One piece of luggage for every 100 passengers loses its way at the airport, according to an analysis of global lost luggage figures.
An analysis of the baggage reports by Flight Centre has found that an average of 496,153 bags were mishandled around the world every week in 2011.
That's 70,684 lost bags per day.
The figures show, however, that 99 per cent of checked luggage was delivered on time.
Only 2.5 per cent were actually lost or stolen, never to be seen again.
In 2011 more than 25 million items of luggage were delayed, damaged or lost, which is an improvement of 20.3 per cent from the previous year.
In plain luggage, that's 6.5 million fewer bags mishandled.
More than half of mishandled bags were lost while passengers and their luggage made connecting flights or changed aircraft.
Ticketing errors and failure to load bags were other common causes.
The price of lost luggage - aside from the personal price passengers pay - cost the aviation industry $US2.58 billion ($A2.58 billion) in 2011.
Today nearly a quarter of the world's airlines offer do-it-yourself bag-tag printing at kiosks. This is expected to reach 64 per cent by the end of 2014.
Where does most unclaimed luggage end up? In the US it's the Scottsboro, Alabama at the Unclaimed Baggage Centre. From here the bags get auctioned, donated, recycled or repurposed.