Mon, 15 Aug 1994

Helpful Garuda

I was traveling on a Garuda Airlines flight from Manado to Jakarta, which stops in Ujungpandang. Since I had been on a short business visit to Manado, I was carrying only hand baggage, which consisted of my briefcase and traveling bag.

During the stop in Ujungpandang, passengers in transit to Jakarta are allowed to get off the aircraft while passengers from Ujungpandang get ready to board. I decided to stretch, and got off the aircraft after storing my baggage in the overhead compartment. Before disembarking from the aircraft, I checked with an air hostess if it was safe to leave my bags in the overhead compartment and she said yes. However, to my utter shock and dismay upon returning to the aircraft, I found that both of my bags had disappeared. I checked all over the aircraft along with the flight crew who I had alerted, but could not trace my bags. After continuing my frantic search, I was told by a passenger sitting behind me that she had seen two people take both the bags and leave just after I did. This passenger then looked around the aircraft to try and spot these people, but they were not there. It was only then, that I could believe, even though I had realized it earlier, that my bags had been stolen.

The flight crew too, slowly came to the conclusion that the bags had been stolen. Garuda, from then on, was extremely helpful and did all they could to try and trace my bags. Telexes were immediately sent out to all airports in Indonesia to discreetly check passengers carrying bags similar to mine. Upon my arrival in Jakarta, I was escorted by an air hostess who helped me lodged a formal complaint with the Lost and Found Department.

Since that day, which was a month ago, Garuda have been in constant touch with me, with an apology always on their lips. Even though Garuda are not responsible legally, they have accepted moral responsibility and have agreed to compensate me for a part of my losses. I would like to express my thanks for all their help and in particular would like to thank one staff member, Mr. H. Marzuki S. Wijaya, who is the Manager of the Claim and Prevention department.