I have just seen a report in the Economist citing figures from SITA on airline baggage losses in 2010.
Having had my own bag lost once I can tell you how stressful and frustrating it is when you are waiting for your suitcase to come up the ramp and drop down to the carousel …. and everyone else leaves with theirs and you are forced to go and stand in the queue to complete a lost property form. This happened to me on the only time I have ever flown British Airways First Class and I have never flown with that airline since.
We just don’t travel with luggage any more, we courier the suitcases from Spain and this is why: Nearly 30m, yes 30,000,000 suitcases were “mishandled” last year, in 2010, and over 1m, yes 1,000,000 were lost entirely, never to be recovered. This is a significant rise on the previous year. The compensation is bound not to cover the real cost and the claims procedure consists of the airline attempting to block you at every turn until you finally give up.
Imagine the distress of losing your suitcase. It may not even contain anything valuable but we all carry a photo that may be important or a pair of shoes that we particularly love or a sponge-bag that was a present from a friend. Just going out and shopping for new clothes is not as much fun as it sounds. A hand-made suit or your grandfather’s hair brushes are irreplaceable. Why risk it …… and where do 1m suitcases a year go?