HomeEverything ElseSachin Tendulkar's kin lost baggage, so did Rajeev Malik

Sachin Tendulkar’s kin lost baggage, so did Rajeev Malik

Who is Rajeev Malik? I wouldn’t know is an acceptable response. He’s a para shooter who represents the country. Why is this relevant? He was headed to the IPC Shooting World Cup last week and upon reaching Atlanta airport, the shooter realised both his rifles couldn’t be located.

He went on to compete with a borrowed rifle, and that may have cost him a Paralympic quota selection. Fast forward to today. Sachin Tendulkar chose to articulate his emotions on Twitter. He was angry disappointed and frustrated. A family member’s waitlisted ticket wasn’t confirmed despite availability of seats. That wasn’t his only frustration. Luggage tagged by British Airways was dispatched to an incorrect destination. Their don’t care attitude prompted the retired cricketer to reprimand the airlines on its bad service, and he says never on BA.

As is the norm, British Airways responded to his tweet, and enquired about his baggage ref, full name and address so they could look into the matter. This is standard response for any matter of similar nature being addressed on the Twitter platform. And that wasn’t acceptable to a number of fans. They were upset and angry at how someone didn’t know it was Sachin Tendulkar who had tweeted.

This was intolerable. The tweets went out. Attempts to troll BA turned into abusive rants for the most part. While there’s nothing wrong in the cricketer addressing British Airways via Twitter, his anger seems to have transcended the self, and engulfed fans on Twitter.

Unfortunately, Rajiv Malik hasn’t had such an illustrious sports career, and his approach was limited to direct communication with the airlines he flew with, and a FIR upon returning to Delhi. He was largely compromised when trying to qualify, but really how’s that important? It isn’t worth the ire of a nation.

Is it so difficult to fathom an alternative reality wherein people are people, and a VIP concept doesn’t hold importance. Dignitaries maybe, but VIP, VVIP, VVVIP isn’t recognised. Is it not possible that Sachin Tendulkar doesn’t enjoy the same fan loyalty elsewhere in the world?

Maybe others are inclined to watch football, boxing or horse racing. In fact, it’s heartening to see that British Airways proceeded as they would irrespective of which passenger was inconvenienced. The thousands of fliers who deal with misplaced baggage across airlines can breathe a sigh of relief that BA would search for their lost baggage just as they would if the aggrieved was a world class cricketer.

With the social media space being a lot about manufactured responses to garner likes and increase popularity, it’s a relief that BA stayed true to their response. Was it a missed opportunity in coming out on top in trying to appease one passenger and gain favour with a legion of fans? Maybe. Is BA likely to be upset? Maybe not.

Ten hours later, Sachin Tendulkar notified the world about how the British Airways team has expressed deep regret and have offered to look into customer services issues. He also thanked dear tweeple from all over for their love and support on this one.

In this instance, some of the love was hate being spewed in the airline’s direction. Today, it’s encouraging to know you can take your problem to a company rightaway and, it wouldn’t be wrong to expect somewhat of an instant response. Tendulkar did the same. British Airways responded appropriately. Then why oh why were Twitter users this upset?

A report last month pointed to Alaska Airlines’ CEO discussing his misplaced baggage. Yup, he runs the company. Baggage claims are a reality across airlines. Systems are in place to reduce such occurrences but they still happen, and, that’s that. Being upset about it would be a natural response. Claiming online to never travel with BA (Sachin started hashtag NeveronBA) is probably the anger talking. Maybe he got carried away in the moment, or was consumed by the need to create a hashtag that sounds trendy. We’re hopeful that Rajeev Malik’s baggage is found though it’s no consolation for a missed opportunity. One of the rifles was borrowed, so, he can return it. And most importantly, that’s two guns, inside some airport. It doesn’t sound right.

Some of the tweets from earlier today.

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