Sri Lankan Airlines

The facts leading to the filing of the complaint are that complainant travelled from Riyad to Thiruvananthapuram in Sri Lankan Airlines flight No. UL 266/UL 161 respectively.

Complainant had entrusted two baggages weighing 45 kgs to the opposite parties and opposite parties had issued baggage tag No. UL/018388. At Colombo International Airport complainant changed his flight. From Colombo complainant obtained the connection flight UL 161. Complainant reached Thiruvananthapuram International Airport on 29.11.2001. When the baggage was received at Thiruvananthapuram International Airport it was found that complainant's baggage was opened and on inspection complainant discovered that 225 gms of gold was lost. The items are gold chain-6 Nos., Bangles – 2 Nos. (Total weight of 225 gms). Complainant immediately informed the same to the 1st opposite party vide letter dated 29.11.2001.

On the same day complainant submitted the Property Irregularity Report to the 1st opposite party. The ornaments purchased for Saudi Riyal 6338 which is equivalent to Indian Rupees 77,323.60. The loss of gold items caused mental strain and agony and complainant spent more than Rs. 10000/- for making his repeated enquiry in the office of the 1st opposite party. Hence this complaint to direct the opposite party to pay Rs. 77,323/- towards the price of gold which was lost from the baggage along with Rs. 10,000/- towards compensation.

Opposite parties entered appearance and filed version contending that the complaint is misconceived and unsustainable in law or on facts. Complainant travelled from Riyad to Thiruvananthapuram in Sri Lankan Airlines as stated in the complaint, that he had baggages two in number weighing 45 kgs, that complainant changed his flight at Colombo airport, and that complainant made a complaint on arrival at Thiruvananthapuram about the loss of 225 gms of gold from his baggage. Opposite parties are not aware of the contents of the baggage since complainant neither disclosed nor declared the contents of the same and paid supplementary charges thereof. Opposite parties do not accept responsibility for loss or damage due to specified conditions of carriage.

If passenger makes declaration of value of checked baggage he shall pay the applicable charges in accordance with the carriers regulations. Complainant is put to strict proof of loss of gold. Complainant has not checked in jewellery items in his baggage. If he has chosen to check in gold items, he ought to have declared the same and paid supplementary charges thereof which has not been done in this case. There is no deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties. Complainant is not entitled to a sum of Rs. 77,323/- or a sum of Rs. 10,000/- as claimed in the complaint. Hence opposite parties prayed for dismissal of the complaint.

The points that would arise for consideration are:-

1.

Whether the complainant has entrusted two baggages with the opposite party?
2.

Whether the complainant has declared the weight of the baggage or value of its contents?
3.

Whether there has been deficiency in service on the part of opposite parties?
4.

Whether the complainant is entitled to get compensation and price of 225 gms of gold?
5.

Whether the complainant is entitled to get cost?

In support of the complaint, the power of attorney holder of the complainant has filed affidavit in lieu of examination in chief and Exts. P1 to P9 were marked. In rebuttal, the Sales Manager of Sri Lankan Airlines has filed affidavit. Opposite parties did not file any documents.


Points (i) to (v):- Admittedly, complainant travelled from Riyad to Thiruvananthapuram in Sri Lankan Airlines Flight No. UL/266/UL 161 respectively. It is also not in dispute that complainant had two baggages and that complainant had changed his flight at Colombo Airport. It has been the case of the complainant that when he reached Thiruvananthapuram International Airport on 29.11.2001 in flight No. UL 161 and received the said baggage, it was found his baggage was opened and on inspection he discovered a loss of 225 gms of gold, that he informed the same to the 1st opposite party vide letter dated 29.11.2001 and submitted the Property Irregularity Report (PIR) to 1st opposite party. Ext. P1 is the copy of the Property Irregularity Report. As per Ext. P1, total number and weight of packed baggage is 02/45k. Ext. P2 is the copy of Boarding pass. Ext. P3 to P6 are invoices issued by Atlas Jewellery house, Riyadh and Ext. P7 is the copy of the letter addressed to Manager, Sri Lankan Airways. Ext. P8 is the copy of letter issued by Senior Station Assistant Customs Affairs to the complainant. As per Ext. P8 it is seen advised the complainant that “the carrier is not liable for damage to fragile or perishable articles, money, jewellery, precious metals, silverware, negotiable papers, securities or other valuables, business documents, passports and other identification documents or samples which are included in the passenger's checked baggage whether without or without the knowledge of the carrier”. Complainant never furnished the passenger ticket issued by the opposite party.

Opposite parties resisted the complaint by submitting that opposite parties are not aware of the contents of the baggage since the complainant neither disclosed nor declared the contents and paid supplementary charges thereof. Submission by opposite parties is that this complainant has not checked in jewellery item in his baggage and that if complainant has chosen to check in gold items, he ought have declared the same and paid supplementary charges thereof, which has not been done in this case. Opposite parties deny the assessment that the complainant lost 225 grams of gold since the complainant neither disclosed nor declared the contents of the same and paid supplementary charges thereof.

It is pertinent to note that complainant has no case that he has not received two baggages on arrival at Thiruvananthapuram from the opposite parties. Complainant's case is that 225 gms of gold ornaments was in his baggages that was lost when he received baggages at Thiruvananthapuram. At this juncture what is to be looked into is whether the said gold ornaments was in his baggage while entrusting the same to opposite parties, whether the contents of the baggage were disclosed to opposite parties by the complainant at the time of handing over the baggage and whether the value of the contents had been disclosed by the complainant. Complainant never adduced any evidence to show that the said gold ornaments was in his baggage at the time of handing over the same to opposite parties.

The affidavit is seen filed by the Power of Attorney Holder of the complainant. The Power of Attorney Holder was not a co-traveller in the said flight nor was he present at the time of entrustment of baggages with opposite party to substantiate the fact that the said gold items were in the said baggages. As such the Power of Attorney Holder cannot say that the said ornaments were in the said baggage. No documents like air ticket, receipt showing supplementary payment etc. were furnished by the complainant. The onus of proving the case that the said gold items were in the said baggages would rest on the complainant. Contents of the said baggage were not declared. Missing of articles can be presumed only when the contents of the baggage were disclosed to opposite parties at the time of handing over the baggage. Since the value of the contents of the baggage was not declared by the complainant and missing of gold ornaments from the said baggage was not proved by the complainant with cogent and clinching evidence, we find there is no deficiency/negligence on the part of opposite parties. Deficiency in service not proved. Complainant has no substance which deserves to be dismissed.

Comments

  • s.rajas.raja Junior Member
    edited July 2010
    Dear Hon. Advocate Sonia,

    I have a case regarding a lost baggage with Sri Lankan Airlines. It happened on 31st Dec. 2009, Mumbai-Colombo flight UL142. On landing I received one out of two checked-in baggage. The lost baggage had valuables worth 2000 US$. I know I cannot claim that unless I had declared and insured the items. I had registered a complaint on landing and have sent email and made many calls, but I am yet to get any response from the airline.

    Following is an email reminder I sent them-




    From: s.raja@hotmail.com
    To: customer@srilankan.aero
    Subject: CMBUL75382
    Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2010 12:29:32 +0530


    This is a complaint for a misplaced baggage for which I am yet to get any response from you.

    As stated in my complaint at the airport, file reference no. CMBUL 75382, I was carrying 2 checked in baggage, without any hand baggage, on your flight UL142 dt 31 Dec 2009.

    I received only one baggage which contained gift items. The misplaced baggage contained very important documents, showreel, hard disk, Photographic light meter, and everything essential for my stay here.

    My visit was a holiday cum work related, being invited by my friend Mr Dammith Fonseka, and Ms Rosy Senanayake, who is eminent in the film industry here.

    I had no clothes and essentials I needed for the function I had to attend on 31st night. It was very distressing and I had to buy something hurriedly to get by.

    But more importantly, being a film maker and director of photography, I absolutely required all my documents, showreels, photographic equipments, as I was to take a honorary workshop for the Gamini Fonseka Foundation.

    The date for this event is now hanging on the arrival of my baggage.

    I would require you to change the date of my departure till I receive my baggage, at your expense.

    I would also request you to compensate me for the clothes and essentials I was forced to buy fo a minimum of SL Rs 20000/-

    Please contact me at-

    Dammith Fonseka- 0777780777

    NO-01/KEKATIYA MAWATHA/SIRIMALUYANA/RATHMALANA


    Thank you,


    Raja Sayed




    My query to you here is - what is the liability of the airline in this case, and how do I proceed to get them to pay up.
    Please advise.

    Regards

    S. Raja
  • adminadmin Administrator
    edited July 2010
    Hello,

    Visit: http://www.consumercourt.in/paid-members-only/20711-loos-baggage.html to know the judgment.

    Note : Only silver members can view this page.
    visit : http://www.consumercourt.in/premium-consumer-membership/20658-silver-membership.html to know more details.
  • edited April 2011
    i travelled on the date 23.4.2011 at time 8.20 fligt no 9w256 jet airways colombo to mumbai before on the airport i pack my luggage properly at the entrance of gate no one of check in area that time i think i miss my sony camcoder on the chair where i sit so plz help me so i receive my camcoder



    rupesh tapade
    housing society ambejogai
  • edited March 2013
    I travelled from London Heathrow to Colombo by UL504 EN ROUTE TO Male',MALDIVES on 18th March2013. Flight landed at Colombo airport AT 13.30HRS SRILANKAN LOCAL TIME.
    I lost PUMA bag which contains my personal information in flash drive with in and family photos as well.
    Please contact this address if you find the puma bag with pink colored lining in Colombo airport or in this flight UL 504.

    Address Dr.Chittapu.Pardhasaradhi Rao(India)
    ADK HOSPITAL,SOSUN MAGU
    MALE' REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES

    OR CALL 009607455878
    THANK YOU

    DR.PARDHASARADHI RAO
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