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Brussels, 28 July 2009

Tajani: lost luggage problem still unacceptable in the European Union

The number of bags delayed at the airport amounted to 4.6 million between January 2008 and October 2008 in the European Union 1 . In 2008 32.8 million pieces of luggage were reported lost around the world 2 , which amounts to a decrease of 20% compared to 2007 when 42.4 million were reported lost. Effectively, one piece of luggage has been reported missing for every 64 passengers 3 . Although there is now a decrease following five years of growth, this does not reduce the seriousness of the problem. The Vice-President of the European Commission, Antonio Tajani, responsible for transport, called the number of bags mislaid, damaged or lost during European layovers "excessive and unacceptable".

These figures have been revealed as a result of an inquiry started by the Commission in March this year following reports about the lost luggage problem in airports. This inquiry set out to assess the scope of the problem and evaluate possible solutions.

"In order to protect passengers' rights adequately, we should provide citizens with the appropriate instruments. For the time being these instruments are not available," said Vice-President Tajani as he referred to Regulation 889/2002 4 .

The problem needs to be dealt with. Airlines and airports have reiterated their commitment to improving the registration and management of luggage in order to improve the situation. Passengers who are affected often struggle to get reimbursed up to the maximum of about €1,100.

The Commission will continue to monitor the situation and is considering ways to improve current legislation.

1 :

Based on figures provided by the Association of European Airlines (AEA)

2 :

Source: Société Internationale de Télécommunication Aéronautique (SITA)

3 :

Estimation by the European Passengers' Federation (EPF)

4 :

Regulation on air carrier liability in the event of accidents

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