Over 690,000 bags were lost or mishandled in the first half of 2021 by US airlines
Every year, LuggageHero creates a report showcasing mishandled luggage by US airlines from our office in the US. Since the world slowly started opening up, there has of course been a lot more travel in 2021 than in 2020, and we can see that reflected in the higher number of bags that have been mishandled this year.
- There were 692,884 mishandled and lost bags in the first half of 2021
- Mishandled luggage has improved by 1.1% compared to the first half of 2020
- More than 160 million checked bags were carried on planes the first half of 2021
- Allegiant Air takes the best care of your luggage for the third year in a row
- Envoy Air overtakes American Airlines as the worst airline to handle luggage in the first half of 2021
- April was the safest month for your luggage, while June was the worst month
From January 2021 to June 2021, a total of 692,884 bags were mishandled by US airlines, which is almost 200,000 more than the first half of 2020. Overall, more than 160 million bags were enplaned for the first half of 2021, which is 45 million more than in the same time period in 2020.
For the research this year, we have collected data from 17 US airlines whereas, in 2020, the data for the research was collected from 16 airlines. The previous research showed that a little more than 111 million bags were boarded, and 520,000 were lost or mishandled the first six months.
The research this year concluded that of the 158 million bags that were boarded, around 690,000 were mishandled or lost. Therefore, the chance of your bag being mishandled in 2021 is around 0.4%.
Allegiant Air scores a hat-trick of being the best at taking care of luggage
Allegiant Air has been the best airline for the safety of your luggage for the past three years, with only 0.15% of the bags being mishandled. Allegiant Air is followed by Hawaiian Airlines and Frontier Airlines, making them the top three airlines for safe luggage handling.
Envoy Air ranked as the worst
American Airlines and Envoy Air ranked as the two worst airlines in handling luggage. Respectively, 0.76% and 0.88% of the baggage they were in charge of from January to June 2021 was mishandled.
June: The worst month for your bags
June 2021 ranked as the worst month for mishandled luggage. In June, a total of 236,956 bags were mishandled, with 65,472 of those bags being mishandled by American Airlines. In other words, for every 1,000 pieces of luggage on board, 6.15% were mishandled in June.
April: The safest month for your luggage
In the first half of 2021, April was the safest month for your luggage. For every 1,000 bags, only 3.26% were handled incorrectly. April is followed very closely by March and May. In March, for every 1,000 pieces of luggage on board, 3.58% were handled incorrectly, and in May, 3.81%.
The bigger sample size
It is important to note that the sample size used from the first half of 2020 is significantly smaller than the size from the first half of 2021. Nevertheless, bags in 2020 and 2021 were and are still mishandled, and there are airlines that we can safely say performed better than others.
What to do in case you have to deal with mishandled baggage
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 the damage 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 the necessary forms and prove the loss.
LuggageHero is a network of convenient, safe, and affordable luggage storage locations in local shops, cafés, and hotels. We charge $1 per hour and we are live in more than 40 cities. We have topped 2.5 million hours of stored luggage through our website and app since starting in 2016.
About our methodology
LuggageHero analyzed airlines by luggage performance based on US Department of Transportation’s figures about Mishandled Baggage in Air Travel Consumer Reports from January 2021 to June 2021. Air Travel Consumer Report is 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, and compared months in regards to average mishandled luggage per 1,000 passengers. DOT baggage reports come from passenger reports of mishandled baggage, which includes lost, delayed, damaged, or pilfered luggage.
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