"I was the system manager of baggage services for [a] carrier for five years" he says. "When I started in this position, this airline mishandled four bags per 1000 customers: relatively large numbers for this airline, but average for domestic carriers according to the [US] Department of Transportation, who publishes these statistics on the 'Air Travel Consumer Home Page'. When I left the position, dubbed by many as the 'worst job in the company', the average number of mishandled bags had dropped to a record low numbers of less than two bags mishandled per 1000 passengers."
"Mishandled baggage ratios vary from airline to airline. Reported statistics show that, depending on the airline you travel, 1.5 to 19 or more bags are mishandled on a regular basis per 1000 passengers who check in for a flight."
In identifying your bags
"Use ID pockets that are attached flush on the side of the bag."
"Additional Security: Place a legal size sheet of paper inside a zipper-locking
clear plastic bag or laminate it to protect it from moisture. Place the protected
information on top of the bag's contents so it is immediately visible if an agent
opens the bag."
Another tidbit that most travelers don't realize these days is that you can buy and use a US Travel Safety Administration approved lock. You can find information on approved locks here: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/locks.shtm This way you can lock your luggage and inspectors can still inspect your bags without causing damage to the lock or the bag. If you don't use a TSA approved lock, you should just use a zip tie to secure the luggage zippers.
Also, don't pack critical medication in your checked luggage, especially if your life may depend on it. It's no help if your bags go missing!
"Before going to claim your luggage, have you ever stopped to eat, get a cup of coffee, or have a meeting? If so, you might have been a victim of luggage theft. Some thieves consider the type of identification on a bag to be indicative of its contents. On an ID tag, the title president, vice president, attorney, doctor, director can equate to dollars in the mind of the thief: the bigger the title, the more money is made; the more money you made, the nicer the contents in the bag will likely be."
In which case, you might not want to add "PMP" after your name. If the thieves even happen to know what "PMP" stands for, they will obviously conclude just how rich you are – and make you their special target!
3. Ibid, p iii-iv
5. Ibid, p6
7. Ibid, p13
8. Ibid, p26-27.