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Search for flier’s bag draws a blank

Air India officials failed to trace a registered bag of Jauhar Hashmi even on Monday, exactly a week after it had been misplaced while the US citizen was flying from Chicago to Calcutta via Delhi.

“They couldn’t even tell me whether my bag had reached Delhi or not. Don’t they keep a record of the luggage being put on a plane and then taken out after reaching the destination?” asked Hashmi, who spent over five hours at the airport during the day.

This was his third visit to the airport on Monday since he arrived here from Chicago on November 15. The bag contained medicines, food items and some important documents.

Air India officials said 51 bags — all misplaced from Calcutta-bound flights — were being brought to the city on Monday. “The officials told me that they would get in touch with me after the day’s last flight from Delhi arrives,” Hashmi said.

The day Metro highlighted Hashmi’s plight, the airline paid him the taxi bill of Rs 480 that he had incurred while travelling to the airport and back.

Hashmi has come to the city to visit his mother and is staying in his friend’s flat in central Calcutta.

“I could see that Air India officials in Calcutta had tried to contact their counterparts in Delhi but no one answered the calls. There isn’t any co-ordination between the officials in the two cities,” said Hashmi.

Airline officials said they had activated an international system to track the bag. “We have got in touch with United Airlines, which had first checked in the baggage in Washington,” said an Air India spokesperson.

“Bags that are misplaced from Delhi airport are usually retrieved in two-three days. But in this case it’s taking much longer. We suspect the bag hadn’t arrived in Delhi,” he said.

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