Europe keeps losing for lost and late luggage

Number of transfer operations keeps Europe behind

European airlines are lagging behind those in the USA for lost, damaged or stolen luggage, with nine bags per 1,000 passengers suffering this fate last year, according to IT company SITA’s 2014 Baggage Report. Only 3.22 bags per thousand travellers were mistreated on US domestic flights, while the rate in Asia was only 1.96.

The pressure is on airlines to speed up security checks and process “hot bags” with short transfer times for immediate unloading. It’s a process many airports and airlines still get wrong.

Europe is improving, cutting its mishandling rate by 41.2% since 2003. But it has always lagged behind other regions, while Asia has remained on top.

“In Europe, there are quite a lot of transfer operations going on,” explains Nick Gates, SITA’s portfolio director for baggage. “When you have more complexity, inevitably there are more chances for the operation to fail.”



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