Last Updated Sep 15, 2009 11:11 AM EDT
Every airline saw huge drops except for Alaska which was basically flat - 4.43 to 4.45. So what's going on? Total enplaned passengers dropped from 56.3 million to 54.1 million, so that's not a tremendous difference. But we do know flights are down and load factors are up which should lead to worse handling.
So what is it that's causing things to get better? I'm going with bag fees. Remember, these numbers simply show the number of lost bags per 1,000 passengers. That's a pretty meaningless statistic when you consider that it doesn't take into account the number of bags each passenger checks. The ever-rising bag fees should result in people trying to reduce the number of bags they check.
So until we see a stat showing the number of bags lost per thousand bags checked, this ongoing DOT statistic is pretty worthless.