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Don't Lose Your Luggage

Never be left without your necessities again.
June 1, 2006

If you've ever suffered through an important meeting in another city dressed in the clothes you wore on the plane because an airline lost your luggage, listen up: Airlines lost or mishandled 23 percent more bags in 2005 than in 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. That's about 3.5 million bags annually--or 10,000 per day!

To be fair, most mishandled bags are just delayed. Less than 2 percent of mishandled bags end up permanently lost or destroyed. But with cash-strapped airlines unable to invest in major baggage system improvements, don't expect the trend to reverse itself anytime soon. Here's how you can protect yourself from the baggage blues: