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France

Paris airports battle soaring number of abandoned bags

media A security patrol at Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport in 2016 AFP/ALAIN JOCARD

Paris airports are have launched a fight to reduce the number of abandoned bags, which has soared in recent years and caused 400 flights to be delayed by nearly an hour at Charles De Gaulle airport in the first nine months of 2017.

The amount of abandoned luggage reported to the authorities rose 77.8 percent between 2013 and 2016, according to the ADP group, which manages the French capital's airports.

In just the first nine months of this year bomb-disposal teams had to intervene 1,033 times at Paris Charles De Gaulle, compared to 734 in the whole of 2013, causing all or parts of terminals to be evacuated.

More than 400 flights were delayed for an average of 53 minutes, according to ADP boss Augustin de Romanet.

While the rise in terror attacks since 2014 may have made the public more likely to report abandoned bags, the principal reason for the rise is airline's tightening of the rules on luggage weight allowance, according to de Romanet.

Some passengers dump their bags rather than pay extra, he said on Monday.

A fine of 450 euros has failed to solve the problem, so ADP is launching a publicity campaign in French, English and Chinese to remind people of the consequences of leaving their luggage unattended.

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