Spain is the most popular holiday destination for British tourists, but more people than ever before will arrive at their luxury hotel or villa without their bags, according to UK insurance providers Norwich Union.
Norwich Union said that insurance claims on lost holiday baggage had increased by 40 per cent over the first half of 2007. Figures from Insure-and-Go have put the number of disgruntled holidaymakers even higher, saying that its claims had risen by 85 per cent over the same six months.
And with more Britons flying to foreign destinations for their holiday than ever before, airports are becoming busier, resulting in a lot more lost baggage, Norwich Union said.
But some airlines are claiming that passengers' risk of losing their baggage depends on who they choose to fly with. Ryanair, which flies to 22 European destinations including Alicante, has demanded that insurance providers offer a discount rate to its customers. The low-cost airline claims that it loses only 0.4 bags for every thousand passengers and should not be penalised for the failures of other airlines.
"For years the car insurance industry has provided discounts for low-risk categories such as women drivers and the over-30s. The time has come for passengers flying with airlines that deliver the best customer service to enjoy the same discounts. The statistics prove that airlines are far from equal, yet insurers do not differentiate," said a Ryanair spokesman.
However, travel insurers seem unlikely to adjust their premiums according to airline performance at present.
"Tracking each individual airline or far-flung airport would be extremely difficult and would add unnecessary bureaucracy and cost to an otherwise simple process," an under-writer at Norwich Union told the Times.
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