April 20, 2012- With the travel season heating up as summer approaches, many passengers are starting to worry if their luggage will arrive at their vacation destination the same time they do. Results from a recent survey tend to say for the most part, yes. Fewer checked bags are being delayed, lost, pilfered or damaged. One of the airline industry’s providers of information technology, SITA, says the total amount of mishandled bags decreased by 20% last year across the industry and since 2007, it has dropped by over 50%.
SITA said 2011 was probably the best of any year for baggage handling since records were kept. One reason is due to a Baggage Improvement Program that was developed and implemented by IATA – the International Air Transport Association.
The program helps to determine over a period where the majority of mishandling is occurring and to train workers about sharing what are the best ways to handle baggage. The effort covers over 200 airports across the globe and will be completed sometime in 2012. Experts believe it will save airlines over $1.9 billion each year.
Last year close to 26 million bags were mishandled, down from the 32 million during 2010. An average of 9 bags per 1,000 passengers were mishandled or 25.5% less than in 2010. In the U.S., the rate is 3.4 bags per 1,000 passengers on domestic flights compared to 3.51 per 1,000 in 2010.