After getting to the airport on time, making it through security, and enduring your flight, there's one more hurdle you have to clear before starting your trip: Collecting your checked baggage. Normally bags arrive on the carousel with no problems, but on rare occasions, they get lost in transit, effectively ruining your vacation before it begins. Short of cramming everything into a carry-on, one way to reduce your chances of losing a checked bag is to choose the right airline.
As Airfarewatchdog reports, the luggage storage service Luggagehero recently looked at Department of Transportation stats from 2012 to 2018 to determine which airlines are least likely to misplace your property. Delta came in at No. 1 with only 1.55 bags lost per 1000 passengers. It's followed by the budget airlines Frontier, with 1.8 lost bags per 1000 passengers, and Spirit, with 1.9 out of 1000.
At the other end of the list, Envoy Air came out as the airline least likely to deliver bags to passengers, losing 6.76 out of every 1000. Skywest lost an average of six bags per thousand and Expressjet lost 5.9. Fortunately, the situation is improving at most airlines: According to the report, American Airlines was the only airline that saw more lost or mishandled luggage complaints between 2012 and 2018.
Here's the rundown, from most likely to least likely:
- Envoy Air: 6.76 bags bags lost 1000 passengers
- Skywest Airlines: 6 bags bags lost 1000 passengers
- Expressjet Airlines: 5.9 bags lost per 1000 passengers
- American Airlines: 4.3 bags lost per 1000 passengers
- Southwest Airlines: 3.6 bags lost per 1000 passengers
- Alaska Airlines: 3 bags lost per 1000 passengers
- United Airlines: 2.9 bags lost per 1000 passengers
- JetBlue Airways: 2 bags lost per 1000 passengers
- Hawaiian Airlines: 2 bags lost per 1000 passengers
- Spirit Airlines: 1.9 bags lost per 1000 passengers
- Frontier Airlines: 1.8 bags lost per 1000 passengers
- Delta Air Lines: 1.55 bags lost per 1000 passengers
When you hand off your luggage to an airport employee, there's no way to completely guarantee it will arrive at your destination with you. Losing checked bags is rare, but it when happens, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of reuniting with your stuff as quickly as possible.