Airline consumer complaints up from previous year


WASHINGTON, DC – Airline consumer complaints filed with DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division during 2015 were up 29.8 percent from 2014, according to the US Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report released today.

For all of last year, the Department received 20,170 complaints, up from the total of 15,539 received in 2014. In December 2015, the Department received 1,565 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 46.9 percent from the total of 1,065 filed in December 2014 and up 19.6 percent from the 1,308 received in November 2015.

These complaints cover a range of aviation service issues such as flight problems, baggage, reservation and ticketing, refunds, consumer service, disability, and discrimination. Consumers can compare the overall complaint records of individual airlines to determine which airlines provide the best service and select airlines based on that knowledge. The complaints also serve as a basis for investigations, rulemaking, legislation, and research.

The consumer report also includes data on on-time performance, cancellations, tarmac delays, chronically delayed flights, and the causes of flight delays filed with the Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by the reporting carriers. In addition, the consumer report includes statistics on mishandled baggage reports filed by consumers with the reporting carriers as well as passengers denied confirmed space (oversales/bumping) as filed with BTS by the carriers. The consumer report also contains information about the total number of animals that died, were injured or were lost during air transport in December, as well as the calendar year, as filed by the air carriers with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division.

Consumers may file air travel service complaints on the web at