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Transport Blog
04 April 2007
BA least favourite for baggage mishandling
Brian Micklethwait

I remember a great bit of graffiti on a poster for British Airways.  The poster said something like: “Breakfast in New York - Lunch in London”.  And someone else had spray-written at the bottom: “Baggage in Bermuda”.  I’m guessing that this was in the days of Concorde, but only guessing.

Anyway, it seems the graffitist was right:

British Airways lost more than one million pieces of luggage in 2006, making the national carrier the worst baggage handler in Europe.

A report by the Air Transport Users Council (AUC) revealed that BA mishandled 23 bags for every 1,000 passengers, losing about 3,000 bags every day. Overall, that meant the “world’s favourite airline” lost 1,047,750 bags last year.

Hundreds of thousands of BA’s 45 million passengers began their trips without clothes, toiletries, presents, valuables or climbing or skiing equipment. Many have never been reunited with their belongings.

BA, whose problems led to 28,000 suitcases piling up at Heathrow in January, described its performance as “unacceptable”. “We fully apologise to customers who have been affected by delayed baggage in the past year,” a spokesman said.

“Fully apologise” sounds like they do other less fulsome apologies.  Like: “We apologise a bit, but not really.”  “We partially apologise.”  “We apologise but only if the government apologises as well.” Etc.

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