Published on : Tuesday, May 16, 2017
The latest figures from the travel communications provider SITA showed that the chance of a bag being lost or re-routed by your airline fell to a record low in 2016. However, the average worldwide still means that, on average, one passenger aboard an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 will learn their bag has not travelled with them. In fact, for the Airbus A380, the largest plane, the average is three passengers.
Barbara Dalibard, chief executive of SITA said that the rate of mishandled bags per thousand passengers reached a record low of 5.73 in 2016. Although the percentage has halved in the past decade, but still the ratio is one bag lost for every 174 passengers, that too for a typical capacity for a short-haul jet.
The scope of luggage going astray is more on connecting flights. For instance, Air France via Paris, Emirates via Dubai or Lufthansa via Frankfurt, the chance of luggage lost is increased. Almost half (47 per cent) of the cases of mishandling last year occurred during the transfer process.
Starting in June 2018, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) will oblige its member airlines to keep tabs on luggage: “IATA members shall maintain an accurate inventory of baggage by monitoring the acquisition and delivery of baggage.” IATA members operate five out of six flights worldwide.
The new regime will record the passenger’s bag at four key points- at check-in, when it is loaded on the aircraft, when it is transferred from one airline to another, and when it is delivered back to the passenger.
The cost to the airline industry of recovering and delivering lost bags is immense; The Independent calculates from SITA estimates that spending due to lost bags is an average £50 per second. It is also a frequent cause of passenger unhappiness.