It’s actually surprising that more luggage isn’t lost or damaged when you consider the sheer volume of bags that are handled each day at major airports.
Then again, that marvel is a small consolation for travelers who arrive at their destination only to discover their luggage is missing. It also doesn’t help comfort travelers who worry about their luggage.
What may help ease those fears, however, is this new report from Forbes Advisor.
To compile its Worst Airports And Airlines For Lost And Damaged Luggage report, Forbes Advisor compared the 100 busiest U.S. airports using data from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). That data included the number of property loss claims per 100,000 domestic passengers and the number of property damage claims per 100,000 domestic passengers; in other words, how many pieces of luggage were lost or damaged.
Forbes Advisor also analyzed TSA data detailing the percentage of property loss claims in which the traveler was fully reimbursed by the airport for their lost luggage, as well as the percentage of property damage claims in which the traveler was fully reimbursed for their damaged luggage.
That’s important to note because in some cases, an airport may have a higher number of lost and mishandled bags but also a higher percentage of lost and damaged luggage claims being fully reimbursed. When that happens, the higher percentage of claims being fully reimbursed offsets the high number of lost or damaged luggage claims.
Here are the top 10 airports most likely to lose and damage luggage based on the number of claims per 100,000 domestic passengers, according to Forbes Advisor’s research:
- John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York: 1.93 claims of lost luggage and 1.48 claims of damaged luggage
- Miami International Airport, Miami: 1.48 claims of lost luggage and 1.06 claims of damaged luggage
- Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles: 0.81 claims of lost luggage and 0.70 claims of damaged luggage
- Norfolk International Airport, Norfolk, Virginia: 0.70 claims of lost luggage and 0.59 claims of damaged luggage
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Fort Lauderdale: 0.77 claims of lost luggage and 0.70 claims of damaged luggage
- Boston Logan International Airport, Boston: 0.64 claims of lost luggage and 0.71 claims of damaged luggage
- Harry Reid International Airport, Las Vegas: 0.58 claims of lost luggage and 0.49 claims of damaged luggage
- Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey: 1.05 claims of lost luggage and 0.77 claims of damaged luggage
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Honolulu: 0.79 claims of lost luggage and 0.52 claims of damaged luggage
- Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C.: 0.97 claims of lost luggage and 0.81 claims of damaged luggage
Top Airlines Most Likely To Mishandle Luggage
Forbes Advisor also analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection to determine which airlines are most likely to mishandle luggage.
The Air Travel Consumer Reports detail information about the quality of service provided by airlines, including statistics on “the number of checked bags that are lost, damaged, delayed, and pilfered, as reported by or on behalf of the passenger,” while in the airline’s custody, the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection explains.
American Airlines topped the list of airlines most likely to mishandle luggage with 5.34 reports of mishandled bags per 1,000 suitcases on average, Forbes Advisor notes. Skywest Airlines and United Airlines round out the top three worst airlines for mishandled luggage, with 4.51 and 4 claims of mishandled bags per 1,000 suitcases, respectively.
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