Lost Baggage Rate Drops

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, the rate of lost and damaged baggage on airlines around the world dropped more than 60% in the past seven years. The paper cites a new study by SITA, a company specializing in air transport information. While that’s an incredible improvement, check out the numbers for U.S. airlines.

LISTEN: Haven’t we all lost bags? Rick Seaney has.

Find a cheap flight & don’t worry about the bag

International Lost Bag Rates

What a different seven years make in the rate of lost bags. The number of mishandled bags shown are per 1,000 passengers.

  • 2007: 18.8 mishandled bags
  • 2014: 7.3 mishandled bags

U.S. Lost Bag Rates

Here’s even better news, which we found after a quick perusal of the Department of Transportations’ statistics for U.S. airlines only:

  • 2007: 7.0 mishandled bags
  • 2014: 3.6 mishandled bags

Why Fewer Bags Get Lost

Couple of things to keep in mind; SITA says improved baggage tagging and tracking systems are responsible for much of the good news but in the U.S. there are fewer checked-bags in general. This is partly due to bag fees which didn’t come into general use until 2008.


Updated: March 31, 2015