This Passenger’s Baggage Complaint Against IndiGo Is Too Relatable

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Summary

  • IndiGo’s negligence cracked a passenger’s luggage, sparking a viral Twitter post ridiculing their poor handling practices.
  • Passengers voiced outrage at similar shoddy baggage handling experiences by Indian airlines, leading to a quick response by IndiGo.
  • New rules on expedited baggage handling could lead to more instances of damage due to rushed handling practices.

An IndiGo passenger on a flight from Bangalore to Delhi was greeted with a shocking sight at the carousel. The entire shell of her cyan-colored hard-shell luggage was marred by a large crack, rendering the bag almost unusable.

The tweet and IndiGo’s response

The passenger took to Twitter and posted a picture of her luggage with a snarky caption, thanking IndiGo for taking good care of her luggage.

An IndiGo A320neo on an airport apron.

Photo: BoeingMan777 | Shutterstock

The Twitter user’s sarcastic post thanking IndiGo has since gone viral in India. It has been viewed more than 306,200 times, received 254 replies, and been retweeted 185 times. Many replies are humorous and sarcastic, while others are outraged at the destruction of personal property.

A common factor among the replies is that many people have experienced the same sort of shoddy baggage handling by multiple leading Indian airlines. IndiGo replied to the tweet swiftly, with a customer service agent ensuring that the airline would investigate and get back to the passenger.

Many passengers spoke about their experiences. One commenter advised the original poster not to leave the airport until they filed an official complaint with an airline customer service representative on site. They claimed that the airline would use the lack of an official complaint to deny paying the passenger compensation.

In 2022, baggage mishandling rates increased by nearly 50% from 4.35 bags per 1000 to 7.6 bags per 1000. While it may seem that airlines are getting more careless with the personal belongings of their passengers, the mishandling spike is due to staff shortages following COVID-19 layoffs with inexperienced personnel coming onboard.

The incident seems to be a run-of-the-mill baggage mishap, not a malicious one. That differs from other baggage mishandling stories that have gone viral, including the video of American Airlines baggage handlers tossing bags on flight AA2313 last year. Another similar event in 2022 led Qantas to launch an investigation.

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The incident followed almost 500 cancelations due to bad weather in North Texas.

A result of expedited baggage handling?

Last month, India’s Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) conducted an experiment at six Indian airports to track baggage arrival times. The results showed that the baggage delivery wait times were unacceptable. The BCAS then told the seven carriers, Air India, IndiGo, Akasa, SpiceJet, Vistara, Air India Express Connect, and Air India Express, to change their baggage handling procedures.

IndiGo A320 3.2

Photo: IndiGo

The BCAS then introduced a new rule, which states that the first bag needs to be delivered to the carousel within 10 minutes of engine shutdown, and the last should be on the belt within 30 minutes. The rule will be enforced at every airport where the carriers operate.

The rule is part of an effort to hold carriers to the Operation, Management, and Delivery Agreement’s service quality requirements. It aims to improve wait times and passenger satisfaction across airports in India.

However, baggage handlers are now forced to work faster while loading and unloading luggage, which means less attention to detail and more incidents of baggage mishandling. That could account for this IndiGo passenger’s broken luggage.

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The airline also wants to cater to passengers who travel light.



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