The Tale of Broken Trust: Air India's Unpleasant Welcome with Broken Bag and Unprofessional Dealing

So today Air India gave me an opportunity to write this blogpost. Today Air India, welcomes me to Golden Edge Club by breaking my bag and then wasting my time at the Airport with extremely unprofessional dealing of the situation. I am going to share the details of what all happened.

So today Air India gave me an opportunity to write this blogpost. Today Air India, welcomes me to Golden Edge Club by breaking my bag and then wasting my time at the Airport with extremely unprofessional dealing of the situation. I am going to share the details of what all happened.

I was travelling in AI-174 (San Francisco to Delhi) on 6th Oct'23 and when we landed in Delhi, I walked towards baggage collection belt 13 after immigration process. 

I had 2 bags. Collected both and started moving towards the exit and in few seconds, I noticed some change in one of the bags when I was dragging. When looked at it closely It's frame was broken and one of the tyre was almost out of the frame. Then I tilted the bag on 2 tyres and reached Air India counter to report this damage. 

The staff asked for the following details and started typing something on the screen:

1. Boarding Pass for my flight from San Francisco to Delhi.

2. Photographs of the damage.

3. When this bag was purchased. (How old is it?)

4. What was the price of the bag when purchased. 

One of the staff member picked his mobile phone and walked out of the office to talk to his manager to figure out next steps. That body language and style was already fishy as if they wanted me to just go away from there.

The person on computer, got a print out and asked me to sign by saying that we will pay 3000 Rs. I denied as one can't even buy a cabin bag for 3000 rs these days. Then I searched the bag on and showed to them, which was priced at 14550 rs. On this, I also tweeted to Air India for help but just like this office, they just kept asking details and didn't provide anything useful. 

The man with mobile phone again went out, talked to his boss and offered 5000 rs. I asked about how they arrive at these random numbers? Now I was also little angry as they had already taken 45 minutes with hardly any sensible conversation or details. 

To the question above, the man on the counter started finding a document which tells how they calculate depreciation. He couldn't find anything and then he said that we consider 50% depreciation for 2 years old bag. Then I challenged him on his own fact that how 5000 is 50% of 14550? When I did that, the man on phone scolded this boy on counter that "who asked you to share these details". That made things very clear that they don't have intentions to deal professionally and probably these people are sitting there to just settle the damage for least amount. I also asked them to give me the bag and keep the broken one. For me you damaged my usable bag and I need a replacement for that. I am ok with 2 years old but functional bag.

It was over an hour now and I was deliberating to leave the bag with them & not take any money, to take care of it with someone in Air India who understands customer pain. But then I thought how can I rely on this assumption that someone in Air India will understand it. The man on phone comes again and offers 6000 rs. By now, I was not in a mood to talk to them as I had spent 1.5 hrs for this non-sense. I had 2 options - accept it or leave it. I decided to take those 6000 but will still escalate to Air India. I am open to return this 6000 to Air India, if they simply ship me a Tommy Hilfiger luggage bag to my address. btw, this office staff took my address as well. When I asked why you need address, he said - "it's part of the process".

So I walked out with damaged bag and 6000 Rs after spending 1 hr 40 mins in Air India office. This time was spent after delayed flight and flight time of 15 hrs 20 mins. I am still deliberating about my next steps as our nation and such services are becoming lot of pain and no one tries to understand customer pain. let's see what happens next but I will keep this post updated through comments section below.  

For Fun (This is how ChatGPT rewrites my story) -

"Chapter 1: Arrival in Delhi

Once upon a time, on the 6th of October '23, I embarked on a journey from San Francisco to Delhi aboard Air India's Flight AI-174. Little did I know that this journey would take an unexpected turn, plunging me into a world of frustration and disappointment.

Chapter 2: The Broken Baggage

As the plane touched down in Delhi, I eagerly headed towards baggage collection belt 13, eager to complete my journey. With two bags in tow, I began my journey towards the exit, unaware of the impending ordeal. It took only a few seconds to notice that something was amiss. A strange change in my bag's behavior caught my attention - a broken frame, and a wheel nearly hanging loose.

Chapter 3: The Unwelcoming Welcome

Without hesitation, I made my way to the Air India counter to report the damage. The staff took note and began their inquiries:

Boarding Pass

Photographs of the Damage

Bag's Age

Purchase Price

While these seemed like reasonable questions, something about their demeanor felt off. It was as though they hoped I would disappear.

Chapter 4: Negotiating a Settlement

As I provided the necessary information, one staff member stepped out to consult with their manager, leaving me with a growing sense of unease. Upon their return, they offered a mere 3,000 Rs as compensation, an amount insufficient even to purchase a new cabin bag. I took to to prove the bag's value, priced at 14,550 Rs. A tweet to Air India for assistance led to more inquiries but no resolution.

Chapter 5: The Frustrating Bargain

Again, the staff member left with his phone, returning to offer 5,000 Rs. This bargaining continued for a while, with neither side willing to concede. Their calculations seemed arbitrary, and the conversation became increasingly frustrating.

Chapter 6: The Absurd Depreciation Argument

The staff attempted to justify their 5,000 Rs offer by citing a 50% depreciation rate for a 2-year-old bag. I challenged their math, pointing out that 5,000 wasn't half of 14,550. It was evident that professionalism was lacking as the man on the phone chastised the counter staff for sharing such details.

Chapter 7: A Disheartening Conclusion

Over an hour had passed, and the prospect of leaving my damaged bag behind, refusing compensation, briefly crossed my mind. But I questioned whether Air India would truly understand and address my frustration. Ultimately, I accepted their 6,000 Rs offer.

Chapter 8: A Lingering Discontent

As I left the Air India office with a damaged bag and 6,000 Rs, the weight of disappointment lingered. The ordeal had taken nearly two hours, following a lengthy and tiring 15-hour flight. I couldn't help but ponder the state of our nation and its services, where customer pain often goes unnoticed.

Conclusion: A Continuing Saga

The story may have concluded here, but the discontent and disappointment still linger. Air India's actions left a bitter taste, a stark reminder of the challenges customers face in seeking fair resolution. The tale continues, and I remain hopeful that one day, understanding and empathy will replace the pain of such encounters."


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