There are few things more frustrating than arriving at your destination after a long flight and waiting at the baggage carousel… and waiting… and waiting…

Only for your bags to never arrive because the airline lost your luggage. Nothing puts a damper on a trip quite like all your stuff going missing, and sometimes it can take days for it to be returned to you.

Just thinking about it is stressing me out — lost luggage is basically one of my worst travel fears.

So which airlines are most likely to lose your luggage?

Data from the Department of Transportation reveals the worst airlines for lost luggage.

And be sure to read on for my top tips to prevent lost luggage!

The Worst Offender Is…

The worst airline for lost luggage is American Airlines.

According to the data, there are 0.82 lost bags for every 100 bags checked on American Airlines flights.

American Airlines Plane on runway

That doesn’t sound like a lot — it’s not even one whole bag, but when you consider that there are way more than 100 checked bags on the average flight, and American Airlines flies more than 6,700 flights per day, that’s a lot of lost luggage.

Not a great track record for an airline that is supposedly one of the best in the world.

It’s also the highest rate of lost luggage by far compared to other airlines. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at the next worst offenders for airlines that are likely to lose your luggage.

International airport terminal. Asian beautiful woman with luggage and walking in airport

Other Worst Airlines For Lost Luggage.

The next worst airline for lost luggage is United Airlines, with 0.74 lost bags for every 100 bags checked. That’s also a startlingly high figure when it comes to the likelihood of your suitcase disappearing!

Next up is Alaska Airlines, with 0.59 lost bags for every 100 bags checked.

Spirit Airlines follows closely, with a rate of 0.53 lost bags for every 100 bags checked. It’s not too surprising to see Spirit Airlines on this list, given that it’s one of the most disliked airlines due to its poor customer service, annoying hidden fees, and constant delays and issues.

Spirit airplane flying

Rounding out the top five is JetBlue Airways, with 0.52 lost bags for every 100 bags checked.

Pro Tips To Prevent Lost Luggage

So what can you do to avoid lost luggage? The truth is, even if you check a bag on an airline that’s not on the list above, you still run the risk of having your bags mishandled by the airline.

The only foolproof way to prevent lost luggage is not to check any luggage to begin with. I like traveling with carry-on luggage only, and I’ve been to more than 50 countries and taken hundreds of flights with only a small carry-on suitcase and my one personal item.

A young girl with luggage in an airport

I’ve been able to take multi-month trips with just a carry-on bag. Traveling carry-on only takes the stress and uncertainty away from the potential of lost luggage.

Another way to reduce the risk of lost luggage is to avoid connecting flights (especially flights with more than one connection!)

If your bags have to be moved around at multiple airports and onto multiple planes, there’s a higher chance that they will be mishandled and go missing.

Lost luggage is far less likely on a direct flight. So if you must check a bag, try to avoid flights with connections.

You should also always use luggage tags and have your contact info written on them in addition to your address. And be sure to remove any old stickers from your luggage because leaving them on can cause confusion and the misrouting of your bag.

checked baggage carousel at airport with lots of luggage

Credit: Source link