Can You Loose Your Luggage & With Which Airlines?

One of the most stressful things to happen while traveling revolves around your luggage. Travel disasters are often brought on by having your luggage mishandled, damaged, or lost. But sometimes, your bag can simply go missing, or be damaged in transit. No matter how many measures you take! So who are the worst airlines for mishandled or lost luggage? Read on to find out who tops the list and what you can do to avoid this happening to you.

In 2016, the U.S Bureau of Transportation reported that approximately 1.7 million passengers filed mishandled luggage claims on domestic flights in the U.S alone. This number isn’t inclusive of all airlines, but it did encompass some of the largest airlines in the country. That number seems staggering. And since it doesn’t include international claims, it makes you think twice about checking your bag.

The most recent report from the U.S Bureau of Transportation, as of April 2018, stated the number of reports made on twelve major carriers was 130,275. So which airlines are the worst for lost luggage? And just how many mishandled baggage reports did they have?

The Total Mishandled Baggage Worst-Offenders List

Worst Airlines For Lost Luggage Check In

The following information is from the U.S Bureau of Transportation. You can access the full report that encompasses statistics as of April 2018 via their website. Please note: this information was correct at the time this article was published and we are not liable for discrepancies. Click on the airline below, to be re-directed to the airline’s baggage requirements page. Giving specific information concerning each airlines baggage policy.

Airline                                             Total Baggage Reports

1.  SOUTHWEST AIRLINES                        34,852

2.  AMERICAN AIRLINES                            28,097

3.  DELTA AIR LINES                                   15,231

4.  UNITED AIRLINES                                 14,418

5.  SKYWEST AIRLINES                               9,671

6.  ALASKA AIRLINES**                                6,453

7.  ENVOY AIR (American Eagle)                  4,912

8.  JETBLUE AIRWAYS                                 4,573

9.  FRONTIER AIRLINES                              3,739

10. SPIRIT AIRLINES                                    3,204

11. EXPRESSJET AIRLINES                        2,790

12. HAWAIIAN AIRLINES                             2,335

What About International Carriers?

The report that we have referred to states that Air France was the worst offender. With them reaching the highest on the list with the number of claims for lost, damaged or delayed baggage and charges for excess baggage. Plus carry-on problems and issues with airline claim procedures being around eleven. Despite the numbers, according to SITA’s 2018 mishandled baggage report, the number of mishandled baggage reports are on the decrease. With just over 70% since 2007. With the increase in passenger rates, this is an impressive result.

The Resolution

Worst Airlines For Lost Luggage Luggage Carousel

In June 2018, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) brought in Resolution 753. The new requirements aim to drive improvement across the industry concerning baggage handling. Resolution 753 requires that airlines implement procedures to track baggage throughout the transit process at the following points. The tracking process stipulates that airlines must commence the tracking process from the time a passenger relinquishes their bags. Right through to the time of collection. This process also requires that luggage is to be monitored and reported on during transit. Including the time the bags are loaded onto the aircraft and delivered to the transfer point.

The IATA has been working with airlines over the past year trialing new baggage tracking systems with excellent outcomes. With SITA’s digitized bag tracking service that assists airlines in complying with Resolution 753. Therefore, airlines will be more efficient in baggage tracking than ever before. Full implementation of bag tracking services allows passengers to access real-time data regarding the status of their luggage. With best practices pushing these improvements across airports worldwide. So the outlook is promising greater peace of mind for travelers.

What Can You Do To Ensure The Safety Of Your Luggage?

While RFID bag chipping is not available at all airports, many airports are seeing the importance of upgrading their systems to include this method of baggage tracking. As it stands, there are bag tracking devices that you can purchase to monitor your luggage while traveling. These devices are simple and cost-effective, giving you some extra peace of mind while you’re in transit. There are many options to choose from and once placed inside your luggage, they use GPS and Bluetooth. This allows you to track the whereabouts throughout the baggage journey. These tracking devices use chip technology to monitors your bags and view your itinerary. Depending on the tag you choose will determine your bags route back to you. In other words, your luggage can possibly be forwarded to your final destination rather than your home.

There aren’t any guarantees with any technology though. So the safest way to protect your bags is to have them with you. If you can manage, plan to pack only a carry-on bag. Most airlines allow for one carry-on bag and one personal item depending on the seat class. So taking less with you is the safest way to secure your baggage.

Why You Should Only Take A Carry-On Bag

It’s all in the numbers. Take a look at the infographic below from Airports Council International (ACI). The growth of the travel industry means that more people are taking off to far away lands than ever before. According to ACI in 2016 3.1 billion people traveled internationally. By the year 2040, this number is set to increase to 10.9 billion. While domestic travel in 2016, saw 4.5 billion people taking flight. And again, is forecast to rise to 11.3 billion by the year 2040. The infographics from ACI, highlight these statistics as well as the top 20 busiest airports in the world.

Worst Airlines For Lost Luggage Busy Airports

The significant increase in passenger traffic means millions of additional bags to handle. If all airports implement digitized baggage tracking, then the instance of mishandled baggage claims will be substantially lower. However, not every airport has the capacity to make these upgrades. So the only way to ensure the safety of your luggage is to pack light.

Worst Airlines For Lost Luggage InfoGraphic

Perks Of Traveling With Carry-On Baggage Only

There are so many perks that come with traveling with carry-on only. Aside from the simplicity of having one bag, you can skip the check-in counter line altogether! It’s also faster when you arrive at your destination as you don’t have to wait for your luggage at the carousel. Did you know that you can access even more significant discounts on flights if you opt to only travel with carry-on bags? Lufthansa has an Economy Light fare that offers cheaper flights to passengers who travel with only carry-on bags. If you don’t think that you’ll have enough space for your stuff, think again. Some ingenious travel accessories and toiletries have hit the market, and they are both TSA-friendly and compact. For more information check out our How To Pack Smart – Travel Life Simplified article.

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