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Kansai Airport in Osaka: Not a single piece of luggage has been lost since it opened 30 years ago

Kansai Airport in Osaka: Not a single piece of luggage has been lost since it opened 30 years ago

One airport in the world has managed not to lose a piece of luggage since its opening. What is the secret of Kansai Airport in Japan?

Images of mountains of suitcases are still fresh in the minds of many. When air traffic began again after the pandemic, systems in many places were overwhelmed. Sometimes, those who checked the baggage had to wait a long time for it to actually reach its destination. The whole thing is now under control again, but anyone who travels by plane also knows there's a risk the bag won't arrive.

Airlines are rarely involved in this; In many cases, ground service providers are responsible for transporting and loading luggage. But as the example from Japan shows, things can go really well. Osaka's Kansai Airport has not lost or misdirected a single piece of luggage since it opened 30 years ago.

10 million pieces of luggage – error free

In fiscal year 2023, the airport handled about 10 million pieces of baggage. The track record is the result of complex control work. And above all: unlike many places in Europe, there seemed to be enough staff.

The type and number of pieces of luggage on each plane as well as information about passengers' transit are checked by two or three employees, the Nikkei business newspaper wrote. Plus they're all really accurate.

Very accurate and always up to date

The guide, which describes baggage handling procedures, contains the rules for each airline and, among other things, provides information about where baggage is stored on different aircraft of different airlines.

In addition to the excellent rate of reuniting baggage with its owners, the airport is also known for being particularly passenger-friendly in handing over bags after landing. Employees place bags on conveyor belts with the handles facing outward. This makes it easier for travelers to carry their bags. This is a small thing though. But the impact on passengers is enormous.