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Brussels, 29 January 2010

Tajani urges for more action on lost luggage

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani has urged for greater action in reducing the amount of luggage lost or damaged during transit at a conference on baggage handling. The conference, aimed at highlighting the latest innovations in this important area of air travel, is discussing ways in which technology can play a role in improving the quality of baggage handling across the European Union.

Speaking in Rome today, Vice-President Tajani said: ' Passengers have always been at the centre of my work as Transport Commissioner. For too long passengers' rights have been neglected when it comes to the lost and damaged luggage, an issue which is a global phenomenon. Every year 1 million bags go missing. This is unacceptable and while the numbers are decreasing, it is still an issue that not only causes damage to the passenger but also to those in the industry such as airlines, national authorities and insurance companies. This is why I think we need to dramatically improve the current situation.

Speaking specifically about the Italian context he added 'In Italy, we should look at the idea of enlarging the competence of ENAC (the national civil aviation body – responsible for the enforcement of current passenger rights legislation) to cover the issue of passenger rights in the area of delayed and lost luggage'.

Baggage handling is of central importance to 21 st century air transport, and is an issue that the European Commission takes very seriously. A public consultation on air passenger rights was launched at the beginning of December and included questions on the issue of lost and damaged luggage as well as airline bankruptcy. The consultation, which is open to everyone, ends on 1st March 2010. The results of the consultation will inform proposals to improve current legislation in both these areas, including the possible creation of national authorities responsible for monitoring the baggage handling system.

An investigation carried out by the European Commission last year on the issue of lost luggage showed that the number of bags delayed at airports 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 .

For more information on the consultation, see: SPEECH/10/17 and

1 :

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

2 :

Source: Société Internationale de Télécommunication Aéronautique (SITA)

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