Lost luggage? You aren’t alone

Alisa Roth Apr 17, 2008


Renita Jablonski: Remember last month when London’s Heathrow Airport opened its Terminal Five to much fanfare. And then came the baggage handling catastrophe. But anybody’s who’s flown recently wont be surprised to learn, British Airways isn’t the only one with problems. Alisa Roth tells us about a report out today that elaborates on just how bad things really are.

Alisa Roth: Air passengers checked a whopping 2.25 billion bags last year. About 42 million of those went AWOL at some point — a lot more than in 2006. That’s all according to a new report from SITA, a Swiss organization that provides IT services to the airline industry. SITA downplays the problem, saying only about 2 percent of all bags get lost. Still, about one in 2,000 fliers lost a bag permanently. George Hamlin is an airline industry consultant.

George Hamlin: One out of 2,000 bags doesn’t sound like a bad statistic, but you wouldn’t take an airline whose flights didn’t arrive at that frequency.

In a time when peanuts and pillows are considered luxuries, lost baggage may be something cash-strapped airlines can’t afford. The report says misplaced suitcases cost the industry $3.8 billion.

In New York, I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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