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BA blames Heathrow problems for luggage record

Airline claims top spot in mislaid bags list

A plane taking off

British Airways currently has the worst record in Europe for losing passenger luggage, according to the latest figures.

Statistics gathered by the Association of European Airlines (AEA) over the first three months of 2008 revealed that BA had the worst record out of 28 European airlines.

It managed to lose 28.9 bags per 1,000 passengers between January and March, according to the AEA figures.

Heathrow problems

The next worst performance was from BMI, which lost 22 bags per 1,000 travellers over the same period.

BA said the airline had experienced a ‘wide range of operational issues’ at Heathrow in the first three months of 2008.

These included the emergency landing of one of its Boeing 777s in January and several failures of Terminal 4’s baggage infrastructure.

Staffing levels

A BA spokesman added: ‘In addition, staffing levels were lower than usual in Terminals 1, 3 and 4 because we were running test and training operations in Terminal 5.

‘It is interesting to note that the worst two carriers in terms of baggage performance are the two biggest carriers at Heathrow airport.

‘We once again apologise to our customers who have suffered delays to their journeys or their luggage in the past few months.

‘We believe that once our operations at Terminal 5 settle in during the next few months, our levels of punctuality and baggage performance will begin to improve.’

Terminal Five

Which? travel expert Bob Tolliday said: ‘British Airways is blaming these problems on incidents that happened before the start of Terminal 5, so its performance is not likely to get better when the next set of figures are published.

‘It’s time BA showed more commitment to improving its lost baggage record.’

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