A recent report showed that 55% of American Airlines passengers lose their bags, but which airlines and airports lose the most luggage?
This means that more than half of us have experienced this sick feeling when standing at baggage claim. Every other passenger on your flight grabs their bag and gets out, and you’re on your own.
Price4Limo researched the Department of Transportation’s air consumer report to find that Chicago O’Hare International Airport lost the most baggage. Here are the top 10 airports in the US for lost luggage:
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport
- Harry Reid International Airport – Las Vegas
- San Diego International Airport
- Austin Bergstrom International Airport – Austin, Texas
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport – Charlotte, North Carolina
- Los Angeles International Airport
- Washington Dulles International Airport – Washington, DC
- Philadelphia International Airport
- Tampa International Airport
Carriers handled nearly 393 million bags in 2021, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. They lost over 2 million bags which is 0.51% of all checked bags. The pre-COVID-19 numbers were higher with a loss of 0.59%.
The lost percentage goes up while traveling on a busy holiday. Travelers checked over 40 million bags in December 2021. Carriers lost 264,000 bags which is 0.66% of the total bags.
Airlines have drastically different loss rates within each airport. Republic Airlines lost the most bags among those it handled. American Airlines loses the most bags of all airlines.
American Airlines handles more bags maintaining a rate of 850 lost bags per 100,000 bags than Republic Airlines’ 930 lost bags per 100,000 bags checked.
This means that American Airlines loses 0.85% of bags and Republic loses 0.93% of bags. One or two unlucky passengers on every domestic flight will not have their bag left when they reach their destination.
Carriers lose more wheelchairs and scooters. Airlines checked more than 532,000 of them in 2021 and lost 7,239, or 1.65%. During Thanksgiving travel purchases, that rate rose to 1.73% of lost wheelchairs and scooters.
Price4Limo surveyed passengers who lost their bags and found that 34% got their bags back. On average, the baggage was gone for 6 days.
As many as 88% of passengers said that airlines have given compensation for lost baggage. On average, the passenger received $514.40. Of these, 66% said they received full compensation and 24% said they received partial compensation.
Unfortunately, 14% said the loss had a “very negative” impact on their journey. And as many as 72% stated that an “irreplaceable item” was lost with the bag.
While your bag may arrive with you to your destination, it may not be in one piece.
Many airlines have doubled the incidence of damaged bags or worse over the past 12 months.
Seven times more Allegiant passengers reported bag damage over the past 12 months than in the previous year.
Every airline in the study saw an increase in damaged baggage claims in the past year. SkyWest had the lowest increase in damaged bags with complaints increasing by just 61%.
Price4Limo points out that the reason for this is high demand for travel coupled with staff shortages and labor strikes.
Sixty percent of the passengers surveyed for the study said that an airline had damaged their baggage in the past.
Nervous about the examination?
You’re not alone if you’re worried about checking your bag. Of those surveyed, 78% said they checked anxiety out of their bags. Up to 85% of repeat posts said they were anxious.
Consider taking the advice of the 66% of respondents who pack spare items along with valuables in their carry-on bags. Surprisingly, only 24% of underwear packs.