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Seven Ways to Avoid Airport Chaos When the Usual Logic Doesn’t Apply

It turns out money can still buy peace of mind, even in an era of unprecedented travel nightmares.

Hopeful passengers scan an information screen at London Stansted Airport.

Hopeful passengers scan an information screen at London Stansted Airport.

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

If luggage could talk, it would tell a pretty interesting story this summer.

Mishandled luggage incidents in the US were up 60% from April 2021 through March 2022, compared to the year-earlier period; in Europe, insurers are reporting a 30% spike in lost luggage claims compared to summer 2019. But those statistics fail to fully paint a picture of the chaos that has descended on airports. More telling are the images of thousands of bags piled up unclaimed in airport storehouses, or airlines filling planes not with humans but with suitcases that needed to be reunited with their owners.