Dude, where's my bag?

Airline lost your bags? You're not alone. In fact, U.S. airlines lost about 10,000 bags a day last year, up 23 percent year-over-year according to a new report in USA Today.

The worst offender in 2005 was US Airways, which lost about one bag for every 100 passengers. (Yikes.) That's up more than 80 percent from the previous year. And most airlines place the blame squarely on you—that is, on the increased number of travelers flying in 2005. Other factors cited: budget cuts, tighter inspections, and flight delays.

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After my own personal one-man struggle with Aer Lingus over lost baggage last year (when I ended up in Boston while my bags remained firmly entrenched on Irish soil), I swore I'd never fall victim to the whims of airline baggage handlers again. That's why I made the move toward traveling light: one carry-on and one personal item for me, no exceptions. You'd be amazed how much you can squeeze into a 14x22-inch bag when you come right down to it.

(Incidentally, at least someone is making a killing off all this lost baggage. But that's another rant altogether.)

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