Airlines Most Likely To Lose Your Luggage

The Airlines Most Likely to Lose Your Luggage

You have been waiting for your trip for weeks. You're packing and unpacking a few times a day because you can't decide what to bring. You finally manage to squeeze everything into a one small bag – because you don't want to pay another $80 for an extra bag – and you're on your way.

Then the airline loses your luggage and you have to spend more money to buy clothes until you get your suitcase back.

Now you're thinking "I'm never flying with this company again!" Save yourself some time and go through the following list. It's based on the latest data by the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

1. Southwest

Southwest Airlines is by far one of the worst airlines when it comes down to mishandled luggage. In 2014 they lost 329,599 bags, according to Luggage Forward. Believe it or not, this is actually lower than the previous year; in 2013 they lost 439,323 bags.

2. American Airlines

Other than the fact that American Airlines doesn't allow you to pay for your bags when you check in online, they also have been known to lose your luggage. According to Luggage Forward, American Airlines lost 158,663 bags in 2014. Although that's a lot, it looks like they may have been making changes. In 2013 they lost 205,060 bags and according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, American Airlines has reported a total of 34,029 baggage reports in 2016.

3. Delta Airlines

Delta is doing really badly. As many as 16,340 reports were filed, according to the March 2016 data it still is the third worst airline when it comes to lost luggage but, the company is actually doing a little better. There were 22,938 reports filed the previous year. (See: Ways to Save Time at the Airport)

4. United Airlines

According to the mishandled baggage reports filed by passengers, United Airlines had 15,931 bags reported missing. This is 2.58 per 1,000 passengers. (U.S. Department of Transportation).

5. Sky West Airlines

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as of March 2016 Sky West Airlines has mishandled 7,905 bags. This is lower than March 2015 where they mishandled 9,950 bags.

6. ExpressJet

Express Jet is one of the world's largest regional airlines and is also one of the worst when it comes to lost luggage. According to a 2014 report, the passengers who filed mishandled baggage reports, pertaining to lost luggage on domestic U.S. airline flights, most often used smaller regional airlines such as ExpressJet Airlines. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported 7,713 baggage reports in March 2016.

7. JetBlue Airways

JetBlue's record has remained fairly steady over the last couple of years. The difference is 378 filed reports. 4,498 people enplaned passengers complained the year up to March 2016, compared to 4,876 over the previous 12 months.

8. Spirit Airlines

Spirit is also doing slightly worse than 2014 but not as bad as many would expect. There were 3,815 mishandled luggage reports filed by March 2016 compared to 3,224 by March 2015.

9. Alaska Airlines

In 2015 Alaska Airlines dropped to the worst among the U.S. mainline carriers for mishandled bags ( According to a March 2016 report from the U.S. Department of Transportation, they had 3,559 bags reported.

10. Frontier Airlines

Frontier got almost the exact same number of lost luggage reports in March 2016 as in March 2015 – 2,769 and 2,760, respectively. However, the company was much busier. It transported 151,000 more people by March 2016 which is why they actually scored worse than before.

11. Hawaiian Airlines

This is another company that has not really improved or gotten worse – exactly 2,400 complaints for lost luggage were filed by March 2016, slightly more than the 2,221 the previous year.

12. Virgin America

The total number of mishandled baggage reports filed by passengers is 524.Virgin's track record is actually getting worse because that number was 386 a year ago.