Advise to air passengers: Just report lost luggage

Posted at 09/17/12 7:42 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Many Filipinos have seen from television or Internet reports the brawl at the airport when actress Claudine Barretto lost her luggage aboard one of the low-cost carriers (LCC) during a trip from Boracay to Manila last summer.

To avoid such headline-grabbing scene, airline companies advise passengers who lost their luggage not to focus their anger at the baggage agent.

"Although the person at the counter represents an airline, he or she didn’t personally cause the loss of your bag," Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and sales, said.

She said passengers should report the matter to the airlines concerned, and within a few hours, the baggage would find its way to the owner’s home.

Airline personnel instruct passengers to fill-up a lost-luggage form, and to call up a telephone number of a private company, which locates lost pieces of baggage.

Aviation Concept Logistics (ACL) is one such company. Besides tracing lost luggage, ACL also provides “centralized solutions” to air carriers that require flight dispatch, aircraft servicing, staffing, crewing, flight planning, weight and balance, hotels bookings, providing cabin staff, to name a few.

Rabbi Vincent Ang, operations manager, said that ACL uses software to trace lost luggage. Once a baggage is located, it is reported back to the air carrier and sent to the owner.

Mishandled baggage cost the airline industry worldwide an estimated $2.94 billion in 2011, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Although the airline industry raked in profit estimated at $16 billion, the $2.94 billion eats up part of that profit.

However, passengers should be assured that 99.1 percent of checked-in baggage was delivered on time to the passenger in 2011, the highest rate of successful delivery since the report was first produced and represents saving of $650 million to the air transport industry, according to Societe International de Telecommunications Aeronautiques, the IT provider for the air transport industry.