American Leads All Carriers in Lost, Mishandled Luggage

American Airlines brings in more money in baggage fees than any other airline.

It also lost or mishandled more luggage than any other airline last year.

In a report from the Dallas Morning News, American lost or mishandled more than a million bags in 2019, which was more than a third of the nearly 3 million pieces of luggage lost or mishandled among U.S. airlines combined.

Broken down, American, its regional affiliates and its codeshare partners, lost or mishandled 8.48 pieces of luggage for every 1,000 it processed.

The Morning News said American blamed its baggage woes on disputes with union mechanics and the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max.

“Last year, we faced significant operational challenges that impacted our results, including the grounding of the Max, and, most significantly, a higher number of aircraft out of service,” American spokesman Ross Feinstein said in a statement to the paper. “A big contributor to our high [aircraft out of service] numbers was the illegal [union mechanics] slowdown, which disrupted our operation during the peak period.”

Budget airlines Allegiant and Frontier were the top two carriers when it came to delivering luggage, with Southwest third.

American Airlines was already on pace in 2019 to collect more than $1.3 billion in bag fees, the most among any domestic carrier.

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