Two carriers at MSO have expressed their dissatisfaction with the current level of service offered by third-party baggage handling contractors at the airport. Officials have spotted a gap in the market at MSO and are working with the airlines to provide direct baggage handling services.
For passengers who arrive at Missoula International Airport (MSO) only to find that their luggage has been lost, the Missoula County Airport Authority has said that it is ready and willing to offer a baggage delivery service, the Missoula Current reports. The authority spotted a gap in the market after a number of carriers operating out of MSO said that they weren’t satisfied with the current ground handling arrangements at the airport.
At present, these services are performed by independent contractors. Shane Stack, chair of the airport board, said that, “Right now, the delivery is done by a private contractor, and we have no control over how that bag is delivered.”
However, Dan Newman, MSO’s business development manager, said that the move to take baggage delivery in-house could not only generate extra cash for the airport, but provide for a better quality of service. Two carriers – Alaska and American – have explicitly voiced their interest in a change of baggage handler, he explained.
“Alaska Airlines wasn’t entirely happy with their existing bag handling service and it was suggested that we explore going into that business for ourselves. As we negotiate with American Airlines, they’ve told us that if we get the ground handling bid, we’ll deliver their bags as well,” Newman said.
In a letter to MSO in February, Trevor Peterson, a representative for Horizon Air, a sister service of Alaska Airlines, was quoted as saying, “Alaska Airlines is looking forward to the new baggage delivery service provided by your team. Our intention is to have your team be our primary baggage delivery service for all of our needs.”
Newman also explained that, while the facility isn’t always to blame for misplaced or lost luggage, it can have a negative impact on passenger experience at MSO. “This allows us to have a little say in a customer that’s had a bad experience. We do care that they got their bag back, and it’s from the airport. It gives us a little more input into the service,” he said.