Lost Luggage Report – over 1.25 million bags lost or mishandled by US airlines in the second half of 2021
Lost Luggage Report – over 1.25 million bags lost or mishandled by US airlines in the second half of 2021
Last updated: Jul 26, 2022 · 4 min read

Over 1.25 million bags were lost or mishandled in the second half of 2021 by US airlines

Every year, LuggageHero creates a report showcasing mishandled luggage by major US airlines from our office in the US. Since the world slowly started opening up, there has been considerably  more travel in the second half of 2021 compared to the previous 6 months, and we can see that reflected in the higher number of bags that have been mishandled. 

Quick overview:

  • There were 1,251,209 mishandled and lost bags in the second half of 2021
  • The sheer amount of mishandled luggage has worsened by 80.6% compared to the first half of 2021 
  • More than 220 million checked bags were carried on planes the second half compared to 160 million in the first half of 2021
  • Allegiant Air takes the best care of your luggage for the fourth year in a row
  • Envoy Air is the worst airline to handle luggage in the second half of 2021
  • September was the safest month for your luggage, while December was the worst month


From July 2021 to December 2021, a total of 1,251,209 bags were mishandled by US airlines out of 220 million checked bags. Therefore, about 6 out of every 1000 bags were mishandled in the second half of 2021. 

Our previous research showed that more than 160 million bags were carried on planes in the first half of 2021, and 692,884 of those were mishandled or lost. 

That resulted in an increase of 80.6% in lost luggage when you compare the first and the second half of 2021.

Allegiant Air scores the highest at taking care of luggage

Allegiant Air has been the best airline for the safety of your luggage for the past four years, losing only 1.85 bags per 1000 in the second half of 2021. 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 at taking care of your luggage

Envoy Air and American Airlines ranked as the two worst airlines in handling luggage. Respectively, they have lost or mishandled 9.04 and 8.62 bags per 1000 bags from July to December 2021.


December: The worst month for your bags

December 2021 ranked as the worst month for mishandled luggage. In December, a total of 262,327 bags were mishandled, with 49,535 of those bags being mishandled by American Airlines alone.

In other words, for every 1,000 pieces of luggage enplaned out of the 17 airlines, 6.64 were mishandled in December.

September: The safest month for your luggage

In the second half of 2021, September was the safest month for your luggage. For every 1,000 bags, only 4.50 were handled incorrectly. September is followed by November, when for every 1,000 pieces of luggage, 4.61 were handled incorrectly.

The bigger sample size 

It is important to note that the sample size used from the first half of 2021 is significantly smaller than the size from the second 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.

We create Lost Luggage Reports twice a year

We create content for the travel and tourism industry. One of our main reports is the popular Lost Luggage Report, which we release twice every year. Our data has been featured on sites such as Lonely Planet, Yahoo, Forbes, Travel and Leisure and 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.

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 we are live in more than 40 cities. We have topped 3 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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