Checking your luggage could send it on a completely different vacation…

Which Airlines Are Most Likely to Lose Your Luggage?

Every year, thousands of checked bags end up at a destination different than that of their owners. While most luggage goes to the right place, a fraction of bags end up either temporarily misplaced, or (in some cases) completely lost. Which airlines are most likely to lose that checked luggage?

Possibly counter-intuitive to many travelers experiences, mainstream carriers in the United States fared better than their regional counterparts. Southwest Airlines, the largest carrier in the United States by passengers, received 3.31 mishandled baggage reports per 1,000 carriers flown in 2015. However, the airline still mishandled over 478,000 bags entrusted to them.

Delta, the second largest airline by domestic passengers, received over 245,000 mishandled luggage reports in 2015, braking down to 2.08 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers. United flew over 72 million passengers, and received 231,501 mishandled baggage reports, or 3.21 reports per 1,000 passengers.

Of the legacy and major carriers, American ranked the worst, similar to their regional arm Envoy Air. The DOT reports the airline received 386,649 mishandled baggage reports after flying over 97 million passengers – which breaks down to nearly four bags lost per every 1,000 passengers boarding their aircraft.

Although travelers can’t do much to protect their luggage from mishandling, travelers do have some avenues of recourse available to them. From knowing airline policies, to purchasing travel insurance, travelers can prepare themselves for the possibility of lost luggage when flying on one of the above carriers.

Full article here.