This Is the Airport Most Likely to Lose Or Damage Your Baggage

This Is the Airport Most Likely to Lose Or Damage Your Baggage


While behind turbulence and someone trying to open a window during a flight, baggage loss is a very common nightmare scenario among travelers.

One survey by lounge access program Priority Pass found that 61% of travelers consider fear of lost luggage to be the most stressful part of the airport experience — just behind the 63% who fear getting stuck in airport traffic (respondents could select more than one stressor) and below the 57% who worry about a misplaced passport or check-in trouble.

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Looking at percentages of loss and damage reports across the country’s 100 busiest airports, a report from Forbes Advisor found that lost and damaged baggage is a particular problem at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.


This Airport Officially Has The Worst Luggage Loss Record In The Country

Between 2013 and 2022, the country’s sixth-busiest airport saw an average of 1.93 property loss claims for every 100,000 domestic travelers and 1.48 property damage claims for the same number. While the risks are still very low, these are officially the worst numbers in the nation.

The fact that only 18.82% of property loss claims were reimbursed in full also helped bring down JFK’s total score. The study did not analyze rates among international travelers.

Other airports with a bad track record include Miami International Airport and Los Angeles’ LAX — both airports have higher-than-average rates of loss and damages while the number of times claims were reimbursed in full hover at no more than 26%.

“LAX also tied with Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport for having the 11th highest number of property damage claims (0.70 claims per 100,000 domestic passengers) among the 100 busiest airports,” reads the report.

New Yorkers are unfortunately out of luck since two other airports in the state, Albany International Airport and Westchester County Airport, made the top 15 on the bad list.

Looking at airlines, American Airlines (AAL) – Get Free Report topped the list of those most likely to lose or damage one’s baggage. For every 1,000 suitcases, the airline mishandles 5.34 — the 5% rate is the highest out of all the airlines looked at in the study.

‘More Likely To Lose Or Damage Luggage’

“More than half (60%) of American adults with vacation plans in the next six months have concerns about an airline losing their luggage […],” write Forbes editors Michelle Megna and Jason Metz. “Historically, some airports have been more likely to lose or damage luggage during the Transportation Security Administration screening process, and less likely to fully reimburse travelers for lost and damaged property.”

With the exception of Utah-based Skywest (SKYW) – Get Free Report, the other airlines in the top five hovered at or below the 4% range — United (UAL) – Get Free Report, Alaska Airlines (ALK) – Get Free Report and JetBlue (JBLU) – Get Free Report all rounded out the list but fell significantly below American Airlines both in terms of number of cancelations and the likelihood of passengers receiving compensation in the event of loss.

“U.S. Department of Transportation regulations stipulate that airlines are required to compensate you if your baggage is lost, delayed or damaged while in transit,” the editors write. “[…] For domestic travel, the maximum amount an airline is required to pay for lost, delayed or damaged baggage is $3,800 per person. For international travel, it’s about $1,700 per person.”