IGI airport here had led to thousands of bags getting misplaced in March. Some of the misplaced bags belonged to Union ministers as well, sources in the airport had said.
Presenting an airline category report last month, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had revealed that between November, 2016 and June 26, 2018, the airlines had received 763 grievances related to baggage -- the fourth highest after complaints about flight delays, ticket fares and check-in and boarding.
However, a source said the airlines as well as the airports would have to be more careful regarding baggage as according to the recently released draft air passenger citizen charter, the airlines will have to pay Rs 3,000 per kg to the passengers for loss of baggage, Rs 1,000 per kg for delay and Rs 1,000 per kg for damage. The rule applies to both domestic and international flyers.
In its study for June, the DGCA said the total number of complaints received was 677. Of this, the highest of 237 complaints were received against Air India. Full service carrier Jet Airways and its subsidiary Jet Lite came next with 199 complaints, followed by budget carrier IndiGo with 140.
Among the major scheduled operators, SpiceJet fared well as only 37 complaints were received against it.
The complaints ranged from customer service, catering to staff behaviour. About 1.2 per cent of those were also related to airfares.
As per the DGCA data, Air India and Jet Airways enjoyed a market share of 12.5 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively in June. IndiGo continued to dominate the Indian skies with a market share of 41.3 per cent.