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Inside the airport that has not lost a single piece of luggage in THIRTY YEARS (and the special touches staff take to make sure your items aren’t damaged… or even wet from the rain)

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It is popular with travellers from Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto and is one of the busiest airports in Japan.

Kansai International Airport will celebrate its 30-year anniversary in September and will mark three decades without losing a single piece of luggage.

The major transport hub has long been praised for its efficiency, but it also has a flawless record when it comes to lost baggage claims – since they don’t get any.

‘The ground handling staff at Kansai International Airport is nothing special,’ airport spokesperson Kenji Takanishi modestly told Newsweek, despite the team not having lost any luggage in 30 years of operations. 

The airport has a specific system in place to ensure that every piece of baggage reaches its owner undamaged, with employees working in teams of two or three to limit the number of hands the suitcases go through and taking extra care to make sure the items aren’t damaged.

It is popular with travellers from Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto and is one of the busiest airports in Japan - Kansai International Airport (pictured)

It is popular with travellers from Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto and is one of the busiest airports in Japan – Kansai International Airport (pictured)

A worker is carefully transporting cargo at Kansai International Airport in Japan

A worker is carefully transporting cargo at Kansai International Airport in Japan

Kansai International Airport will celebrate its 30-year anniversary in September and will mark three decades without losing a single piece of luggage (pictured in 1994 when it was opened for operations)

Kansai International Airport will celebrate its 30-year anniversary in September and will mark three decades without losing a single piece of luggage (pictured in 1994 when it was opened for operations)

Every worker has to follow detail handling instructions, which dictate how cargo holds in the planes should be loaded and unloaded as well as the differences between the various airlines servicing the airport. 

If a suitcase gets wet from the rain, it is ‘wiped and returned’ to the carousel, Takanishi said.  

‘Since many customers come to Kansai from all over the world, we aim to be more courteous and accurate in our operations,’ Takanishi added.

Up to 30 million passengers travel via Kansai International Airport per year and bring 11 million pieces of luggage with them. 

Takanishi said the airport aims to transport a piece of luggage from the plane to the baggage claim belt within just 15 minutes after a flight landed.

Workers are instructed to place the suitcases on the conveyor belt with the handles facing outwards to facilitate passengers picking up their luggage.

They are taking extra care with items like strollers and sports equipment like golf clubs or skiis and hand-deliver them to the passengers.

Communication skills are really important for staff as the luggage handlers are regularly asked to share information with each other to make sure everything is running smoothly.

The airport is currently preparing for the Expo in Osaka next year, during which 28 million visitors are expected to descend on the region. Kansai is undergoing major renovations to account for the expected influx of passengers due to the Expo. 

The airport has long been ranked among the world’s best airports due to its staff and even scored eight mentions specifically for its baggage handling by SkyTrax, a UK aviation website. 

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