Up to US$7.45bn in luggage lost at airports in 2022, MoneyTransfers.com finds

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Research from MoneyTransfers.com has revealed that up to £5.8bn (US$7.45bn) worth of luggage was lost globally in 2022 – with approximately 13 bags predicted to be mishandled per 1,000 passengers in 2023, higher than any other year.

Overall, 1,800,000 bags were lost or stolen in 2022. While there were 26,000,000 mishandled bags in 2022, most passengers were reunited with their belongings eventually. Of those mishandled bags, 7% were lost or stolen, 13% were damaged and 80% were delayed.

A study by SWNS predicted the average holidaymaker’s suitcase to be worth £3,225 (US$4,135). However, most travel insurers will provide a limit of £1,000 (US1,300) of cover for lost baggage claims. As a result, the 1,800,000 lost or stolen bags in 2022 alone indicates an overall value of between £1.8bn (US$2.3bn) and £5.8bn (US$7.45bn). The MoneyTransfers.com report found that the UK airports that lose the most luggage were: London Heathrow (35.63%); London Gatwick (19.54%); Manchester (13.03%); Birmingham (8.81%); and London Stansted (7.66%).

Jonathan Merry, travel expert at MoneyTransfers.com, said, “In the past year, searches for the term ‘luggage tracker’ have increased by 220% (Google Trends data) – perhaps highlighting just how many people were impacted by lost or delayed luggage last year! There are a wide range of luggage trackers available on the market to help you track your lost items. These can be extremely useful when liaising with your airline to help show where your suitcase actually is.”

“The anticipation of a long overdue holiday by millions returning to the skies after the pandemic was sharply dashed by huge queues and unprecedented amounts of lost luggage last year – and we can now reveal just how shocking the cost of that disruption was to holidaymakers. With airline passenger levels predicted to near pre-pandemic levels in 2023 and numerous airport strikes planned this year alongside urgent staff shortages, it seems likely that the mass disruption experienced at airports is only likely to continue before any urgent change is delivered to improve the situation.”

Read more of the latest baggage updates from the passenger terminal industry, here.

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As the latest addition to the UKi Media & Events team, Elizabeth combines research skills from her English degree with a keen interest in the meteorological and transportation industries. Having taken the lead in student and startup publications, she has gained experience in editing online and print titles on a wide variety of topics. In her role as Assistant Editor, Elizabeth creates new and topical content on the pioneering technologies in transportation, logistics and meteorology.

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