Airlines Mishandled Fewer Bags Last Year Maybe Because We Hate Paying To Check Them

The good news is that the Department of Transportation says airlines are mishandling fewer bags than before, with a nice little 8% drop in the amount of “lost, damaged, delayed or pilfered” pieces of luggage from 2011 to 2012. But before we go slapping airlines on the back with a hearty “good job!” pat, perhaps it’s just because passengers are keeping their personal effects out of the hands of baggage handlers.

The DOT’s latest statistics show that airlines mishandled 3.09 bags per 1,000 enplaned passengers last year, reports NBC News, resulting in that 8% drop from the previous year. It’s also a huge improvement from five years ago, with a rate that fell by 56% in that time.

Call us skeptical, but airlines shouldn’t get all of the credit — increased fees for checked bags couples with the fear of having your property returned to you looking like it’d been fed through a wood chipper and jumped on by a team of angry monkeys have likely kept passengers from entrusting their bags to the care of airlines.

“There’s probably less reporting of damaged luggage because more people are (going with) carry-on bags,” Richard Krulik, CEO of luggage maker Briggs & Riley explained to NBC, and we tend to agree with him.

His advice if you do have to check a bag? Since he does happen to work in the luggage business, it makes sense that he says to invest in nicer luggage made of durable materials.

That way if someone decides to throw your luggage onto the tarmac and have the plane run over it a few times before someone takes a machete to it, it might just hold up. Or hey, you can always opt for wearable luggage.

Fewer bags lost, damaged, delayed or pilfered in 2012, DOT reports [NBC News]