The Investigators

Dec 13, 2012 6:34 PM

Number of mishandled baggage reports this year? 1.3 million

TUCSON - It's the stuff airline horror stories are made of: lost or smashed luggage.

If this hasn't happened to you, be glad since we're about to show you just how often baggage takes a bashing.

James Murray and his family recently got off a plane from Atlanta by way of Las Vegas.
A smooth trip home until the airline rep met them at the baggage claim with bad news.

"'One of your bags has been lost but we're not sure which one yet'. And we were like, ‘just don't be that one bag.'"

That one bag was packed with an iPad and Kindle. With too much stuff to carry on, they re-packed at the last minute, shoving stuff into the check-in bags.

"It obviously fell off the truck and got ran over," says Matt. "So it's not even recoverable at this point."

His suitcase was shredded, the Kindle cracked and the iPad 2 smashed and bent. About $1000 worth including clothes and accessories

According to the Department of Transportation from January through September 2012 travelers reported over 1.3 million mishandled bags. That includes lost, stolen, delayed and damaged luggage.

The airline with the most mishandled reports is American Eagle with 5.68 reports per 1,000 travelers. Virgin America has the best record with 0.90 reports per 1,000 travelers.

American Eagle Airlines responded with this statement:

Eagle also continues to make great progress in its baggage performance, with a 24 percent improvement for the first 10 months of 2012 compared to 2011. The baggage performance has been helped by the recent refurbishment of bag rooms in Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago.

Below is the complete listing for domestic airlines reporting mishandled bags to Department of Transportation for Jan 2012 - Sept 2012.

RANK AIRLINE REPORTS PER 1,000 TRAVELERS
1 VIRGIN AMERICA .90
2 AIRTRAN AIRWAYS 1.53
3 JETBLUE AIRWAYS 1.87
4 DELTA AIR LINES 2.11
5 US AIRWAYS 2.13
6 FRONTIER AIRLINES 2.14
7 AMERICAN AIRLINES 2.83
8 HAWAIIAN AIRLINES 2.89
9 ALASKA AIRLINES 2.92
10 SOUTHWEST 2.99
11 UNITED AIRLINES 3.90
12 MESA AIRLINES 4.64
13 SKYWEST ARILINES 5.08
14 EXPRESSJET 5.64
15 AMERICAN EAGLE 5.68

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