Checking your baggage can be among the most stressful parts of the air travel journey for anyone who has either heard other people’s lost luggage horror stories or experienced missing baggage fiascos firsthand.
A new analysis of lost-luggage data from Air Travel Consumer Reports and other sources suggests that checked bags have either a better or worse chance of ending up back in their owners’ hands, depending upon the airline and airports that are doing the handling.
Using research commissioned by limousine booking service Price4Limo, a new report has just revealed which airlines and airports have thus far proven to be the biggest perpetrators of baggage mishandling this year.
As it turns out, American Airlines is the U.S. carrier that’s had the most trouble keeping track of people’s bags in 2022, with 850 bags per 100,000 going missing. Following behind was JetBlue (670 bags lost per 100,000), Alaska Airlines (640 per 100,000) and United Airlines (620 per 100,000).
As for the U.S. airports where luggage is most often waylaid, Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) was the worst offender, followed by Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport (LAS), San Diego International Airport (SAN) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS).
While it seems like modern tracking technologies might have solved issues of missing luggage—what with the tags and barcodes attached to each checked item—unfortunately, plenty of bags still wind up somewhere other than their intended destination.
In fact, more than half (55 percent) of the people surveyed as part of Price4Limo’s analysis have had their baggage go missing in the past, with only 34 percent of them eventually getting their mislaid bags back. What’s even worse, a shocking 72 percent reported that they’d lost an irreplaceable item because of the mishap.
It’s, therefore, unsurprising that 78 percent of respondents admitted to feeling anxious about checking their luggage, and 82 percent of those who always check bags on trips reported worrying every time they have to drop their luggage off at the airline check-in counter.
“Losing luggage is always a painful ordeal, regardless of the airport or airline you fly out of,” Rachel Kirsch, a creative strategist for Price4Limo, told Travel + Leisure (T+L). “Regardless of where you travel, lost luggage can be a nightmare come true. Unfortunately, odds are if it hasn’t happened to you already, it’ll likely happen at some point during your travels.”
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