I already hate flying. No matter how many times you say, “It’s physics, don’t worry,” I will still feel very weird and not okay about soaring through the sky in a big, metal cylinder. It is not natural and it scares me. But on top of my fear of crashing into a mountain, I also have to worry about the safety of my luggage: American airline companies are apparently the very worst at transporting our things from one city to another. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there have been over 1.6 million filed cases concerning lost or tampered luggage in 2014. Additionally, we found out which airline wins the I Suck At Keeping Track of All Your Belongings in This Suitcase Award: Envoy Air (which you probably know as American Eagle). Out of every 1,000 passengers, Envoy mishandles (this could mean tampering, losing, damaging, etc.) about nine bags. Ouch.
ExpressJet is the runner up in horrible luggage handling; They mess up about six bags for every 1,000 passengers. In fifth, sixth, and seventh places are Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines. And this data is only accounting for domestic flights. All in all, between 2012 and 2014, here are how many suitcases each of these major airlines lost:
- Envoy Air: 8,500 suitcases
- ExpressJet: 5,800
- AirTran: 4,300
- ExpressJet: 4,300
- Southwest: 4,100
- American Airlines: 2,900
- Alaska: 2,200
- Frontier: 1,900
- Virgin Airlines: 1,000
Hey, good job, Virgin Airlines!
While this isn't the worst thing that could happen to a person, it undoubtedly sucks to have luggage lost or damaged while traveling. It sucks because we tend to pack all our nice clothes and jewelry when we travel, and it sucks because we pay so damn much to fly as it is. When airlines lose our luggage, our trips are essentially ruined.
Huh. It's funny, I can't think of a single positive note to end this point on. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯