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Passengers travelling with wrapped bags at an airport Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Kannur International Airport in the south Indian state of Kerala on Monday clarified that baggage wrapping is not mandatory, following complaints from some expatriate passengers that they were forced to use the bagggage wrapping service at the airport.

Over the past couple of days, Malayali expats in the UAE raised the issue on social media after some of their relatives and other passengers were allegedly compelled to wrap their baggage for checking in — not just the cartons, but leather bags and trolley bags also.

Many people who use the new airport voiced their protest on several WhatsApp and Facebook groups against the practice. Expats also criticized CanAir Limited for advertising the luggage-wrapping service with the tagline of protecting the luggage from rain.

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Kannur International Airport in Kerala on Monday put up notices stating baggage wrapping is optional following complaints from Malayali expats that they were forced to wrap their luggage for check-in.

When Gulf News contacted the airport management on Monday, a senior official said the management took note of the complaints on the social media and conducted an investigation in spite of not receiving any formal complaint.

“We have not received any formal complaint or any evidence for forceful wrapping,” said the official who did not wish to be named.

“Our investigation found that the employees of the service provider were approaching the passengers to greet them and direct them to the check-in counters according to their flights and in between they were also informing that the passengers can go for luggage-wrapping as it will make their luggage safe.”

To address the controversy on social media, he said the authorities instructed the service provider’s employees not to approach the passengers directly and, instead, let the passengers choose the service only if they wish to.

“We have also put up notices stating that baggage wrapping is optional. Passengers may ask for wrapping only if they are interested. In case of complaints, or grievances, they can also contact the terminal manager on the number given on the notice,” he added.