Alaska Airlines Chief Executive Bradley Tilden admitted that his own airline misplaced his bag. Though the bag was delivered to him within 24 hours of his arrival, it wasn’t on the carousel when he landed at his destination.
Speaking at an airline conference in Washington D.C. last week, Alaska Airlines CEO, Bradley Tilden mentioned that his own airline wasn’t able to get his bag delivered to him after his flight to the summit. He quickly added that the bag is no longer listed as missing, as the airline staff must have scurried in utmost urgency to get the luggage delivered to him the next day. A visibly embarrassed Tilden admitted the gaffe on stage.
“The media is here and I’m hoping that you don’t write this down and print it.”
What’s more, he added that this is not the first time Alaska Airlines has misplaced his bag. Tilden confirmed the airlines didn’t ensure the delivery of luggage on a flight about 25 years earlier. It’s quite apparent that though all airlines consider lost luggage as a huge concern, even the CEO of airline isn’t immune from an occasional slip-up.
What makes the otherwise mundane issue peculiar, apart from the fact that the bag Alaska Airlines misplaced belonged to its CEO, is the airline has always prided itself on its baggage delivery system. In fact, the airline is so confident it was America’s first major carrier to offer a guarantee, reported MSN.
Alaska Airlines began offering the policy in 2010. According to the airline’s baggage service guarantee policy, customers are entitled to 2,500 frequent-flyer miles if bags aren’t at baggage claim within 20 minutes of the plane’s arrival at the gate. Alternatively, the airline offers a $25 travel voucher instead of the miles. Simply put, the airline has nearly perfected the art of unloading the relevant containers that hold the baggage, sort the bags, and send them to the relevant baggage carousel, all within the span of mere 20 minutes.
Owing to increased security, the baggage that classifies as check-in is closely examined multiple times before it enters the plane. However, the same procedure isn’t followed while the baggage exists, significantly reducing the time it takes for the check-in baggage to travel from the airplane to the baggage carousel.
Despite the minor hiccup, Alaska Airlines still betters other airlines when it comes to handling your precious baggage. For the first-half of 2015, the airline has boasted of a better-than-average rating in terms of baggage handling.
According to a complaint, data tracked by the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics indicated that Alaska Airlines received 3.15 “mishandled baggage” complaints per 1,000 passengers for the first half of the year. This was better than the national average of 3.52 complaints per 1,000 passengers, reported USA Today. Interestingly, only 13 airlines report such data to the government and such service ranked the airline sixth in the rankings.
Overall, the airlines are steadily losing lesser bags each year as they improve their baggage handling processes. With steadily increasing automation and computer-readable information readily available on the bag, combined with multiple synchronized check-points, more bags are reaching their intended destination than ever before.
Last year, all the airlines collectively transported 3.3 billion passengers. For these many passengers, the industry average for losing or mishandling baggage was 7.3 mishandled bags per 1,000 fliers. Quite a few airlines are now getting into the real-time baggage tracking game. In fact, American and Delta are now offering real-time bag location updates to passengers via mobile devices, reported Fox News.
If Alaska Airlines had such a service operational, its CEO might have had his luggage delivered to him.
[Image Credit | Gabriel Bouys, David McNew / Getty Images, Alaska Air]