In a year full of travel chaos, perhaps one of the most frustrating travel complications is luggage going missing or being mishandled. Now, the Department of Transportation (DoT) has released new data that shows which US airlines are the most likely to mishandle luggage.
The DoT defines mishandled luggage as bags, wheelchairs, or scooters that were lost, damaged, delayed, or stolen. The data only covers luggage checked in on nonstop domestic flights. It excludes bags taken on international flights or routes with transfers. It also does not count bags that never made it onto the plane in the first place.
American Airlines and regional carrier Republic Airways top the list as the most likely to mishandle bags. They mishandled about one of every 108 bags they saw.
Budget carrier Allegiant Air ranked the best, as they mishandled only one of every 625 bags. They were followed by Hawaiian Airlines and Frontier.
Short-staffed teams and tech disruptions are two big factors contributing to the increase in luggage losses and damages. The amount of lost bags increased from 0.44% to 0.62% in just one year.