By Courtney Trenwith
Total cost higher than in 2011 but cost per passenger declines
Mishandled bags at airports cost the airline industry US$2.6 billion last year, according to the company that handles baggage at 125 airports worldwide.
The total cost was nearly 3 percent higher than 2011, however, the cost per passenger declined by one cent to 88 cents, according to SITA.
More than 26 million bags were mishandled – lost, stolen, delayed or damaged – during 2012. That’s more than the 25.32 million in 2011, but almost half the 46.9 million recorded in 2007.
Delayed bags accounted for 82.9 percent of all mishandled bags, while damaged or pilfered bags represented 12.9 percent and 4.2 percent were reported lost or stolen.
SITA said with 2.95 billion passengers during 2012 – an increase of 19 percent compared to 2007 - the number of mishandled bags per 1000 passengers was declining, falling to 8.83 last year.
“Over the past six years, the rate of mishandled bags per thousand passengers has fallen 53.2 percent, saving the industry US$2.1 billion in 2012 compared to 2007,” SITA CEO Francesco Violante said.
“While there is still work to be done because any mishandled bag is unwelcome; the six-year trend shows that our collaborative efforts to improve baggage handling are paying off to the benefit of both passengers and airlines.”
SITA, which manages baggage for 500 airlines, said airports were investing billions of dollars in processes and systems to baggage handling efficiency and the speed with which bags travel through the airport.
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