NEW YORK -- U.S. airlines were less likely in 2012 to lose your suitcase than at any other point in the last two decades, the government announced Tuesday.
There were only 3.09 reports of lost, delayed or damaged baggage for every 1,000 passengers, the lowest annual rate since the Department of Transportation started tracking incidents in 1988.
Airlines also improved their performance in getting planes to gates on time.
Last year, 81.85 percent of flights arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled time. That is the third highest rate since 1988. The record was set in 2002 at 82.14 percent.
Airlines benefited from good weather in the first half of the year and fewer planes in the sky because of the weak economy. And fewer passengers are checking bags because of fees.