Which Airlines Lose The Most Luggage

If you have ever stood at the luggage carousel waiting for your suitcase to come around the belt only to find that it has gone missing, you know how frustrating it can be dealing with lost luggage. With over 4 billion people traveling by air each year, it’s no surprise that mishandled baggage is a common occurrence.

But some airlines have more issues with lost luggage than others.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The airlines that tend to lose luggage the most often are low-cost carriers like Spirit, Frontier, and JetBlue.

The Airlines That Lose Luggage the Most

Spirit Airlines

When it comes to lost luggage, Spirit Airlines has unfortunately gained a reputation for being at the top of the list. Passengers flying with Spirit Airlines have reported higher incidents of lost or mishandled baggage compared to other airlines.

While Spirit Airlines offers low fares and a no-frills experience, it’s important to keep in mind that there may be a higher chance of luggage mishaps.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines is another airline that has had its fair share of baggage mishaps. Passengers have reported instances of lost, damaged, or delayed baggage when flying with Frontier. While Frontier Airlines may offer affordable fares, it is crucial to be prepared for the possibility of luggage issues and take necessary precautions such as packing essentials in carry-on luggage.


While JetBlue is generally well-regarded for its customer service, it has also had instances of mishandled baggage. Passengers flying with JetBlue have reported occurrences of lost or delayed luggage. However, it’s important to note that the incidents of lost luggage with JetBlue are relatively lower compared to Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines.

It’s important to remember that incidents of lost luggage can happen with any airline. However, it can be helpful to be aware of the track record of certain airlines when it comes to baggage handling. Being proactive by properly labeling luggage, using luggage tags, and packing essentials in carry-on bags can help minimize the impact of lost or mishandled baggage.

For more information on airline baggage policies and tips on how to prevent lost luggage, you can visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website.

Why Budget Airlines Tend to Lose More Luggage

They Have Less Resources to Track Luggage

One of the key reasons why budget airlines tend to lose more luggage is due to their limited resources for tracking baggage. Unlike larger, full-service airlines that have extensive tracking systems in place, budget airlines often rely on manual processes or outdated technology.

This can lead to a higher likelihood of luggage getting misplaced or lost during transit.

According to a report by the Air Travel Consumer Report, budget airlines are more likely to mishandle baggage compared to their full-service counterparts. The report revealed that budget airlines had a higher mishandled baggage rate per 1,000 passengers.

With fewer resources dedicated to baggage tracking, budget airlines may struggle to efficiently locate and route luggage, especially during busy travel periods or when dealing with unexpected delays or disruptions.

Their Business Model Prioritizes Low Fares Over Service

Another contributing factor to the higher luggage loss rate among budget airlines is their business model, which prioritizes low fares over service. Budget airlines often operate on thin profit margins and strive to keep costs as low as possible.

This can sometimes result in compromises in areas such as customer service and baggage handling.

While larger airlines may invest more in staff training and advanced technology to ensure efficient baggage handling, budget airlines may cut costs in these areas to offer cheaper ticket prices. This can lead to a higher likelihood of mishandled baggage and lost luggage.

It’s important to note that not all budget airlines have the same luggage loss rates, and some may have implemented measures to improve baggage handling. However, the overall trend suggests that budget airlines may have a higher risk of luggage mishaps compared to their full-service counterparts.

For more information on airline baggage handling and statistics, you can visit the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Reports website.

Tips to Protect Your Luggage When Flying

Use TSA-Approved Locks

One of the first steps you can take to protect your luggage is to use TSA-approved locks. These locks are designed in such a way that they can be easily opened and inspected by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers without damaging your lock or your luggage.

By using these locks, you can ensure that your belongings are secure while still allowing for necessary security checks.

Attach ID Tags

Attaching ID tags to your luggage is another essential step to protect it. Make sure to include your name, phone number, and email address on the tags. In case your luggage gets lost or misplaced, this information will help the airline or authorities to easily identify you as the owner.

Additionally, consider using a unique luggage tag that stands out from the crowd to make it easier to spot your bag at the baggage carousel.

Take Photos

Before you travel, it’s a good idea to take photos of your luggage. This will serve as a visual record of how your bags look before the trip. In case your luggage gets damaged during handling, you will have evidence to support your claim.

Having photos can also help you remember what items were in your bag if you need to file a claim for lost or stolen items.

Consider Insurance

When traveling, it’s always a good idea to consider purchasing travel insurance that includes coverage for lost or damaged luggage. While airlines may offer compensation for lost luggage, the amount may not fully cover the value of your belongings.

Having insurance can provide you with peace of mind and financial protection in case of any unforeseen incidents.

By following these tips, you can take proactive measures to protect your luggage and minimize the risk of loss or damage when flying. Remember, it’s always better to be prepared and take precautions to safeguard your belongings during your travels.


Losing your luggage can put a real damper on a trip, but by flying with reliable airlines and taking some extra precautions, you can minimize your chances. While flying budget carriers like Spirit or Frontier might save you money upfront, think twice about the potential cost of permanently lost belongings.

Or be prepared to purchase baggage insurance and implement tracking measures into your luggage to give yourself peace of mind.

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