Airlines Spend $1.6B on Missing Baggage

GENEVA – World airlines spend as much as $1.6 billion a year on mishandled baggage, a company that provides computer-tracking technology to the industry said Tuesday.

The main factors causing a bag to fail to arrive with its owner at the intended destination are growing passenger numbers and tighter security, said SITA Inc., a Geneva-based company owned by the air transport industry.

“Keeping track of the billions of pieces of baggage transported around the world annually has become a major challenge,” the company said.

SITA estimates that it costs the industry an average of $87.50 when a bag fails to show up on time. Even though the percentage of mishandled bags is only 0.7 percent, the total cost mounts quickly.”

What would be interesting to know is how much is spent on purchasing airfare so that we could look at the cost of lost luggage relative to that. My gut instinct is irritation because it is safe to assume that they are passing the costs on to the consumer, but I am curious just how much that is, $1, $5, or $25, it makes a difference.

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