Luggage has been lost and mishandled every since the advent of luggage. Whether it fell off the horse and wagon, got left at the train station by the porter, sunk on the Titanic, or was lost during a flight, we’ve been dealing with lost luggage for a long, long time.
Travel friends, I’ve got some good news and some bad news about lost luggage in 2020.
The good news is that less than a million pieces of luggage were lost or mishandled in 2020. Yep, just 853,000! (as a comparison, that number was 2.8 million in 2019).
The bad news, of course, is that number is so low because there were so many fewer flights, thanks to COVID-19.
Luggage Hero is a worldwide day storage option for luggage. They got their start in 2017 and we wrote about them in 2018 (note: prices in that 2018 post are outdated). Anyway, they’ve been keeping track of the government’s annual Air Travel Consumer Report of complaints against U.S.-based airlines for a while now, and do some snazzy charts to show the statistics for each airline. Here are their reports for some past years:
Anyway, their report for 2020 came out not that long ago and there were definitely some changes.
They collected data from 16 U.S.-based airlines (in the past, it was 17 airlines – ExpressJet ceased operations in September 2020). In total, they handled a little more than 200 million bags, of which 853,000 got lost (to compare, in 2019, those numbers were 485 million bags, of which 2.8 million were lost).
The ranking for the Top 5 airlines (the ones who lost the least amount of luggage) were:
- Allegiant Air was the #1 Best (0.15% of bags lost)
- Southwest Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Endeavour Air
- Delta Air Lines
And the worst airlines were:
- American Airlines was the worst of all (0.597% of bags were lost)
- Envoy Air
- Republic Airways
- Mesa Airlines
- Skywest Airlines
Here’s the ranking for all 16 airlines, courtesy of LuggageHero:
Click on this link for a larger version.
Compared to last year, Envoy and American switched places. Of the other two legacy airlines, United slipped from 6th to 7th, while Delta went from 11th to 12th. Southwest and Jetblue also went down in the rankings. In fact, the only non-regional airline that did better this year was Spirit, which jumped from 12th place to 9th. They also made it onto Fortune’s “Most Admired Companies” list this year, so there ya go.
You can go to this page of LuggageHero’s website for some more fun facts of what they discovered.
How to lower your chances of losing your luggage
There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of your luggage making it to where it’s supposed to go. Because really, you don’t want your bag to wind up here.
- There’s this way to find out if your bag has made it onto the plane but it’s admittedly not foolproof because you’re relying on someone else.
- You can also try these suggestions, which were recommended by the people who, of anybody, would know the best.
What to do if they lose your luggage anyway
Even if you do everything right, there’s a small chance your luggage might still get lost. Here’s what LuggageHero recommends if your bag(s) get lost in the U.S.:
- 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 damaged stuff 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 necessary forms and prove the loss.
- If your suitcase has been damaged, request a replacement or repair.
- If your suitcase has been lost and you need to buy basic items, the airline should refund these expenses.
- In case you have paid a fee to check the bag, you can ask for a refund of this fee.
- In case you have used a travel agent, you can ask this agent to assist you.
- In case you have paid by your credit card and have travel insurance, find out if the insurance covers luggage damage or loss.
Good luck, travel friends!
Feature Photo: Hobvias Sudoneighm / flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary