Refusal to accept baggage may cost airlines dear- The Economic Times

My friend Robert sent me a link to an interesting article in The Economic Times, which makes zero sense to me.

The National Commission had upheld an order of the state-level commission based in Chandigarh which had awarded Rs 50,000 as damages to a lady passenger for mental agony, harassment and inconvenience.

Complainant Sonali Arora — along with her two minor daughters — had travelled on Air France flight from London to Paris on July 4, 1998, and from there to Delhi. It was alleged that the staff of the airline did not allow her to carry one of her handbags on board on the ground that it was oversized. She was compelled to abandon the handbag at the Heathrow Airport in London. According to her, the bag in question contained various valuables, including a camera, two Rado wrist watches, six crystal decoration pieces and souvenirs.

She claimed compensation for not only the loss of valuables but also for mental agony, harassment and inconveniences.

Rs 4 lakh was claimed for loss of value of goods and Rs 50,000 for mental agony and harassment. The district consumer redressal forum, Jalandhar, however, dismissed her claim. But the state consumer redressal commission had awarded Rs 50,000 for loss of contents of handbag and Rs 50,000 as damages for mental agony, harassment and inconvenience. It was upheld by the National Commission. Then, Air France approached the apex court.

Someone please help me understand this. The lady brought an oversized bag (maximum dimensions are available on the airline website), the airline refuses it since it’s too big, she decides to leave it there, and then she has a case to sue them for mental agony? HUH?!?!

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