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Lost Luggage Report: 853,000 bags mishandled by US airlines in 2020

Compared to the previous year, air traffic has been reduced significantly, and we can see that reflected in the lower number of bags mishandled in 2020 as compared to 2019

  • Allegiant Air takes best care of your luggage for a second year in a row
  • American Airlines overtakes Envoy Air as the worst luggage handler
  • Top 3 US airlines in 2020 luggage handling are Allegiant, Southwest and Hawaiian

Every year, travel experts create a report showcasing mishandled luggage by the US airlines, and 2020, despite the COVID-19 situation, would be no different. Of course, there was a lot less travel in 2020 than 2019, and that shows in the lost luggage numbers. Compared to the previous year, air traffic has been reduced significantly, and we can see that reflected in the lower number of bags mishandled in 2020 as compared to 2019.

In 2019, a total of 2.8 million bags were mishandled by U.S. airlines. In 2020, only 853k bags were mishandled,  which is almost 2 million less than the previous year. The change started abruptly, when coronavirus pandemic measures went into effect. Specifically, there was almost 19 times less checked baggage in April than in January, reflective of the huge drop in passengers during this period.

In this research, we have collected data from 16 US airlines. The results show that in 2020, they boarded a little more than 200 million bags and handled a bit more than 850,000 incorrectly, which means that the chances of your bag being mishandled in 2020 were only around 0.4%.

For the second year in a row, Allegiant Air takes the lead as the best airline for the safety of your luggage, with only 0.15% of the bags enplaned being mishandled. Allegiant Air is followed by Southwest Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, making them the top three airlines for safe luggage handling. Allegiant Air was founded in 1997 as WestJet Express and it is wholly owned by Allegiant Travel Company, a publicly traded company with 4,000 employees.

In 2019, Envoy Air took the last place for safe luggage handling. However, in 2020 the airline provider was overtaken by American Airlines and now comes in as second-worst. American Airlines and Enjoy Air mishandled, respectively, 0.597% and 0.587% of the baggage they were in charge of last year. American Airlines, together with its regional partners, operates an extensive international and domestic network with almost 6,800 flights per day to almost 350 destinations in more than 50 countries.