Storms and Volcano Activity Led to Increased Airport Luggage Mishandling in 2010

2010 brought the rising quality and decreasing delays in how airlines handled checked luggage to an end. After two years of growing efficiency, last year meant longer and more often delays on the average, trend led by European airlines, and caused by weather conditions and other unexpected events.

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Aviation communication and technology provider SITA announced that last year 29.4 million bags did not arrive at the same time as their owners, many being sent on later flights. For every 1000 passengers that have checked luggage, 12.07 bags have been mishandled, leading to a 6% increase compared to 2009.

This rise in luggage handeling problems is mostly explained by the growing number of flight disruptions caused by seasonal bad weather tantrums or unexpected natural events such as the ash cloud originating in Iceland from April 2010. Last year’s record number of 300,000 cancellations aggravated luggage problems, according to Charlie Pryor – SITA spokesman, as the current systems have not been designed for the pressure they had been facing.

While US airlines have managed to provide slightly better service quality, leading to drop in mishandled luggage of about 0.4%, Europe shifted the balance with a significant increase in baggage issues – an almost 2 in 1000 mishandled luggage increase compared to 2009 results.


The cost for returning the mishandled baggage is quite impressive – USD 2.95 billion last year, up from 2.5 billion in the previous year.

Although the numbers seem high, compared to 2007 for example, airlines are doing a far better job. And things are bound to get even better, with new instated fees and fewer handled baggage expected this year.

1 Comment to “Storms and Volcano Activity Led to Increased Airport Luggage Mishandling in 2010”

  1. […] spite of all the turmoil caused by security requirements and screenings in airport, or lost or late luggage due to extreme weather conditions and other tourism disruption factors, most people believe travel […]

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