Having your bag misplaced by an airline has always been one of the ultimate annoyances for travellers - but it seems these incidents are on the decline.

According to the SITA Baggage Report 2016, the baggage mishandling rate for airlines dropped over 10 per cent in 2015 - the lowest the rate has ever been since records began in 2003.

Last year, 6.53 bags were mishandled per thousand passengers, which was 10.5 per cent less per thousand passengers than last year.

Lost luggage cost the aviation industry $2.3 billion in 2015, 3.75 per cent less than 2014 - but still a substantial amount.

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However, the industry has improved practices around baggage handling considerably in recent years, as passenger numbers have risen by 85 per cent since 2003.

In 2007, the number of mishandled bags peaked at 46.9 million, with a cost of $4.2 billion to the industry. Since then, the number of lost bags has been halved and costs have reduced by 45 per cent.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has also called for airlines to track each bag through its entire journey, with IATA Resolution 753 is set to be implemented by airlines by June 2018.

"Over the next three years bag tracking will be in the spotlight as airlines ready themselves to implement IATA's Resolution 753. This increase in visibility will provide more control and drive further improvements in bag handling," said SITA CEO Francesco Violante.

"It also means that passengers will be able track their bag, just like a parcel, which will reduce anxiety and allow them to take fast action if flights are disrupted and their bags are delayed."

- nzherald.co.nz