Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Man carries oxygen concentrator on flight for father, IPL team picks it up by mistake

Oxygen has become a precious commodity in today’s times, and also a harrowing task to access it. Anwar, whose father was seeing falling Sp02 levels, decided to buy an oxygen concentrator instead of looking for oxygen cylinders. He personally carried this on an IndiGo flight from Bengaluru to Delhi on April 26.

However, when he landed at the T3 terminal in Delhi airport and went to the regular baggage claim, he couldn’t find the carton which had the oxygen concentrator. When he asked airport personnel, he was informed that cartons often go in a common belt that is different from the belt assigned to passengers to collect their luggage. This belt, he was informed, was common across airlines.

But even three hours later, around 9.30 pm, the carton was not to be found. “The staff informed me that it could have gone to the cargo section which is different from the passenger section. They said they could not go there, and would send someone to check. They sent me away at the time, I was not ready to leave otherwise,” Anwar told TNM.

Anwar says that he reached out to many people to try and find out where the carton went, and even tried going through contacts. Multiple people from the airline also reached out to him, he said, but were asking for the same information. Nearly 24 hours later, he said that one person reached out to him with the picture of the carton asking him for confirmation.

The airline had checked CCTV footage and found that around the same time that Anwar’s IndiGo flight landed, the Chennai Super Kings team had landed as well, on Vistara Airlines.

The concentrator was picked up by a CSK team member as part of the luggage of Chennai Super Kings, who are playing a match on April 28 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

A source from Chennai Super Kings said that while players take a chartered flight, team members take a regular flight. Except for the personal belongings of players, all other baggage is taken from the airport and kept in a separate room for a day in the hotel, and is sanitised. The carton with the oxygen concentrator too had been picked up as part of CSK’s luggage, and was in this room.

By April 27 night, CSK realised that they have an extra piece of baggage, and informed the airport manager. IndiGo, too, realises that the baggage has been picked up by the CSK team after viewing CCTV footage. The family was desperate as they had not been able to secure a hospital bed.

28/04/21 Haripriya Suresh/News Minute

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