travel

Kansai International: The airport that’s never lost a passenger’s bag

28 Comments
By Fran Wrigley, RocketNews24

One of the many things we love about Japan is its amazing customer service, from intelligent packing to omnipresent station attendants who pop out of the walls to help you.

So we weren’t too surprised to hear that an airport in Japan has been judged to be the best airport in the world for baggage handling. And the details of the top-notch service that helped Kansai International Airport clinch the title are really quite impressive. For starters, the Osaka airport hasn’t lost a single item of luggage in over 20 years.

Asian airports were highly-ranked at the recent World Airport Awards, with Changi Airport Singapore chosen as the best airport in the world for the third year running.

UK-based airline consultancy Skytrax assessed 550 airports around the globe, using reviews from 13 million passengers and ranking the airports in 20 categories. Kansai International was singled out in the baggage-handling category for its fast turnaround times and customer-focused attention to detail. Baggage handling staff at the Osaka airport have a rule of placing suitcases on carousels with the handles facing outwards, to make it easier for passengers to collect their luggage.

But it’s the fact the airport hasn’t lost a single piece of luggage since opening in 1984 that’s impressed us the most. So does this mean you should start flying into Kansai International instead of one of the Tokyo airports? Sounds like your bags are guaranteed to arrive, doesn’t it! Well, the odds are pretty good…but we wouldn’t want to jinx it.

WORLD’S BEST AIRPORTS 2015

  1. Singapore Changi Airport
  2. Incheon International Airport
  3. Munich Airport
  4. Hong Kong International Airport
  5. Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)
  6. Zurich Airport
  7. Central Japan International Airport
  8. London Heathrow Airport
  9. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  10. Beijing Capital International Airport

Sources: Asahi Shimbun, World Airport Awards

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- 2014: The 10 best airports in the world -- Tokyo’s Haneda Airport becomes fourth airport in the world to be awarded coveted 5-Star rating -- As foreign tourists come streaming in, Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport nears breaking point

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28 Comments
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For starters, the Osaka airport hasn’t lost a single item of luggage in over 20 years.

Very impressive, and almost unimaginable.

Parcel logistics (incl. luggage handling) is one area where Japan still leads the world, hands down. The outstanding service of Japan's 'takyubin' delivery services never ceases to amaze me — and they continue to innovate. Some time ago, I placed an order for a book from a certain online retailer in the morning, and it was delivered to my home that very evening. Mind boggling.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Atlanta Hartsfield airport... uh. Lost my luggage instantly. When the airport brought it to me the next day I went down to meet the guy. It was a massive van. He opened the door and it was packed from top to bottom with no space. I asked him is always this full? He said each and every day.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

KIX is a great airport. I only have good memories of arriving and leaving there. It feels so spacious and you can take a walk to see the ocean surrounding it with fresh air. Then there is the good selection of food.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Never used that airport but that IS very impressive. I believe the author iw mistaken as far as the opening year is concerned. I think it opened in 1994, not 1984.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I like KIX, nice and airy and you never get the feeling of being shut in. Could do with actually having a line for those with re-rntry visas at immigration as it's supposed to, rather than following the sign only to be redirected to the front of the non-Japanese queue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't know about Japan, but in many other countries, baggage handling is done by the airline or one of their contractors, not the airport directly. So I don't think this statistic is all that correct. Then again, statistic are indeed often skewed.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Way to go. Japan's airports and service are impressive. Same cannot be said of my country (us). Ohh how embarrassing how, recently, the baggage worker fell asleep (on the job) in belly of an Alaskan Air plane.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For starters, the Osaka airport hasn’t lost a single item of luggage in over 20 years.

I find this incredulous to believe, particularly with the amount of people that travel in and out of Kansai yearly. I suppose semantically it could be true, because the "airport" does not lose anything, it's the people, and stuff gets misplaced all the time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

While travelling in a group in 2005 one member of our group's well-travelled suitcase handle was broken in transit to the airport. (We'd shipped them ahead of our arrival by train.) When we picked up our luggage at KIX the manager apologized again and again. He immediately offered a sum of money for the damage. Our group member demurred. It was an old suitcase. But he insisted on the reimbursement. That is a level of attention and service I haven't seen elsewhere.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

A few years ago my daughter left her ipod in the seat pocket of the airplane as she got off the plane at Kansai. Didn't really notice it was missing until she burst into tears half way back home (it was a special present from a special family member), which in total is an 8 hour drive. A few calls to Kansai airport and to the airline directly, giving a description of the ipod and the seat number it was left in was all to no avail........six months later (after a few more follow up calls and emails) at the check in counter on our way overseas I once again asked if anything was ever found in regards to the ipod but again, nothing. Upon returning to Kansai 2 weeks later I was met at the arrival area by a groundstaff worker who asked my daughter and I to follow her to the counter. My daughter's smiled lit up the airport as she nearly burst into tears when they handed back her ipod neatly wrapped up in bubblewrap with her name labeled across the front.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

So does this mean you should start flying into Kansai International instead of one of the Tokyo airports? Sounds like your bags are guaranteed to arrive, doesn’t it!

Depends on whether your departure airport can be arsed to load your bags to not.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So does this mean you should start flying into Kansai International instead of one of the Tokyo airports? Sounds like your bags are guaranteed to arrive, doesn’t it!

Did you notice Kansai isnt on the list?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kansai is generally pretty good. I have used it probably a dozen times over the years, primarily as wife's family live in the west of Japan. Only once encountered an issue, which was with an enormous queue to go through security on the way out of the country. Took around an hour to get through.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

British Airways used to be famous for 'breakfast in London, dinner in New York, luggage in Bermuda!' The airline itself was misplacing baggage, sending it to the wrong destinations; the airport where you landed had no control over the lost baggage.

Kansai International has improved a lot since its opening in 1994, it was a barren empty place after 18:00 with few services, and it is good that they have managed one top ranking. It would be interesting to know how they fare in some of the other categories.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Kansai is generally pretty good. I have used it probably a dozen times over the years, primarily as wife's family live in the west of Japan. Only once encountered an issue, which was with an enormous queue to go through security on the way out of the country. Took around an hour to get through.

Yes, there are never enough immigration officers for those serving non-Japanese, both leaving and entering the country. It's a pain.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It would be interesting to know how they fare in some of the other categories.

It's number 12 on the list, found here: http://www.worldairportawards.com/Awards/world_airport_rating.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Really? On a flight out of Singapore to KIX, my suitcase failed to materialise at KIX. It had been dispatched to New Zealand! The suitcase got to me after a couple of days but don't believe that mistakes haven't been made to date..,,,,

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Really? On a flight out of Singapore to KIX, my suitcase failed to materialise at KIX. It had been dispatched to New Zealand!

I'm sure the airports are really quick to blame it all on the airlines (or baggage theives) if anything does go wrong. That's probably how they maintain their spotless record.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I wonder what they call lost, lost and found, or lost and never found. A friend of mine had his bag lost at Kansai many years ago, they found a couple days later it and even delivered free to his hotel in Kobe

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Centair rocks. Door-to-door train to the in-laws. Just wish there were more direct flights from the West Coast to it, however.

Kansai has the best looking connector train of any airport anywhere.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4025/4519391128_d418f13053.jpg

RecklessAPR. 16, 2015 - 10:43AM JST KIX is a great airport. I only have good memories of arriving and leaving there. It feels so spacious and you can take a walk to see the ocean surrounding it with fresh air.

I worry about it's future, however. As sea levels rise, I can imagine the place becoming a lake after a super typhoon or it simply disappears into the ocean in an off shore earthquake.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

My favorite airport, hands down, is Tampa, Florida. From your car to the gate, nothing is far, ever. It's a master of 3-D design using trains and elevators. There are no moving sidewalks because, well, they aren't needed. Yes, it's not a "big" airport but it has about 60 gates which makes it bigger than KIX (around 40) and about the same size as Narita in Tokyo.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

KIX was revolutionary is design. It is so easy to get in and out. No lines. Ever.

The amenities need to upgrade. But still, one of the best. Beats the remote and labaryntine Narita hands down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A friend of mine had his bag lost at Kansai many years ago, they found a couple days later it and even delivered free to his hotel in Kobe

Dig out the evidence and have you friend sue them in court for damages for misrepresenting the inconvenience caused to him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On a flight out of Singapore to KIX, my suitcase failed to materialise at KIX.

Isn't that the fault of the departure airport? They tagged your bag for New Zealand. How can you claim it's a KIX mistake? They can't lose a bag they didn't get.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Moondog, totally agree about Tampa. Brother got married there last year and first time I flew in. Extremely pleasant atmosphere, quick walk to rental car, easy access to highway and calm 20 minute drive to hotel. Much better than MCO, but JAX ain't bad either.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

very impressive performance indeed !!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Funnily enough, Kansai is one of the few airports in the world where I arrived and didn't get my bags! So I don't understand how they are claiming this. Unless they blame all missing bags on the sending airport, not the receiving one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Two errors in one sentence, not 1984 and not possible to have not lost luggage. How can that be possible given statistical curves in general.

Baggage is mislabeled and sent elsewhere all the time. They would have to ask every passenger who arrived from KIX at another airport or arrived at KIX for this to be true. You can't ask departing passengers!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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