Baggage damage: The 10 airlines with the highest risk

A suitcase that arrives damaged or broken on the baggage carousel – that can spoil the holiday mood. An evaluation now shows which airlines have a particularly high risk of luggage being damaged.

Dents, scratches, torn areas – and in the worst case, not only the case is broken, but also the contents. If you don’t just fly on vacation with hand luggage, you have to leave your luggage in someone else’s hands. However, the workers at the airport do not always handle suitcases, travel bags, rucksacks and the like with care.

Whether the piece of luggage arrives intact at the destination and travelers can collect it again at the baggage carousel also depends on the airline booked. Some are more careful with luggage than others, luggage company Trifibre found out.

Baggage broken: Ryanair receives the most complaints

The results: Ryanair , the Irish airline, is most likely to have checked baggage arrive damaged at its destination . More than one in ten complaints received by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) between 2015 and 2020 concerned Ryanair.

However, this should also be put into perspective: A total of 108 pieces of luggage were damaged at Ryanair in six years – and that with an annual passenger volume of up to 149 million travelers.

Baggage damage: No German airline in the top ten

While the low-cost airline Ryanair does not enjoy the best reputation anyway, second place in the ranking should come as a surprise: Emirates! According to the CAA, the airline received 47 complaints between 2015 and 2020, accounting for 6 percent of all complaints about damaged baggage. The Italian airline Alitalia, which has since been discontinued, ranks third with 40 complaints (5 percent).

Pleasing from a German point of view: none of the German airlines is represented in the top ten.

Suitcase damaged: Air travelers have to wait a long time for reimbursement

However, there is also bad news for passengers: In less than half of all cases, 46 percent, the complaint was accepted and the airline was actually held responsible for the damage to the luggage.

Particularly annoying: In 41 percent of the cases, passengers did not even receive any feedback. And even when a decision is made, passengers need a lot of patience. On average, it took 154 days for the matter to be decided. United Airlines customers in particular have to persevere: on average, the airline took 418 days to reply.

With these airlines, luggage breaks down the most

The top ten at a glance: 

  1. Ryanair
  2. Emirates
  3. Alitalia
  4. Ethiad Airways
  5. Iberia 
  6. Royal Air Morocco
  7. Vueling Airlines
  8. British Airways
  9. Jet2
  10. Turkish Airlines

Suitcase damaged? Travelers have these rights

If you notice damage to your suitcase after a flight, it is best to report the damage immediately to the Lost and Found desk. Because the deadline for such a report is only seven days. Those whose luggage was severely damaged on the way to their holiday have the right to buy a replacement suitcase straight away – i.e. if the journey still lies ahead of them. Then the airline has to reimburse the expenses, but the costs for the purchase should be proportionate.

People who suffer damage to their suitcases on the way home must give the airline the opportunity to have the suitcase repaired. Travelers can also be reimbursed for the current value of the suitcase, but they should then be able to show or explain the costs with proof of purchase.