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Why United Loses the Most Bags Each Year

Our special luggage report looked into why some 26 million bags disappear each year—but which airlines lose or damage the most pieces of luggage? Since January, the clear leader in that department has been United. It holds the worst record of all the major airlines: It mishandled between three and four bags per 1,000 passengers in April (the most recent month we have stats for) versus .86 bags per 1,000 for the top airline, Virgin America. That translates into nearly 20,000 bags going astray that month—far worse than last year’s performance.