When passengers check bags at an airport, their worst fear might be the airline losing their luggage. But if they are traveling through Kansai International Airport in Japan, they probably won’t have to worry about that.

The airport says it has never lost a piece of luggage since it first opened in 1994.

So how does an airport go 30 years without losing a single bag?

“We believe that the record of having no baggage lost since the opening of the airport is the result of the daily efforts and careful work of everyone involved, including airlines and handling companies,” Kansai Airports stated in a press release.

World’s best airport for baggage delivery

Kansai International Airport, located in Osaka, Japan, won the Skytrax award for the “World’s Best Airport for Baggage Delivery” for 2024.

Japan’s seventh-busiest airport has won the award eight times, according to CNN. The airport handled 10 million bags in 2023 and has an average of 20-30 million passengers per year.

How common is it for airlines to lose luggage?

On average, about 7.6 pieces of luggage are lost per every 1,000 travelers, according to Forbes.

In the U.S., 0.58% of bags were mishandled by airlines in 2023, per the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The bureau defines mishandled bags as “check bags that are lost, damaged, delayed, and pilfered, as reported by or on behalf of the passenger, that were in the airline’s custody for its reportable domestic nonstop scheduled passenger flights.”

How to avoid having your luggage lost

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Though there is no way to guarantee that your luggage will get to your destination without issues, there are some ways of lowering the chances of your luggage being lost or delayed.

  • If possible, fly direct. Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com, told CNET that the fewer connections, the lower the chance of the airline losing your luggage.
  • Remove old tags from your bags.
  • Use a luggage tag with detailed contact information.
  • Check in early. The U.S. Department of Transportation warns, “Even if you make the flight, your bag may not.”

What to do if an airline loses your luggage

If you can’t find your luggage after a flight, you should alert airline personnel as soon as possible and file a report, CNET recommends.

Airlines are required to compensate passengers for lost, delayed and damaged luggage.

If your luggage is lost, “the airline is responsible for compensating you for your bags’ contents — subject to depreciation and maximum liability limits,” according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. For domestic flights, the maximum amount covered is $3,800 per passenger. For international flights, it is approximately $1,700.00 per passenger.

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