The airlines most likely to lose or damage your baggage

(Stacker) – Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than arriving at your destination ready to relax and unwind, only to realize that none of your stuff has arrived with you.

By now, most seasoned travelers have mastered the age-old trick of carrying necessities, including a change of clothes or two, in their carry-on luggage, just in case they find themselves in this predicament. But there’s another way to avoid the headache of lost baggage: know which airlines are most likely to mishandle your baggage, and understand their policies on lost and damaged baggage just in case.

To that end, Stacker has ranked airlines among the most likely to lose, damage or delay your baggage, based on data from the 2021 Air Travel Consumer Report.

For each operating carrier (the organization that physically manages the flight, not necessarily the organization that sold you the flight, or the marketing carrier), we have included data points covering the total number of mishandled bags per 1,000 items from October 2021, as well as the total number of bags handled.

All mishandled baggage figures in this article were self-reported by travellers. Check out our guide before your next big trip and book those tickets (or pack that carry-on) accordingly.

#ten. Skywest Airlines

  • Number of misdirected bags per thousand: 4.51
  • 11,191 bags lost or damaged out of a total of 2,481,721 bags handled

SkyWest Airlines is a small regional carrier that operates flights on behalf of major airlines like Alaska, United, Delta, and American. Its aircraft currently travel to 250 cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico, carrying customers to smaller cities like Boise, Idaho and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, connecting them to major air travel hubs like Chicago and Dallas-Fort. Worth.

Because the airline operates in place of these larger carriers, it does not have its own unique baggage policy, relying instead on the policies of its partners. That being said, SkyWest promises to reimburse passengers for “reasonable toiletries and essentials for time spent without their belongings” in the event of lost or delayed baggage.

#9. South West Airlines

  • Number of misdirected bags per thousand: 4.62
  • 41,245 bags lost or damaged out of a total of 8,917,967 bags handled

For more than 50 years, Southwest Airlines has been committed to providing low-cost, hassle-free flights to customers at 121 airports in 11 countries.

According to the company’s website, they offer more nonstop flights within the United States than any other airline, which most certainly helps keep their mishandled baggage count so low. In the event of lost or delayed baggage, Southwest will deliver the baggage to the customer’s desired location, which means you won’t have to take time out of your vacation to search for your belongings.

If a bag remains lost for more than five days, travelers can file a claim with Baggage Services to be reimbursed for the value of the items.

#8. PSA airlines

  • Number of misdirected bags per thousand: 4.78
  • 5,403 bags lost or damaged out of a total of 1,130,847 bags handled

A small regional airline that primarily serves cities in the eastern United States, PSA Airlines operates an average of 800 flights per day.

The company is a 100% subsidiary of American Airlines, which means that their lost and damaged baggage policies are identical to those of their parent company.

After losing a bag, travelers should file a complaint with the airline, which will begin efforts to find the bag. If the baggage has not been found within five days, customers can request that the cost of the baggage and everything in it be covered by PSA.

In the meantime, the company will cover the cost of necessities as long as detailed receipts can be provided.

#7. Endeavor Air

  • Number of misdirected bags per thousand: 4.82
  • 4,860 bags lost or damaged out of a total of 1,007,850 bags handled

Like PSA Airlines, Endeavor Air is a wholly owned subsidiary of a major airline. With more than 193 jets in its arsenal, the company operates connecting flights between 140 cities, many of which are in the Midwest.

Endeavor’s lost baggage policies also align with those of its parent company (in this case, Delta Air Lines), which means customers must report lost baggage within 24 hours. The airline will search for the items for 14 days, and if they are not found within that time, you are entitled to a refund.

#6. Republic Airways

  • Number of misdirected bags per thousand: 5.40
  • 4,726 bags lost or damaged out of a total of 874,948 bags processed

Republic Airways flies from 11 bases for larger carriers like American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express. The regional airline is an affordable option for those looking to get to very specific locations (the airline flies to just 100 cities in 40 states).

Because the company operates on behalf of its more traditional partners, it does not have a lost or damaged baggage policy, relying instead on the systems and rules put in place by the larger brands. They do, however, have specific rules regarding baggage size – they won’t carry anything over 96 inches – due to the small size of the aircraft they operate.

#5. Mesa Airlines

  • Number of misdirected bags per thousand: 5.93
  • 3,676 bags lost or damaged out of a total of 619,525 bags handled

In 1982, Mesa Airlines began as a single-plane shuttle that flew daily round trips between Farmington and Albuquerque, New Mexico. These days, the regional airline carries passengers between 200 destinations in the United States, offering flights on behalf of United and American Airlines.

Mesa’s website offers very little information about their lost and damaged baggage policies, which likely means that, as is the case with many other regional carriers, they defer to their partners’ policies. Customers dealing with missing luggage would be best to contact United or American for assistance in locating the missing items.

#4. Delta Airlines

  • Number of misdirected bags per thousand: 5.95
  • 33,967 bags lost or damaged out of a total of 5,705,942 bags handled

Founded in 1925, Delta Air Lines carries 200 million travelers each year to 300 destinations around the world. Given this huge volume, it’s no wonder the company ranks so high on our list of airlines most likely to lose your luggage.

Delta policy states that travelers must report lost baggage within 24 hours, or seven days for international travel. All refunds for delayed or lost baggage will be issued in the form of e-vouchers (which must be requested online), which are valid for future travel with the company.

#3. Alaska Airlines

  • Number of misdirected bags per thousand: 6.07
  • 8,682 bags lost or damaged out of a total of 1,430,197 bags handled

Alaska Airlines is aptly named for the state where it began offering local flights some 85 years ago. As of 2022, the airline now offers service in all 50 states, as well as several other countries, carrying some 44 million customers annually.

If you check baggage with Alaska and reach one of these 100+ destinations to find that your baggage has been damaged or lost, you must report it in person, immediately. The airline’s website says most bags are located within 48 hours, but the airline will continue to search for bags for up to six weeks. After five days, customers can request a refund.

#2. Air Envoy

  • Number of misdirected bags per thousand: 7.71
  • 6,401 bags lost or damaged out of a total of 829,856 bags processed

A wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines, Envoy Air offers inexpensive flights to 150 regional destinations. With over 1,000 daily flights, there are plenty of opportunities for your luggage to get lost and it often does.

If your baggage is missing from an Envoy flight, you will be asked to follow standard American Airlines procedures: file a claim online, submit an electronic refund form, and wait at least five days before following up. . Damaged baggage must be reported immediately if you wish to claim financial compensation.

#1. American airlines

  • Number of misdirected bags per thousand: 7.94
  • 43,035 bags lost or damaged out of a total of 5,417,841 bags handled

Worst airline for losing and damaging luggage? American Airlines. Founded in 1926, American began as a mail carrier, moving to passenger flights in 1934. Over the next 100 years, it would become the largest airline in the world, operating 14,250 flights a day to 1,000 destinations.

Given the size of the business, its lost and damaged baggage policy is incredibly streamlined and can be done almost entirely online, meaning customers never have to wait long on the phone to speak to an agent. . Plus, American will deliver found luggage to an address of your choosing (home or hotel), meaning the added aggravation of having to return to the airport to pick up lost items can be avoided entirely.

Copyright 2022 Stacker via Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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