The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

These airlines lose your luggage the most often

There's nothing quite like traveling without all of your clothing. (Nell Redmond/AP Photo)

Ever wonder which airlines are the most likely to lose your luggage?

The U.S. Department of Transportation keeps track of the number of mishandled bagged reports, which includes "lost, damaged, delayed or pilfered baggage." And there are plenty. In the first nine months of 2014, there were more than 1.6 million cases filed, according to records. And that's but a mere glimpse of the greater horror happening each year. The data, after all, is only for U.S. airlines, and only pertains to lost luggage on domestic flights.

Envoy Air, formerly called American Eagle, first instance, is easily the biggest offender. For every 1,000 passengers, the airline mishandles roughly nine bags. ExpressJet, the second biggest offender, mishandles just under six bags for every 1,000 passengers. And Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and United, meanwhile are fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively, on the list; each at rate closer to four bags per 1,000 passengers.

LuggageThese percentages might not seem all that high, because they somewhat undershoot the actual rates at which airlines are losing or at the very least mishandling peoples' bags. The government computes the mishandling rates by pitting lost luggage against all enplaned passengers—not merely those who checked in luggage. Of course, many passengers carry their luggage along with them, or travel with little to no luggage at all—especially given the rise of checked bag fees.