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Thursday 08th July 2010 How Lost Luggage Affects People Each Year
Every year, thousands of people around the world lose their luggage while flying. It is a major and continual source of huge frustration and disruption for many airline passengers. The statistics are really quite damning. It is estimated that as many as 25 million items of luggage disappear throughout the world’s airports each year. This equates to approximately 1 in 100 passengers losing something.
 
When you consider the effect lost luggage can have on passengers, it is even more worrying. Holidaymakers and business travellers alike can be hugely impacted by lost luggage. The loss of one luggage bag can mean the loss of hundreds or thousands of pounds worth of items. Holidaymakers might be forced to go on holiday without clothes or basic supplies, and business travellers might lose items which are fundamental to their business activity.
 
Of the 25 million estimated lost items each year, just over 50% disappear between transfers, about 15% are not loaded onto flights and about the same percentage go astray during early bag switching, due to either poor ticketing or failed security. A further 7% are lost during loading or offloading. The remaining 12% are accounted for by failure of customers to comply with baggage space or weight restrictions, and also mishandling at the arrival station and tagging errors.
 
It is crucial these days for flying passengers to have the right travel insurance to cover them in case of a lost luggage claim. Most people assume that they won’t be affected, and they might be right in thinking so as 99% of travellers do get their baggage at the other end. However, any person could be that 1 in every 100. The figure is not as low as it sounds, when you consider that a single flight can contain around 300 people – that is, 3 people per flight affected by lost luggage.
 
Of the European airlines, British Airways usually comes last each year for baggage handling success. About 28 pieces of checked baggage are delayed or lost per 1,000 BA passengers. The figure for Swiss Airlines is 10 per 1,000 and the figure for Lufthansa, famed for its German efficiency, is still 16 per 1,000. Air France tends to lose about the same, with the average figure being around 16. 
 
Where do the lost items go? A lot of the time, no-one is quite sure. Perhaps they might end up in the Unclaimed Baggage Centre in Alabama, a somewhat bizarre American tourist attraction. 800,000 people visit it each year and about 6,000 items are added daily. It is the most famous of many auction houses throughout the world that resell lost or unclaimed items of luggage. British Airways auctions off more than 500 lost laptops each year!
 

Posted on July 08th 2010 on 06:56pm
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