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Traveler's Aid: Lost Luggage - Stats and Solutions (9/20/02)

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Ever arrive at your destination without your luggage? You’re not the only one. Seems like everyone has an “I-went-to-Spain-and-my-bag-went-to-Singapore” story. So, how bad is the airlines’ lost-luggage track record? According to the latest Department of Transportation stats, 4 out of every 1,000 bags are mishandled -- meaning they’re delayed, damaged, pilfered, or, yes, just plain lost. Some airlines are worse than others. American Eagle -- the worst offender, according to the July 2002 report -- mishandled 10 bags per 1,000. US Airways came out on top with just 3.

The good news is that you don’t have to depend on the airlines to get your bags to your destination. There are a slew of luggage delivery services that are happy to take on that chore. It’ll cost you, of course, but unlike the airlines, they’ll guarantee delivery. Some have never lost a single bag.

How does a luggage delivery service work, and is it right for you? To answer those questions, we talk with Richard Altomare. He’s the CEO of Universal Express, which runs Virtual Bellhop and Luggage Express, two luggage delivery services.

Savvy Resources:

Here are some luggage delivery services:

Virtual Bellhop:
http://www.virtualbellhop.com

Luggage Express:
http://www.usxpluggageexpress.com

Skycap International:
http://www.skycapinternational.com

Sports Express (for bikes, golf clubs, skis, etc.):
http://www.sportsexpress.com

To contact the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division, call 202-366-2220, or click over to:
http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/problems.htm

To see the DOT’s most recent Air Travel Consumer Report, go to:
http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/report.htm

If you'd like us to address your travel questions or concerns, send us an email. Or call us at 888-SAV-TRAV.

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