These major US carriers mishandled the most luggage in 2022, DOT says

American Airlines and Southwest led the list

Major U.S. passenger carriers mishandled over 300,000 bags in the first half of 2022, according to a recent Department of Transportation report. 

In its August Air Travel Consumer Report, the agency listed 10 major passenger airlines and how many bags each air carrier mishandled from January through June of this year alone.

American Airlines topped the list. In total, the American Airlines Network, which includes flights operated by its partner carriers, mishandled over 108,000 bags during the six-month time frame, according to the report. 

FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS, DELAYS PUT AMERICANS' TRUST IN AIRLINES TO THE TEST

Officials define mishandled bags as checked luggage that was either "lost, damaged, delayed, and pilfered, as reported by or on behalf of the passenger, that were in the airline’s custody for its reportable domestic nonstop scheduled passenger flights."

Southwest Airlines came in second, with over 62,000 bag issues during the same time frame. 

American Airlines planes

American Airlines passenger jets prepare for departure, July 21, 2021, Boston Logan International Airport in Boston, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File / AP Newsroom)

Delta and United were not far behind. The Delta Air Lines Network mishandled over 47,500 bags while United Airlines Network mishandled over 42,600. 

The Alaska Airline Network mishandled over 17,900 bags while JetBlue faced issues with over 9,600 bags.

HOW THE JETBLUE, SPIRIT MERGER WILL IMPACT FLIERS

Spirit Airlines had fewer issues, mishandling 6,737 bags. Frontier Airlines had 3,511 bag issues. Meanwhile, Hawaiian and Allegiant Air had the fewest problems, with under 2,000 mishandled bags each.  

Mishandled luggage is far from the only issue the airline industry has been facing. A bevy of flights has been disrupted this summer as carriers faced bad weather and air traffic control issues on top of ongoing staffing shortages.

Air travelers collect their checked baggage at Newark International Airport on Oct. 27, 2020 in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The issues persisted for much of the summer as demand reached pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, infuriating passengers and government officials. The heads of major passenger carriers even apologized for the turmoil this summer and took measures like increasing hiring and training to even cutting schedules in an effort to improve reliability.

AIR TRAVEL COMPLAINTS UP NEARLY 270% ABOVE PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS

Air travel complaints jumped nearly 270% in June compared to the same time in 2019, according to the DOT's air travel consumer report. 

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told the CEOs of 10 U.S. airlines that his department could take action if carriers don’t provide more transparency on why the disruptions are occurring, calling the problems in recent months "unacceptable." 

Representatives for Alaska, American, Southwest, Allegiant, Hawaiian, Delta, JetBlue, United and Frontier have not immediately responded to FOX Business request for comment. 

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ALK ALASKA AIR GROUP INC. 37.50 -0.65 -1.70%
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 12.90 -0.16 -1.23%
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 37.66 -0.64 -1.66%
JBLU JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP. 4.52 -0.01 -0.22%
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 28.05 -0.23 -0.81%
SAVE SPIRIT AIRLINES INC. 16.20 -0.02 -0.15%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC. 43.07 -0.62 -1.42%