The Best and Worst Airline for Lost Luggage

We’ve all had that moment of panic while waiting for our luggage. When it seems that everyone else on your flight has located their belongings on the conveyor belt while you are still hoping to spot yours come around the bend. If any of you have ever experienced lost luggage on a trip, you know just how important it is to deal with an airline who works hard to locate it and get it to you as soon as absolutely possible.

Nearly 1.8 million pieces of luggage were lost, stolen, or damaged by major US airline in 2012. That number is only for domestic flights! Travel & Leisure has compiled a list of the best and worst airlines for lost luggage.

15. American Eagle- Ranked at the very bottom of the DOT’s list in the past five out of six years. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers:5.80

14. Express Jet- The world’s largest regional airline is second worst at handling luggage. It also ranks among the worst for late and canceled flights. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 5.52

13. SkyWest- The second largest of the regional carriers, they operate short-hauls and commuter flights to more than 150 US cities for five larger airlines. When it comes to having to transfer luggage at so many terminals between six airline entities, they can’t seem to keep it straight! Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 5.26

12. Mesna- Mesna is the second smallest airline in terms of annual passengers and it consistently has one of the worst baggage-handling records. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers:4.68

11. United- United flew the same number of passengers last year as American Airlines but they mishandled about 80,000 more bags. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 3.87

10. Southwest- They received the lowest percentage of customer complaints compared to every other US carrier but they sill continue to struggle on the baggage front. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 3.08

9. Alaska- Known for their “25-minute bag guarantee,” your bag just might be getting off at another airport! Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 2.93

8. American- While they used to rank at number 14 for handling luggage, the airline has taken steps to aid in their luggage handling by using technology to improve performance. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 2.92

7. Hawaiian- The airline used to rank near the top of the chart for least lost or damaged bags but their recent expansion over the past few years could account for the stumble. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 2.88

6. Frontier- Primarily serving destinations in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, the carrier has extended its reach to both coasts and even Alaska. They have consistently ranked amongst the best domestic baggage handlers. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 2.22

5. US Airways- Just six years ago, they ranked among the worst in baggage handling and overall quality but they have consistently climbed up the ranks since then. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 2.14

4. Delta- The best of the mega airlines when it comes to baggage. Delta carried over 98 million passengers during the survey period and lost or damaged about 200,000 bags which is a remarkable record when considering the volume of baggage that they are maneuvering through airports. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 2.10

3. JetBlue- Considered the pioneer of innovative in-flight entertainment, they are also stars when it comes to luggage. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 1.88

2. AirTran- They have long since had one of the best records when it comes to getting bags from one airport to another. In two out of the last five years they have ranked number one. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 1.58

1. Virgin America Small but efficient is the very best at handling luggage. Baggage reports per 1,000 travelers: 0.87



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1 Response to “The Best and Worst Airline for Lost Luggage”

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