Hurray...Finally a reply back from some live person at Air India. Her name is Ms.Shakuntala Gulia. Ms. Gulia is Manager - Baggage Services at Air India (I know you may be looking for her contact details, and she responds from the same email address -

Actually, it took some effort to get reply back. Specially in a working culture like the one existing in India, and specially in public sector (government companies), you have to scream to get some work done.  Who better to scream at then the CEO directly. I wrote shore up the guts to write directly to Mr. Praful Patel, the head, the union minister (like Federal Government) for Air India. Here is what I wrote:

Honorable minister Mr. Patel,

It is extremely discomforting to write to you about the claim that I am submitting with this email about horrible service that I received from 3 different offices of Air India, that too after mishandling of my bags, and theft in the same. The reason I have to write to you is because of the paper pusher officers who have been irresponsible of their duties in providing services, and just been shaking their hands off. No one seems to be responding or providing the right directions on how to and where to file a claim.

Even Air India website doesn't guide on claim filing process.

My travel begun on July 21st, 2010 at Newark (EWR) Airport and I reached Delhi on July 22nd, 2010 evening. I arrived by LH1612 (operated as AI120) from FRA to DEL on July 22, 2010 however all 3 of my checked bags were missing.
The file reference number is DELAI30922. As per international flight travel rules, and as per Air India website, I am filing claim for following three checked bags with tags as identified below.
1. LH631628    2. LH631629     3. LH631651

The bags finally arrived at Nagpur airport (my final destination of first phase of my travel) after nearly 3 full days (70 hours) of wait.
HERE WITH THIS EMAIL, I AM FORMALLY FILING A CLAIM OF Rs. 27,000 (Rs. 3,000 each for 3 bags, for 3 days). You may send a check, and inform about the same at the following address

You can look at File Ref # DELAI30922 for more details. Besides delay, lot of my personal belongings, including cosmetics, clothes, shoes, ladies bag were stolen as well. I have filed a complaint for the same at Nagpur Airport, where I finally received my bags on July 25th. It was really a horrible experience traveling by Lufthansa/ Air India and my breaking point was to wait for check in bags and there being not arrived for about 12-15 passengers and AI staff did not have courtesy to even explain it to us, what went wrong.
Some ground staff at the airport was very courteous and helpful, especially at the info center and needs recommendation as he even helped in filling the complicated form for lost baggage.

Thank you,

Boom, the reply came pretty fast this time around. I guess the trick did the work. Here is what Ms. Shakuntala Gulia replied.
Air India reply - 1
Dear Madam,

This has reference to your email regarding compensation for mishandled baggage under reference AHL DELAI 30922.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused to you.

You are kindly requested to forward the following documents
1) Legible photocopy of your travel ticket indicating both inbound/outbound journey.
2) In case if you are holding only one-way ticket. Please forward photocopy of passport showing proof of six months of continues stay abroad (immigration stamp)
3) Itemized letter of claim for the alleged missing items with appox.cost of each item. Shall process   the claim on priority basis on receipt of above.

Manager-Baggage Services

Finally, I know what I need to submit and where I need to send the required materials to get claim for delayed baggage and theft.

What is troublesome here is that the airline (in this case Air India) will not reimburse you if you aren't flying out, or if you have stayed abroad for less than 6 months.

Also, what I realized after I sent the reply back to above email, is that the airline reimburses you for your stuff and belongings lost (in my case stolen) by weight, and not by the value of the items. So if you loose, 10 kilos of salt, the airline will reimburse you at around SDR17 per kilo (roughly amounts to USD 20/ kilo or USD 38 per pound), you will get SDR 170. This is $200 for 10 kilos of salt.

This is what Ms. Gulia wrote to me informing me specifically -
"We wish to advise you that in the Airline industry, baggage claims are settled on weight loss basis @ USD 20/per kilo or @ SDR 17/per kg and not on the cost of the missing items, unless a higher value is declared and charges paid for, prior to commencement of the journey. This is as per the Warsaw Convention and Montreal Convention."

Either ways, it was a win situation for me as I had lost the hopes to even hear back from anyone, let alone getting the claim settled. The check arrived yesterday from Air India at my Indian address.


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