Air Travel Consumer Report Shows Rates of Airline Mishandled Bags Have Increased

Wednesday, 21 Nov 2018

Air Travel Consumer Report

The US Department of Transportation has released its Air Travel Consumer Report for 2018, which includes statistics on the number of bags mishandled in 2018 by US airlines on the domestic network. The findings are worrying, as they reveal thousands of bags are still being mishandled, whether lost, damaged, delayed or stolen, and that the rate of mishandled bags has increased this year.

The report is based on data collected by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and shows that the rate of mishandled baggage is up significantly on last year. Whereas airlines mishandled 2.45 bags per 1000 passengers in 2017, this year the rate was 3.08 bags per 1000 passengers. Individually, all airlines included in the report saw their rates of mishandled bags increase between 2017 and 2018.

American Airlines, for example, saw an increase from 2.80 bags/ 1000 passengers to 4.34 bags/ 1000 passengers, which equates to 42,419 mishandled bags in 2018! This staggeringly high number may not seem quite so bad if we consider that American Airlines had 9,776,640 passengers travel with them on the domestic system this year. But that’s still tens of thousands of unhappy customers who have either had no luggage for the start or duration of their trip, or who have had their belongings lost entirely.

At the top of the list of US carrier is Spirit Airlines, which ‘only’ mishandled 1.84 bags/ 1000 customers. Compared to Envoy Air at the bottom of the list, which mishandled 6.21 bags/ 1000 passengers, this may seem like an achievement. However, considering Spirit actively encourages luggage-free fares, this does not warrant too much praise.

Delta Air Lines is second on the list, having mishandled only 1.94 bags/ 1000 passengers. Nonetheless, this equates to a massive 21,940 mishandled bags, given they flew over 11.3 million passengers on their domestic network this year.

Whatever way we look at it, thousands of bags are still being mishandled each year, despite advances in bag handling technology. Moreover, the statistics in the Air Travel Consumer Report only account for US airlines on the domestic system, which is but a drop in the ocean compared to the worldwide problem of mishandled bags.

This all goes to show that airlines can’t be trusted with our bags. This is why so many people are turning to Send My Bag luggage shipping service, which delivers luggage door to door and allows customers to track their bags every step of the way, giving them some much-needed peace of mind.

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