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British Airways is second-worst carrier in Europe for lost baggage

British Airways lost more baggage per flight last year than almost any other airline in Europe.

The annual figures from the Air Transport Users Council, released today, show that in 2007, 26.5 bags per 1,000 were delayed during BA flights, compared to a European-wide average of 16.6. The only airline with a worse record was TAP Air Portugal, with a delayed-bags ratio of 27.8 per 1,000, but the figures will be more grim news for BA which was found to be the poorest performer in Europe in 2007.

Although TAP lost more bags on average last year, the data shows BA's record is getting worse. The airline lost an extra 3.5 bags per 1,000 in 2007 than the previous year. BMI, the only other UK airline with a below-average performance, had a lost-bag ratio of 17.0 while KLM (19.7), Alitalia (19.7), Air France (17.6) and Lux Air (17.2) all fared below par. Air Malta and Turkish Airlines were the best-performing carriers with a ratio of 4.5 per 1,000.

The AUC's annual statistics are compiled from those airlines that are members of the Association of European Airlines but rely on carriers voluntarily submitting their figures. Members that have chosen not to submit their lost-baggage figures include Virgin Atlantic and Aer Lingus.

BA released a statement yesterday apologising to customers and said most of their delays originated at Heathrow. "We fully apologise to customers who have been affected by delayed baggage in the past year," the statement said. "We continue to experience a wide variety of difficulties at our main home at Heathrow."