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PIA and the lost luggage

September 01, 2012

WE went to Islamabad on Aug 18 by PK 368 to celebrate Eid. On arrival, it took about two hours to get the luggage because there was no loader available to bring the luggage on to the conveyors. During this whole time, no one from PIA and CAA was available to assist while people of all ages suffered during extreme humidity, heat and discomfort whereas most were fasting too.

During the check-in for our return flight PK 301 on Aug 23 again there was shortage staff and three to four flights were checking in at the same time.

We arrived at 9 am and after we had waited for 35 minutes in line at Business class counter, the lady announced closure of the counter saying her duty was finished. She, however, handed over me to another counter before disappearing. Later the same lady was collecting the boarding pass counters at the aircraft stairs. The pre-allotted seats were shuffled.

Due to the rush, with flight operation guys shouting to close the flight, the lady at the counter handed over three baggage tags to the porter who gave me the same number of counters and threw the baggage at the belt.

On arrival in Karachi, we only found one bag (a carry-all), with two bags missing. It was revealed that the porter had given me one tag for Karachi and two for Gilgit. Initially, the PIA staff was reluctant but then filed a PIR report at about 1 pm. There is no serial number on the report but some hand written code words which I propagated to several contacts in PIA along with the identification of missing bags.

We had planned for this occasion for two years to be with all family while it cost us Rs. 155,000 due to enhanced fares.

Despite all follow-ups so far there is no information. The Gilgit tags were taken by the PIA staff in Karachi whose telephone number given is 99044733 but whenever called there is no satisfactory reply.

There are only two possibilities — either the luggage is lying somewhere unattended or we were handed over two wrong baggage tags. We thus lost luggage worth over Rs650,000.

There is no replacement of certain gifts of sentimental value. The whole episode is very agonizing as we are forced to almost daily buy items that are now needed one by one. Legal action will be taken in a few days.

N. ZUBAIRI Karachi