Shrink-wrap to shrink baggage crime?

South African Airways has announced it will shrink-wrap all its passengers’ checked-in baggage outbound from Johannesburg International Airport.

From July 1, a machine will be operational at the domestic terminal, and by July 15, another two will operate at International Departures.

Asked if this was an admission of defeat in the battle against baggage pilferage, Jacqui O’Sullivan, SAA head of corporate communications, replied that it was just one of many baggage security initiatives.

She said baggage security is not the sole responsibility of one party, and as an airline, SAA had to take what measures it could to offer customers the service they expect.

The national carrier says it handles 500 000 – 700 000 bags per month and baggage pilferage, damaged bags and misrouted luggage add up to 0,07% of all luggage handled, i.e. 350 – 490 bags per month.

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