Airline Complaints Up 47.2% In First Half

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics complaints about airlines were up 47.2% in the first six months of 2007.

By far the most popular complaint was over delays, missed connections, and cancellations— resulting in 2,011 complaints from Jan-June 2007, almost twice the 1,045 from Jan-June of 2006. Mishandled baggage complaints were up too—from 923 in the first half of 2006 to 1,348 in 2007.

Which airlines are being complained about the most?

Shocking no one but themselves, US Airways managed to take the top spot as the most complained about US airline, beating United Airlines (#2), American Airlines (#3), Delta (#4) and Northwest (#5). Aloha Airlines was the least complained about airline, followed by Southwest and ExpressJet.

Ranked separately by the BTS, British Airways was the most complained about foreign airlines, drawing 137 complaints—81 of which were about baggage handling—by far the most common complaint for that airline. For those of you who do check baggage, you might want to make note: American Airlines leads the carriers in baggage-handling complaints with 209, followed by Delta with 171, and United with 160.

Did an airline ruin your day? Don’t forget to complain to the US. Department of Transportation so that your complaint can be added to their report.

Air Travel Consumer Report (PDF) [BTS]


Edit Your Comment

  1. shoegazer says:

    In other news, consumer blog’s readership grows by 47.2% in the first six months of 2007…

  2. FLConsumer says:

    Just looking over the report… and I think much of the report is useless. Aloha Air’s on-time performance is likely to be good because it doesn’t fly through too many major airports, where delays are common. Likewise, JetBlue, with it’s hub at JFK (which is eternally delayed, with only half of its flights being on-time) will show a higher percentage of late flights which may not be entirely under their control.

    Also, Kudos to Alaska Air for having the only DEATHS of the year thus far — 3 of them! Congrats. All of the other carriers managed to keep their passengers alive (even with the abuse they put them through), but you managed to actually kill them.

  3. Cap'n Jack says:

    Ya know, it is really crappy to have to wait 4 or 6 hours in the airport due to a delayed flight. But then, you have to sit on the tarmac for a few hours just to take off, and when you finally do, you have to look forward to sitting on the tarmac for another HOUR when you land, just to get into a gate.

    The industry really needs to get their act together. With the technology available today, there is no excuse for this type of crap to be happening.