Updated July 3, 2013

Infographic: Lost Luggage Statistics

Lost Luggage: Don't Let Your Baggage Become a Statistic
Read more about Baggage Insurance

As Americans prepare to travel this holiday season, our "Lost Luggage" infographic helps you lessen the aggravation that comes along with lost luggage.

Did you know, some credit cards offer baggage insurance as a benefit?

(Click Image to Enlarge)
Infographics: Lost Baggage
Infographics: Lost Baggage © CreditDonkey

"Traveling is stressful enough with security and the long lines. Now Americans have to worry about their baggage," says Charles Tran, founder of the credit card comparison website, CreditDonkey.com. "As Americans embark on holiday travel, we recommend travelers to consider using a credit card with complimentary baggage insurance benefit."

With $1.67 billion in baggage fees collected in the first half of 2011 alone, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), airlines acquire a significant amount of revenue by charging baggage fees.

At the same time, statistics from BTS show that 2.04 million bags were mishandled in 2010. On average, 3.57 reports per 1,000 passengers.

We recommend travelers consider using credit cards with baggage insurance.

Fees

Find out the Real Cost of Flying. Visit Expedia to view side-by-side comparisons of baggage fees of different airlines. Also, as fees are subject to change, remember to confirm the baggage fees on each airline’s website.

View your airline’s baggage policy, often found online, to see limitations such as baggage size, weight, or number of carry-ons and checked bags. There may be other exceptions as well, such as those with disabilities or in the military. If you fly frequently enough, it may be a good idea to purchase new lightweight luggage that allows you to carry everything in a carry-on or in one big checked-in bag instead of two. View airline size and weight limits first.

Prohibited Items

You definitely do not want to pack and drive to the airport only to discover security must confiscate something from you. Many people have lost valuable items this way. Go to the TSA website to learn more. Additionally, once on the website, read the “Other” category carefully as this limits many items, including things innocuous as peanut butter.

Lost Luggage

How to Avoid:

  • Tag your luggage with name and contact information.
  • Lock your bags with TSA approved locks to avoid theft.
  • Flights with fewer connections mean less chance of your bags becoming lost.
  • Fewer bags checked means there less likely to get lost. Carry them on when possible.
  • Take a photo of your bags, so you have something to show if they become lost.

When They Are Lost:

  • See if it is at the baggage office.
  • Give the clerk your baggage stubs, so they can track it and see if it is on another flight.
  • If truly lost, see how much compensation you can receive.

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Follow @CreditDonkey or write to Kelly Teh at kelly@creditdonkey.com
Kelly Teh is a features writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped travelers make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

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CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.