Air transport IT specialist SITA has found that the lost baggage rate has fallen by 61% since 2007, saving the aviation industry approximately US$18bn in costs. The lost baggage rate peaked at 18.88 bags per thousand passengers in 2007 and now stands at 7.3 bags per thousand travelers according to SITA’s 2015 Baggage Report.
SITA has attributed the reduction in mishandled luggage to investments made by operators in improved baggage handling technologies. The achievement seems even more remarkable given the steady rise in passenger numbers during the same period.
Francesco Violante, CEO for SITA, said, “This improvement in baggage handling over the past seven years is largely a result of strong technology investment and innovation in baggage systems automation and processes. However, rising passenger numbers will continue to place pressure on baggage infrastructure and processes, so the industry cannot afford to become complacent. With the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasting continued passenger growth of around 7% in 2015, all industry partners will need to continue to invest, collaborate and focus on baggage management.”
From 2013 to 2014, passenger numbers rose by 5.5% globally. This increased pressure on existing systems and nudged the rate of baggage mishandling up in 2014 to 7.3 bags per thousand passengers, from its all-time low of 6.96 the previous year. More than 80% of the mishandled bags in 2014 were delayed, with transfers between connecting flights the leading cause of late delivery. However, the majority of bags were reunited with passengers within one to two days.