Airlines don’t always have the greatest history of ensuring that passengers and their luggage both arrive at the same time. Granted, some airlines are better than others (here are the airlines the most and least likely to lose your bags – can you believe that Allegiant Air was the best and American Airlines was the worst?). But when you’re the one whose bag is missing, it’s never a good thing.
Unfortunately, as more people are going back to the skies, more bags are getting mishandled. Here are how many mishandled bags there were, per 1,000 bags, in the 12 months between July 2020 and July 2021:
Wow, October 2020 was pretty bad. But that one month set aside, you can see that since the spring, the number of mishandled bags per 1,000 bags has been steadily increasing.
Not surprisingly, the number of complaints filed about baggage (lost, damaged, etc.) has also increased significantly as more and more people have gone back to flying:
That chart only goes through June 2021. By August 2021, baggage complaints were up to 177! Of the legacy carriers, American had the most (39), followed by United (18) and then Delta (13). Of the other airlines, Hawaiian Airlines did the best, with zero complaints in August, 2021.
So meanwhile, with the holidays coming up, even more people flying, and airlines are having meltdowns due to staffing issues (and “weather”). It seems as if the chances of your bags getting to your destination, and getting there unscathed, are probably not going to be at their highest, y’know?
I got the above statistics and charts from Lugless.com. They had analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Transportation Air Travel Consumer Reports for 2020 and 2021, focusing on the months between June 2020 and June 2021, as data was available).
We had written about Lugless way back in mid-2019 (here’s what we wrote about them). At the time, we thought the company’s concept was a good way to have your luggage shipped if you happened to have a lot of bags, or if you were going from one climate to another and wanted to forward your clothes for/to the “second” climate so you didn’t have to drag them with you until you needed them.
But in light of the holiday season, and the airline meltdowns, maybe using a company like Lugless.com to ship your bags, instead of relying on the airlines, might not be such a bad idea.
All charts via Lugless.com
Feature Photo: Max Pixel
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary