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Whether one is a domestic tourist, cruising from any spot in the United States to the many pretty islands in the Florida Keys—or flying across the Atlantic to the Palace of Versailles in Paris— in order to learn some fascinating history about Marie Antoinette, losing a suitcase at the airport or arriving an hour late, is not anyone’s idea of a perfect flight. That’s the reason many travelers are a bit picky with respect to a particular airline or even an airport. It’s something they’ve learned from their many years of coasting in the sky.


But for first-time travelers, choosing an airline can be frustrating. And it’s not just enough to ask a friend or a colleague. One’s social circle may have inadequate travel experience. Also, people are not always objective. That’s the reason the 2022 travel statistics we share below may transform what would be a terrible experience—into an enjoyable one.

Afraid Of Mishandled Luggage? These Are The Airlines To Avoid.

According to the June-2022 Air Travel Consumer Report, American Airlines Network posts the highest number of mishandled bags. The month of April alone saw a total of 64,893 cases of mishandled bags. This figure includes the mishandled bags on its branded codeshare partners. On the flip side, Allegiant Air and Hawaiian Airlines had the lowest mishandled bags at 880 and 1,341, respectively. Looks like travelers who don’t want their luggage mishandled should just avoid American Airlines Network. But not that first. Perhaps American Airlines Network generally makes more flights—and therefore carries more luggage—than their counterparts which seem to be doing well. Therefore, what we should be looking for is the rate of mishandled incidences per luggage carried and not just absolute numbers.

Unfortunately, when we do this, nothing much changes. We find that American Airlines Network still comes up top as the airline with the highest rate of mishandled bags—per bag transported—and that Allegiant Air is the best at keeping bags. However, there’s a saving grace: The rates of mishandled luggage are quite low. In the case of American Airlines Network, it is 0.78 per 100 bags. For Allegiant Air, it’s 0.14. This means that for every 1,000 bags that the American Airlines Network carries, about eight are likely to be mishandled. On the flip side, for every 1,000 bags that Allegiant Air carries, only one bag is likely to be mishandled. According to the report, mishandled luggage refers to “bags that are lost, damaged, delayed, or pilfered.” The report included a survey of 17 United States airlines that meet a certain level of total domestic passenger revenues.

For every 1,000 bags that they carry, Hawaiian Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Spirit Airlines mishandle 2.6, 3.3, and 4.4 bags, respectively. On the other side of the spectrum, and for the same number of bags carried, Alaska Airlines, Republic Airways, and Envoy Air mishandled 7.6, 7.5, and 7.1 bags, respectively. The report also shows that cases of mishandled bags have increased by about 66% from April 2021 to April 2022.

Related: 20 Things All Travelers Should 100% Avoid Doing At Airports.

Afraid Of Delayed Flights? These Are The Airlines To Board Or Avoid.

A delayed flight can make someone miss a connecting flight and put the whole travel itinerary in total disarray. According to the June-2022 Air Travel Consumer Report, it’s Endeavor Air—of the 17 air carriers—that is best in keeping time. That’s according to the reporting operating carrier. Endeavor Air is right on time 85% of the time. Mesa Airlines, Skywest Airlines, and PSA Airlines—follow—with 84.2%, 83%, and 81.1%, respectively. On the not-so-good side of timeliness, the report reveals that JetBlue Airways is on time only 53.3% of the time. That means that almost one in every two JetBlue Airways flights will most likely delay. Other flights that are tardy at keeping time are Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Allegiant Air which are on time 58.4%, 58.5%, and 59.3%, respectively.

According to the report, a flight is on time if it arrives or departs within 15 minutes of the scheduled time. Also, according to the reporting operating carriers, the 17 carriers are punctual 75.7% of the time—on average.

Related: The 10 Worst Problems You Can Run Into In An Airport (& How To Solve Them).

These Are The Airlines Travelers Complain Most About

Spirit Airlines had a total of 637 complaints in the month of April 2022—the highest recorded number of the 17 carriers. Since there were 3,173 complaints in the same period, complaints leveled against Spirit Airlines constitute a whopping 20% of all travel complaints recorded for the period. American Airlines, JetBlue, and Frontier—follow in that order—with 491, 481, and 383, respectively. Complaints leveled against these four carriers alone constitute 62.7% of all the complaints.

Both Breeze Airways and Piedmont Airlines had six complaints, the least of the air carriers. When we tease out the nature of complaints, we find that flight problems are the most complained about.

There it is. While it’s good to ask friends about which airline to use or avoid, going direct to the data always gives the most objective review.