Having your luggage get lost or damaged during a trip can make for a stressful vacation, but there are steps you can take to decrease the chances of it happening to you.
One step is knowing which airlines to fly with.
A new report from Luggagehero — a company that offers affordable luggage storage sites in hotels, cafes, shops, and other venues — analyzed which U.S. airlines are most and least likely to lose or damage your bag based on six years of data from the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Looking at the DOT’s Mishandled Baggage Report figures published within Air Travel Consumer Reports from 2012 through April of 2018, the company found that Delta Air Lines and Spirit Airlines are the best U.S. carriers to fly with if you want to ensure your bag safely makes it to your final destination.
JetBlue was also a top contender, coming in at third place out of the total 12 airlines the company looked at for the report.
The three airlines that had the most complaints were Envoy Air, ExpressJet Airlines, and SkyWest Airlines, though Luggagehero also found that the number of overall complaints have dropped by 27 percent since 2012.
While only two to three in every 1,000 passengers is typically affected by a lost or damaged bag, according to the report, taking steps like booking direct flights instead of connecting flights, downloading an airline's bag tracking app, customizing bags with tags or ribbons, and removing tags from prior trips can decrease the likelihood of getting hit with the issue.
If you do happen to have a lost or damaged bag, you'll want to report it to the airline right away. Photographs and details like the bag's size, color, and brand will come in handy.
You'll also want to hang onto your claim check, which you'll get before arriving to your gate, and inquire about your airline's compensation policy.