Baggage Mishandling Rate Cut by 61 Percent

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There were 7.3 bags reported as delayed, damaged or stolen per 1,000 airline passengers in 2014, according to the 2015 SITA report, a company that tracks baggage performance in aviation each year.  That’s a 61 percent decrease in mishandling since 2007. 

Of those mishandled bags, 49 percent were mishandled during transfer, 15 percent were caused by a bag switch or ticketing error and another 15 percent was due to a failure to load. The lesser percentages fell under a loading error (6 percent), arrival mishandling (3 percent), tagging errors (4 percent) and space restrictions, weather or through customs (7 percent).

“Baggage-handling performance remained high in 2014 despite extremely challenging operating conditions, particularly in the first half of the year,” John Heimlich, Vice President of Airlines for America’s, told SITA. “The great news for the traveling public is that more than 99.6 percent of passengers had their checked bags properly handled, largely thanks to the investments airlines continue to make to ensure bags arrive safely and on time, and to improve baggage handling even further.”

By 2017, 66 percent of airlines told SITA they will be offering bag location updates to passengers via mobile applications.

Samsonite recently unveiled plans for a Bluetooth tracking beacon on luggage that would help passengers find their bags using a smartphone app, Track&Go, within 70 meters.

“…Missing or permanently lost luggage is the nightmare of every traveler,” Ramesh Tainwala, CEO of Samsonite, said in a news release. “As the world’s largest luggage manufacturer, we wanted to find a way to make this issue a thing of the past.”

The first Track&Go suitcase will be launched by the end of 2016 in the European market, with plans to reach a wider audience by 2017.