Travel: ARCH to the Rescue

A popular gag of the wondrous jet age is "Breakfast in Berlin, lunch in London, dinner in Detroit—and baggage in Bombay."

At any given moment, the airlines estimate, some 2,500 pieces of U.S. luggage are somewhere they shouldn't be (a total the U.S. airlines consider not unreasonable in view of the 100 million items they handle each year). Nothing much, apparently, can be done to stop losing them, but this month 20 American airlines began to do something about finding them faster.

Into operation went ARCH—which stands for Airline Baggage Recovery Clearing House.

Any bag that is unclaimed for three days is opened—an...

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