(Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post) (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

If your luggage has been lost recently, you’re not going to want to hear or believe this, but the airlines have been doing a much better job since the days before the bar-coded luggage-tracking bag tags were invented.

Numbers out this month from the Department of Transportation show that there were 1.78 million lost-luggage claims filed in 2012. That’s 980,000 fewer than in 1990. The statistic becomes more notable when you consider that airlines carried almost 179 million more domestic-flight passengers in 2012 than they had 20 years earlier. The number of lost baggage reports per 100 passengers has dropped from 6.7 to less than 3.1.