Airlines will deliver left behind luggage to passengers for free

Chowdhury Akbor Hossain
Published : 06:00, Sep 30, 2018 | Updated : 06:00, Sep 30, 2018

FILE PHOTOIncoming passengers at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) will no longer have worry about left behind luggage as the airlines will be starting home delivery service from the next month.
“Passengers suffer more if their luggage is left behind. From now on, no one will need to come to the airport as their luggage will be delivered home,” HSIA Director Abdullah Al Faruk told Bangla Tribune.
Sources at the airport said, airlines will charge no fee for the delivery service, beginning form Oct 1. All the passengers have to do is provide the correct home address.
If any airline fails to do so, it will face a fine ranging anywhere between Tk 50,000 to Tk 200,000 per passenger under the consumer rights protection law.
Airlines, however, will not deliver the luggage that requires customs’ clearance. Passengers will have to receive it in person from the airport.
Nearly 150 flights land and leave the Dhaka airport daily. A large number of passengers face trouble over receiving their luggage upon arrival.
Explaining the reason for airlines leaving behind passengers’ luggage, Biman Bangladesh Airlines General Manager (public relation) Shakil Meraj said, “An aircraft has to maintain a certain weight that includes passengers, luggage and fuel.
“Sometimes pilots decide to carry fewer luggages and take more fuel as bad weather can make the journey longer.”
Delay in immigration checks and airport ground handling are the other reasons for which the airlines sometimes leave the luggage behind, said Meraj.
According to Executive Magistrate Muhammad Yusuf, who conducts a mobile court in the airport, Bangladeshi expatriates, especially from the Middle East and Malaysia face difficulties in receiving their luggage upon arrival.
They usually have to wait for several days. However, passengers from remote areas suffer the most due to this. For them the whole ordeal is expensive in terms of money, time and energy.
On Sept 12, an airport mobile court slapped Oman-based budget airline SalamAir with over Tk 1.22m fine for failure to return 108 luggage of its 61 passengers arriving from Muscat.
Other airlines like Qatar Airways, Air Arabia, Malaysia-based Malindo Airways, Malaysia Airlines have also been slapped with heavy fine previously.
According to the Magistrate Yusuf, competition over using narrow body aircraft by the airlines is one of many reasons for luggage to be left behind.
In addition to running the mobile court, Muhamamd Yusuf has also been campaigning on the social media for over two year to raise awareness among passengers and airlines staffers.
The mobile court requested to be informed if any airlines asks passenger to take their luggage from the airport instead of delivering it at home.