Skift Take

All the thought behind smart technology is a great thing, but there's little mention in the study of the effect baggage fees have on lost bags -- the fewer checked, the fewer lost.

Airlines are getting better about not losing bags, even when traffic is on the rise around the world.

SITA, which specializes in airport IT solutions, issued its sixth annual Baggage Report yesterday and it’s top marks all around for airlines and airports in North America, Asia, and Europe (the only areas of its study). Like yesterday’s U.S. on-time performance report, the SITA study points to improved efforts by airlines and airports to keep bags closer to their owners.

Proper baggage handling cuts costs, and SITA’s numbers point to a savings of 44.5% since the first study in 2007. Estimates put the potential cost per customer at $0.88, which adds up to $2.1 billion saved for 2012.

The SITA report is a combination of figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, and the Association of European Airlines

Even though it is improved, Europe fares the worst in the study, with 9.4 mishandled bags per 1,000. This is better than a 43% improvement over 2007’s numbers, but a large difference from North America’s 3.09 and Asia’s 1.74 mishandled bags per thousand.

Athar Husain Khan, the acting Secretary General of the Association of European Airlines tries to put its underwhelming numbers in perspective, but admits they still have a ways to go: “A comparison with mishandled bagged rates in other parts of the world show that, even allowing for the specific nature of the European market, with its high level of transfer traffic, Europe still need to do more.”

Year Asia North America Europe
2012 1.74 3.09 9.4
2011 1.69 3.35 10.8
2007 3.05 7.05 16.6

In the report, the advances are largely credited to advances in IT and communications, which SITA sells.

Full report is embedded below:

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Tags: baggage, fees

Photo credit: Terminal at Changi Airport in Singapore. William Cho / Flickr

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