The Delhi state consumer panel has asked Mexico-based airline Aeromexico to pay over Rs 5 lakh to an Indian citizen for mishandling his bag on a trip to Miami in the US.

The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission said the deficiency of service on the part of the airline stands established.

“We are satisfied that there has been deficiency on the part of opposite party-2 (Aeromexico Airlines) in misplacing of the bag as they have not properly handled the movement of the bag on its receipt from opposition party-I (British Airways) at Miami,” a bench comprising judicial member O P Gupta and member Anil Srivastava said.

It further said, “There is nothing on record to controvert this assertion. The opposite party (Aeromexico Airlines) having been found to be deficient in service is liable to pay the compensation.”

The consumer panel asked the airline to refund the amount spent by Delhi-resident Chander Mohan Lall during his journey, along with the compensation of Rs 5 lakh.

According to the complaint, Lall had boarded the British Airways flight on November 5, 2011 from New Delhi to Miami for attending an international conference there.

It was alleged in the complaint that he had to board the Aeromexico Airlines from Cancun in Mexico for transit to Miami but the bag was lost in between and failed to reach him on his arrival there.

The bag which contained his laptop, materials for the purpose of attending the high profile conference, his driving certificate, clothes, etc. went missing and Lall claimed that his whole travel was a flop.

The British Airways denied any negligence or deficiency in its service, saying its staffers had handed over the bag to the Aeromexico Airlines staff properly.

The Aeromexico Airlines objected to the allegations, saying the consumer commission in India cannot issue any direction to it since it has no office here.

The state panel dismissed this contention and said that the tickets were purchased through an agency in New Delhi and it was sufficient to establish the place where the cause of action arose.