The Popular Airport That Claims To Have Never Lost A Single Piece Of Luggage

Lost luggage can quickly turn a dream vacation into a nightmare. Airlines may take weeks or months to find misplaced bags (if they're found at all, that is), and you may even need to get the law involved over lost baggage to receive compensation for your belongings. To put it simply, the stress of losing your checked bags can last long after your vacation is over. But what if you could fly through an airport where lost luggage simply doesn't exist? You can if you're in Japan.

Osaka's Kansai International Airport (KIX), one of the busiest airports in Japan, says it hasn't been responsible for lost luggage since it opened its doors to travelers in 1994. Yep, you read that right: Kansai Airport hasn't lost a single piece of luggage in its entire history. This record can offer some comfort to fliers visiting Osaka and its nearby prefectures, such as Kyoto, Wakayama, and Kobe.

How Kansai Airport prevents lost luggage

The impressive lack of lost luggage at Kansai Airport comes from careful routines and diligent practices, though the airport's representatives remain humble about its reputation of reliability. "We don't feel like we have been doing something special," Kenji Takanishi, a Kansai Airport public relations officer, told CNN. "We have been working as we normally do. We only do our work on a daily basis and we are recognized for it."

That work involves speedy, though accurate, handling of each bag. Tsuyoshi Habuta, a baggage operations supervisor for one of Kansai's luggage handling companies, explained to Nikkei Asia that multiple employees cooperate with each other, sharing information and checking their work to ensure each piece of luggage goes to the correct destination. Inconsistencies are swiftly addressed, and the number of bags on a flight is accounted for both during loading and unloading to prevent lost luggage.

Respect for passengers is a big part of why the airport is so thorough. Kansai Airport baggage handlers make sure bags from arrival flights are returned to passengers within 15 minutes of the plane landing, so you don't have to worry about your bags coming off luggage claim first or later — you'll get them quickly either way. Special items, such as strollers, are hand-delivered instead to avoid damage. Kansai Airport employees even wipe off wet luggage on rainy days.

Is Kansai Airport's claim possible?

It might seem hard to believe that a busy international airport hasn't lost a single suitcase in decades. And, in a way, the claim is only true to an extent. Kansai Airport may have never been responsible for lost luggage, but that doesn't mean travelers have never lost personal items while going through the Japanese hub. Kansai Airport also confirmed to CNN that though its staff members have never mishandled or lost a bag, the airlines might have. In other words, just because KIX did its part to safely get passengers' belongings to their designated destination doesn't guarantee they'll actually arrive as intended. As such, the airport has a lost property form on its website, just like any other major port.

With that said, Kansai's customs for handling baggage are still extraordinary. In fact, the Osaka airport earned the title of "World's Best Baggage Delivery" in Skytrax's World Airport Awards 2024. KIX has received the award a whopping eight times, according to a press release.