Missing Baggage

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A study says it's a global problem and it's getting worse: airlines losing luggage. It's also costing airlines more money.

An estimated 30 (m) million bags were temporarily lost by airlines in 2005, and 200-thousand of them were never reunited with their owners.

An industry report by SITA Incorporated, a company that provides technology solutions for the air transport industry, also notes that the problem "is worsening on both sides of the Atlantic."

The 30 (m) million misdirected bags amounts to only one percent of the three (b) billion bags that were processed last year. That's up three tenths of a percent from 2004. SITA is promoting technology to reduce the problem.

Last year, mishandled luggage cost world airlines two-and-a-half (b) billion dollars, nearly a (b) billion more than the year before.

The increased cost partly reflects improved data collection but also reflects inadequate baggage management.