There’s no question that frequent travelers’ satisfaction with the airline industry is way, way down. We all have our tales to tell, ranging from hidden fees and blackout dates for frequent flyer miles, to sitting on the tarmac for hours and canceled flights. You can fly all-business class airlines, you can wait around in an American Airlines Admirals Club lounge, you can plan ahead to ensure that your kids will be at least tolerable on long flights – but there’s not much you can do about lost luggage.
Lost luggage! It’s the stuff travel nightmares are made of. And it’s only made worse with unsympathetic airline employees who handle baggage customer calls. That’s just one problem that British Airways has, and it’s won the ignominious award for Most Lost Luggage of Any Airline. In the world. That’s not the kind of recognition to write home about, and it kind of puts Jet Blue (after its recent travails) in perspective. Those companies that specialize in shipping important or oversized luggage abroad, pre-flight, are making more and more sense.
It would make even more sense, of course, for airlines to hire more – and better – baggage handers, to cut some flights and reduce runway congestion. But that would imply that the industry is putting their passengers first. I don’t think any of us frequent air travelers are expecting that: It would be just too much to ask. Yet, I still hold out hope.