Report: Envoy Air, ExpressJet More Likely To Lose Your Bags; Virgin, Frontier Least Likely

Each time I check my suitcase before hopping a flight, I say a little prayer that my things will make to my final destination. Luckily for me, I’ve had few issues with checked baggage (knock on wood), but thousands of other passengers haven’t been so fortunate. In fact, a new report from the U.S. Department of Transportation reveals that more than 1.6 million consumers have filed mishandled baggage reports in the first nine months of 2014. So, is there one airline that’s more apt to lose your luggage? Probably.

The Washington Post reports that according to the DOT data [PDF], some airlines were more likely than others to separate travelers and their belongings so far this year.

The passengers who filed mishandled baggage reports – those pertaining to lost luggage on domestic U.S. airline flights – most often used smaller, regional airlines, such as Envoy Air and ExpressJet Airlines.

Mishandled baggage from January to September 2014. [Click to Enlarge]

Mishandled baggage from January to September 2014. [Click to Enlarge]

Top of the list for airlines that mishandle bags was Envoy Air, a regional airline owned by American Airlines Group. Data from the DOT shows that the Envoy mishandles nine bags for every 1,000 passengers that fly the airline.

Next up is ExpressJet Airlines, a smaller airline owned by SkyWest Airlines, with roughly six bags out of every 1,000 passengers having been mishandled. SkyWest itself comes in third with just under five bags per 1,000 customers being mishandled.

Some of the U.S.’s larger airlines – Southwest, American Airlines and United Airlines – make an appearance on the list starting at number four. Each airline reportedly mishandles about four bags for every 1,000 passengers it records.

Which airlines are less likely to lose your bags if the U.S. DOT data is to be any indicator? That would be Virgin America, which mishandles less than one bag per 1,000 passengers, and Frontier Airlines, with about one and a half bags mishandled per customer.

According to the Post, the latest figures, while enlightening, probably don’t provide the clearest outlook on mishandled bags, as it likely underestimates the actual rates.

The figures could appear to be lower-than-actuality since they are calculated by using the total number of passengers traveling, and not just the portion who have checked their bags.

But even if you’re one of the unfortunate travelers who can’t seem to find their suitcase at baggage claim, all is not lost. Just remember the case of an Arizona woman who got a call that her belongings were found nearly 20 years after it was lost.

These airlines lose your luggage the most often [The Washington Post]