KQ, passenger lock horns over compensation for lost items

Monday March 30 2020

Kenya Airways and a passenger, who claims to

Kenya Airways and a passenger, who claims to have lost some of her items on a KQ flight, are embroiled in a compensation dispute, according to email correspondences seen by Daily Monitor. 

By ASHITA CHOPRA

Kenya Airways and a passenger, who claims to have lost some of her items on a KQ flight, are embroiled in a compensation dispute, according to email correspondences seen by Daily Monitor.

Ms Catherine Kayendo, according to the emails, travelled from Dubai to Entebbe on January 25, 2020 and her baggage, some of which is deemed to be hand luggage, was checked into baggage, from where she suspects some of the contents in her handbag were stolen.

The stolen contents, which she says were valued at about Shs10m, were flown to another destination and the airline has since failed to trace them.

“I am a frequent traveller and I did not expect such a thing to happen. I usually go with my hand luggage inside the plane, but that day two ladies came and started tagging passengers’ hand bags including mine,” she claimed, noting that it is only after she reached Entebbe that she realised that her luggage had been wrongly tagged.

At Entebbe, she claims, she subsequently notified Kenyan Airways of the loss and some of her luggage was later recovered but with missing items.

However, challenged on why she would check in her handbag, Ms Kayendo said she had believed that the airline would ensure safety of her belongings but also noted she had thought it was a procedural issue that she was not aware of.

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In email correspondences seen by Daily Monitor KQ concedes to the loss of some of Ms Kayendo’s items but said it would only compensate receipted items, whose value had been put at 730 Dirham (about Shs775,693).

But Ms Kayendo is disputing the value of the compensation contrary to a notice that she had served on KQ expecting about Shs20m.

Acting through Bamwite & Kakuba Advocates, Ms Kayendo had demanded that Kenya Airways compensates her with a consolidated sum of Shs20m to cover loss of her items, frequent travels to the airlines’ offices and fees for her lawyers.

However, in a letter dated March 6, Kenya Airways indicated it would only compensate receipted items some of which included bed sheets, dresses, T-shirts and perfumes.

“We are willing to offer compensation in the sum of AED 730.00 full and final settlement of this matter. We have adjusted prices of items that have not been supported by receipts to reflect average market prices. We have excluded the claim for mobile phones and cash. Our condition of courage do not allow personal electronic items and money to be included in checked baggage and the airline is not liable in the event of loss,” a March 6 letter addressed to Ms Kayendo, reads in part.

Ms Lucie Malu, the Kenya Airways country manager last week told Daily Monitor they had been engaging Ms Kayendo but had found it problematic to compensate items that are not covered by insurance.

“Firstly, any person would not leave their hand luggage carrying money and electronic gadgets with other luggage. That is something that is not covered by insurance. She should understand the conditions of travel, that we don’t compensate items that are not insured,” she said, adding: “We have engaged the passenger and our insurers did their bit, but if the passenger is unhappy, she can come back to us so that we find a way forward.”

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