Kevin Flynn, Transportation Writer for The Rocky Mountain News in Denver wrote a couple of articles yesterday that caught my interest. The first one is "Airlines losing more bags" which talks about a 12.5% increase nationwide in mis-handled bags. He reports that at some airlines the increase is in excess of 30%. Now that's scary.
His second article, a sidebar article to the one above, "Late connection delayed bag, but airline was ready" discussed how some airlines are handling the situation. I found two things especially interesting about this;
- Kevin quoted my blog post of July 30th concerning my lost luggage experience in Denver where I suggested that they use the information they already have and proactively let people know their luggage didn't make the connection rather than make them wait in vain and then seek out the baggage claim people. As I mentioned, "If you know a bag didn't make the connection, why do you insist on adding to my frustration by making me wait an extra 30 or 45 minutes, and then make me come ask you about it?"
- The article relates another travelers experience with Delta. Once they inquired about their missing luggage the Delta agent then consulted the computer printout and quickly handled things which was very similar to my experience with United when I got back to Houston.
What amazes me is that the airlines still seem to think that people really don't care if they get their luggage or not, its like they are saying "Maybe, we better wait and see if they will come ask us about it before we do anything". As if I'd schlep 40 pounds of dead weight through an airport and then not want it!
I stand by my original suggestion:
Given the technology that already exists and the information they already have they could have simply posted a message on the display board listing the passenger names and origination flights where baggage missed the connection. This way people could go straight to the baggage office rather than waste time fruitlessly waiting for the baggage to appear on the carousel.
. . . and also the additional refinements to this I made in the original post. This really shouldn't be all that hard to implement.
So I again ask the same question -- Airline industry - what are you waiting for?
What suggestions do you have for the airlines?
"Line for Lost Baggage Claim Forms" photo by Wysz
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