Stricter rules, more lost luggage

Hillary Wicai Oct 5, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: The shopping bags made it home, but where in the heck was our luggage? The Department of Transportation says the rate of lost or mishandled bags jumped 25 percent in August. That was right after the London terror plot was foiled and the government banned liquids in carry-on bags. Hillary Wicai tells us the problem here.

HILLARY WICAI: In the past five years, airlines have cut back on staff like baggage handlers.

But recently passenger traffic has returned to the high levels pre-9/11. And given the restriction on liquids and gels more travelers are checking more bags.

It’s the perfect storm designed to suck luggage into the Bermuda Triangle.

Given the extra bags, the airlines might hire more handlers, right? But Airline Analyst Darryl Jenkins says they’re more likely to wait and see what Transportation Security Administration does next.

DARRYL JENKINS:“When you’re changing standards all the time that’s when you have problems. We would all be better off — the airlines and the passengers — if they just had one standard which they maintained at a very, very high level that everyone was aware of.”

To Jenkins point, the TSA recently changed the rules. Small sizes of liquids and gels are now allowable on board as long as those teeny tiny toiletries are in a quart size plastic bag.

No baggie, no fly-ie.

In Washington, I’m Hillary Wicai for Marketplace.

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