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Thu, Nov 23, 2006

Passenger Lost Luggage Laments On The Rise

Increased Checked Baggage Overwhelms Handlers

The Transportation Department says mishandled luggage complaints are up 90% over last year.

ANN reported the 25% increase in complaints during August. Despite the increased media attention, the problems seems to be getting worse -- DOT says there were over 380,000 lost luggage complaints in September alone.

Airport officials blame TSA's stricter security measures. Investigators of last summer's foiled terrorist plot in London discovered terrorist's plans to bring home-made bombs made from liquids aboard airliners. Since then, rules prohibiting passengers from access to liquids brought aboard forced many to check bags they would normally have carried aboard.

That increase in checked baggage is overwhelming the screening staff says Rich Dressler of the Mineta San Jose Airport.

He told CBS, "All of that takes more time. And there is not more staff to do it, and that's what is slowing the process up. So sometimes the luggage will miss the flight that it's intended for."

MSNBC named the biggest offenders as commuter airlines Delta Connection, Comair, American Eagle and United Express.

Industry experts have some advice to help:

  • Leave an ID card outside and inside your bag
  • Use you cell phone to take a photo of your bag before checking it
  • Double check the ticket agent's work

Above all, make sure the tag on your bag has the right destination.

FMI: www.dot.gov

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