(Bloomberg) -- The number of travelers reporting stranded luggage this summer jumped 30% from 2019, according to Spanish insurer Mapfre SA.
More bags are going missing as short-staffed airports and airlines struggle to keep up with luggage handling alongside surging travel demand.
Most stranded luggage ends up resurfacing, thus not triggering reimbursement, the insurer said.
Baggage Chaos So Bad Flyers Are Turning to Tracking Devices
Some holidaymakers have taken the matter into their own hands, slapping tracking devices onto their luggage to keep tabs on their belongings.
Many passengers have missed their transfer flights or were forced to leave their belongings behind. KLM, who handles some of the luggage at Amsterdam Schiphol, says a backlog of several thousand stranded bags has finally been whittled down to the hundreds. But the problem remains widespread across the region.
London’s Heathrow, once considered a gateway to Europe, recently asked airlines to cap ticket sales in order to limit daily passengers through September. Last week, Delta Air Lines Inc. also deployed a wide-body plane without passengers to collect 1,000 stranded bags.
Even passengers with travel insurance may not be saved from summer airport misery. In the UK, four in 10 policies don’t protect against strikes, consumer group Which? reported in its annual review.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.