SITA's ninth annual Baggage Report shows a continued improvement in baggage mishandling rates. The headline figure has now dropped to 8.83 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers, down from 8.99 in 2011 and represents a drop of 44.5% in the number of mishandled bags in the last six years.
For the industry it translates into an annual cost saving of US$2.1 billion for 2012 compared to 2007.
Collaboration is paying off
We are seeing the rewards of a collaborative effort to improve baggage handling, and in so doing reducing a major cause of passenger dissatisfaction.
Delayed baggage, which was responsible for 82.9% of mishandling, fell 2.4% in 2012 to 5.67 per thousand passengers. The major cause of delayed bags is the transfer between flights which historically has proved to be a critical pinch-point in the process. The good news is that we are moving in the right direction with mishandled transfer baggage falling to 48% of delayed baggage from 53% in 2011.
For the first time we have taken a look at baggage performance across the world's top 100 airports by region.
Asia, in particular, is performing very well with 1.93 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers. Looking at the long-term trend, the improvement is significant across regions, with a mishandling bag rate reduced by 43% in Asia, 56% in North America and 43% in Europe over the last six years.
Full steam ahead
Looking forward, there will be no let up in the pressure on baggage handling operations. Passenger numbers continue to grow, even in these times of reduced economic activity.
There will be no let up in industry efforts to reduce mishandling rates.
SITA is investing in new baggage solutions to ensure the industry has the best tools, based on the latest technologies, to do the job. One such product, BagSmart, provides a predictive warning of missed bags which initial trials indicate could reduce mishandling of transfer bags by up to 60%, as well as help prevent baggage-related flight delays.
To get an in-depth understanding of these trends, as well as the latest industry innovations and commentary from major airlines, airports and industry partners, visit the Baggage Report page and download the full report. It is free of charge (registration required).