It’s being called the “The Summer of Lost Luggage.”
According to the Department of Transportation’s latest Air Travel Consumer Report—data from May of 2022 that was released at the end of July—airline carriers handled 42.0 million bags and posted a mishandled baggage rate of 0.56 percent, up from the April 2022 rate of 0.55 percent.
In the previous three calendar year reports (2019 to 2022), the Department calculated the mishandled baggage rate based on the number of mishandled bags per 1,000 checked bags; it now reports mishandled baggage data as a percentage.
Carriers also reported checking 72,332 wheelchairs and scooters and mishandling 1,110, for a rate of 1.53 percent mishandled wheelchairs and scooters—once again higher than the rate of 1.46 percent mishandled in April.
Internationally, according to Bloomberg, the number of travelers reporting stranded luggage this summer jumped 30 percent from 2019, according to the insurance company Mapfre SA.
Some carriers have gone to great lengths to return lost luggage. “We’ve gone as far as recently we had a separate charter just to repatriate bags back to customers that had been stranded because of some of the operational issues the European airports were having,” Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian was quoted saying in The Washington Post. “We did that on our own nickel just to reunite our Delta customers to their bags as quickly as possible.”
This article first appeared in Recommend’s sister publication, Prevue.