Latest Lost Luggage Report, 2.8M Bags Mishandled by U.S. Airlines in 2019
Latest Lost Luggage Report, 2.8M Bags Mishandled by U.S. Airlines in 2019
Last updated: Jan 2, 2024 · 5 min read

Allegiant Air takes best care of your luggage, Envoy Air comes in last

If you want to increase the chances of your luggage arriving at your destination with you, choosing a reliable airline is key. 

Last year, Allegiant Air performed the best overall, with 1.75 reports of lost or mishandled luggage per 1,000 passengers. Envoy Air remains in its last-place position, with 9.53 reports of lost or mishandled luggage per 1,000 passengers. Envoy’s figures are significantly worse than in 2018, when the airline saw 6.76 reports per 1,000 passengers.

For its report, LuggageHero examined mishandled and lost luggage among 17 major U.S. carriers, based on figures in the Air Travel Consumer Report, published by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 2019, U.S. airlines onboarded more than 484 million bags

Last year, LuggageHero mapped the performance of 12 U.S. airlines in regards to the luggage safety. In 2018, Delta, Frontier and Spirit Airlines were the least likely to lose or damage your luggage, where Envoy Air, SkyWest and ExpressJet, on the other hand, ranked the worst in mishandled luggage reports. 

If you’re one of the unlucky ones left standing at the baggage carousel without your luggage, take a look at our lost-luggage tips further in the article.


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November is the safest month for your luggage

Looking at the correlation between months and mishandled luggage, most luggage is lost and mishandled in June and December, according to the Department of Transportation. The average lost luggage in June is 7.07 reports per 1,000 passengers compared to November, which is the month with the least reports of mishandled luggage, at 4.67.

Summary of the year 2019 for U.S. airlines, oversold flights continue

2019 was one busy year for U.S. airlines, onboarding almost 826 million passengers compared to nearly 792 million in 2018. Oversees happen every year, where airlines sell tickets for more seats than they actually have available. Last year, 470,342 passengers voluntarily gave up their seats on an oversold plane in exchange for compensation. The number of ticket holders who were involuntarily denied boarding the plane reached 19,597 in 2019. 

Along with luggage, wheelchairs and scooters also are stored on a plane. In 2019, U.S. airlines carried a total of more than 670,000 wheelchairs and scooters. Among the 17 airlines, LuggageHero found that Allegiant Air scored the best with 0.49% of mishandled wheelchairs and scooters. PSA Airlines, on the other hand, mishandled 3.56% of wheelchairs and scooters. If you are interested in finding out how U.S. airlines did in the punctuality of their flights, read the article from the New York Times

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What to do in case you have to deal with the baggage blues

If you end up in a situation of being one of the ‘lucky’ ones, whose luggage is somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, here is what you can do. 

  • If your luggage hasn’t arrived or has been damaged, report it to the airline immediately, preferably while you are still at the airport or call them as soon as possible. Take photos of damaged stuff and save your communication.
  • Fill in a proper report and ask to get a copy of it.
  • If you fly within the United States rules state that your luggage is covered up to $3,500 per passenger. To collect the compensation, you need to fill out necessary forms and proof the loss.
  • If your suitcase has been damaged, request a replacement or repair.
  • If your suitcase has been lost and you need to buy basic items, the airline should refund these expenses.
  • In case you have paid a fee to check the bag, you can ask for a refund of this fee.
  • In case you have used a travel agent, you can ask this agent to assist you.
  • In case you have paid by your credit card and you also have travel insurance, find out if the insurance covers luggage damage or loss.


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About LuggageHero

LuggageHero is a network of convenient, safe and affordable luggage storage locations in local shops, cafés, and hotels. We charge $1 per hour and have more than 450 drop-off points in New York CityLondonMadridBarcelonaLisbonRomeMontrealBoston and Copenhagen. And, in case you’re wondering, we have a much better record than the airlines. In January 2020 we reached 2M hours of stored luggage and since starting in 2016, we have not had a single claim for damaged or lost luggage. But fear not, if there is a problem, each bag and its contents is covered up to $3,000.

About our methodology

LuggageHero analyzed airlines by luggage performance based on U.S. Department of Transportation figures about Mishandled Baggage in Air Travel Consumer Reports from January 2019 to December 2019 Air Travel Consumer Report, a monthly product of the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, Aviation Consumer Protection Division. From there, we generated pivot tables, compared airlines in regards to mishandled onboarded carries included luggage, wheelchairs and scooters, compared month in regards to average mishandled luggage per 1,000 passengers. We also looked at DOT figures about the number of enplaned passengers and the number of denied boarding caused by oversales. DOT baggage reports come from passenger reports of mishandled baggage, which includes lost, delayed, damaged, or pilfered luggage.

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