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Airline complaints nearly tripled in May compared with same pre-pandemic month
July 21, 2022
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Airline complaints nearly tripled in May compared with the same month three years ago, according to a new Department of Transportation report.
The department's Air Travel Consumer Report, a product of the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection, issued this month looked at May flight delays, mishandled baggage, wheelchairs and scooters, animal incident reports and customer service reports to the Department of Homeland Security.
The department's data showed 2,413 complaints against U.S. airlines in May, compared with 814 in May 2019.
The 4,344 total complaints about airline service from consumers was down 14.5% from April – but still up 237% from the 1,289 complaints received in pre-pandemic May 2019.
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More than 1,470 were against foreign air carriers, and 457 were against travel companies.
Over 30% of this May's complaints concerned refunds and 23.8% concerned cancellations, delays or other deviations from airlines’ schedules, with the department noting that COVID-19 pandemic impacts continue "to result in significant changes to airline schedules and operations."
Reporting marketing carriers posted an on-time arrival rate that was up slightly from April and down just 0.7% from May 2019; the carriers canceled 2% of scheduled domestic flights which was equal to the same rate in May 2019.
Tarmac delays of more than three hours nearly doubled from April to May of this year.