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Study: Number Of Mishandled Bags By Airlines On The Rise

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Delays are not the only thing airline passengers try to dodge.

Airline experts say the number of mishandled bags is on the rise. But there are some things you can do to try and prevent that from happening to you.

As CBS2's Chris Wragge reported, last year there were more than 24 million bags delayed, damaged, lost or stolen at the hands of the airline industry.

Most of those bags -- roughly eight in 10 -- were simply delayed, according to a report from SITA, an aviation communications and technology company that tracks baggage performance.

More than one in 10 are damaged or rummaged through and 5 percent are just permanently stolen, Wragge reported.

So how can you keep your luggage from becoming part of these statistics? Some of the expert tips include:

  • Shipping your bags instead. Companies like FedEx and UPS offer luggage shipping services. Experts say it usually costs the same as checking your bags.
  • Checking-in early can help. This can help prevent mistakes by gate agents who are rushing to get bags on board.
  • Track your bag on your own. There are a number of GPS devices that passengers can place in their bags so they can know where their bags are at all times. It may cost you about $50, plus a small monthly service fee.

And getting your bag back is not happening any faster either. The same study shows it takes about a day and a half to get your stuff back. That's up 2 1/2 hours longer than 2013.

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