Avoid losing luggage at airport

By Summer Knowles - email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

(WFLX) - Millions of bags are mishandled at airports nationwide every year; moreover, December is the month when it happens the most.

"We had five, but we've got four," said Sherri Bosart. She and her family had a direct flight to Palm Beach International Airport from Detroit. "Its definitely gonna be an inconvenience for sure."

According to the Department of Transportation, about 90,000 bags were mishandled on any given day last year for a total of nearly 33 million. That number is actually down 20 percent from the year before.

Despite the drop in numbers, however, mishandled bags are still costing the airline industry billions of dollars every year and costing travelers headaches.

Cheryl Traylor flew in from Denver Sunday after a layover in Atlanta. She says after her bag was found, she was told the airline would drop it off. But was later told she had to pick it up. "I have to pay for parking, leave work, carry a heavy bag."

Here are a few tips to avoid falling victim:

  1. Always try to allow about an hour in between connecting flights.
  2. Keep your checked bags as light as possible.
  3. Avoid loose and/or bulky straps that can get caught on a conveyor belt and cause the bag to be damaged and/or delayed.
  4. If you can avoid checking any bags at all, do it!

The number of mishandled bags dropped by nearly 10 million last year, but that was largely due to an increase in airlines charging travelers to check luggage.