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LuggageHero: Analyzing the baggage handling performance of 15 major US airlines

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In the first half of 2021, 4.36% of bags were mishandled, a significantly higher figure in comparison.

As part of its regular reporting on lost and mishandled luggage in the US, LuggageHero has ranked the performance of major US airlines during the first half of 2023 (the most recent figures available). We’ve also compared the data to determine the most trustworthy US airlines for travelers. To do this, LuggageHero has compiled data on 15 US airlines, which collectively boarded more than 200 million bags in the first six months of 2023. Of those, 1,405,093 were mishandled.

Quick overview:

  • There were 1.4 million mishandled or lost bags in the first half of 2023.
  • The most trustworthy airline for handling your bags is Allegiant Air, while the least is American Airlines, according to data.
  • 230 million bags were checked in, with 0.61% of them mishandled.
  • The first half of 2023 was 0.02% less damaging than the first half of 2022.

The first half of 2023 was more favorable for travelers, with 0.61% of the bags being mishandled, in contrast to the same period in 2022 when there were 0.63% mishandled bags, according to figures tallied by the US Bureau of Transportation.

Allegiant Air has the most impressive record when it comes to handling luggage

For four consecutive years, Allegiant Airline has maintained its position as the leading airline for luggage handling in the US, with only 0.16% of checked luggage being mishandled in the first half of 2023. Following closely behind are Endeavor Airlines and Southwest Airlines, both with similar percentages, rounding out the top three

American Airlines holds the poorest track record when it comes to handling luggage

Once again, American Airlines ranks as the worst airline for handling luggage, with 0.80% being mishandled or lost, closely followed by United Airlines with 0.82% and Envoy with 0.76%.

January: the worst month for your luggage

January 2023 saw the highest number of mishandled luggage cases, with a total of 200,020 bags mishandled. Notably, American Airlines was responsible for mishandling 44,504 of these bags.

May: The safest month for your luggage

In the first half of 2023, May stood out as the safest month for the handling of your luggage. Notably, in May, the mishandling rate was exceptionally low, with only 0.48 out of every 100 bags experiencing issues. April followed closely, with a rate of just 0.51 mishandled pieces of luggage per 100.

The bigger sample size

If you find that your luggage has been lost during your travels, it is important to follow a set of specific steps to initiate the recovery process:

  • If your luggage hasn’t arrived or has suffered damage, promptly notify the airline. It’s best to do this while you are still at the airport or call them as soon as possible. Don’t forget to document the damage with photographs and retain records of your communication.
  • Complete a formal report and request a copy for your records.
  • If you are traveling within the United States, regulations stipulate that your luggage is covered up to $3,800 per passenger. To claim this compensation, you’ll need to complete the required forms and provide evidence of your loss.
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.