Air Journey Complaints Quadruple From Pre-Pandemic Ranges

Air Journey Complaints Quadruple From Pre-Pandemic Ranges

Customers stay lower than happy with their air journey experiences.

New information exhibits that whereas the quantity of people that flew U.S. airways in 2022 stays under pre-pandemic 2019 ranges, complaints about air journey have almost quadrupled in comparison with three years in the past. What’s extra, the brand new information evaluation, from U.S. PIRG Schooling Fund, doesn’t even account for the tidal wave of client complaints in December 2022, which resulted from the Southwest Airways scheduling meltdown.

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Air Journey Complaints Quadruple From Pre-Pandemic Ranges

The largest gripe amongst vacationers for 2022? The dearth of refunds from airways, which topped the record for the primary 11 months of 2022. On the intense facet, the variety of refund complaints total is down compared to 2021, the report notes. However they’re nonetheless 10 occasions increased than in 2019. And once more, as a reminder, this information is all earlier than the onslaught of December 2022 client criticism filings.

Further highlights from the evaluation embrace:

—Airways canceled 190,038 flights in 2022 in america, which equates to 2.7 p.c of all scheduled flights

—1.44 million extra flights, or 20.6 p.c, have been delayed

—Final yr noticed the very best variety of cancellations since 2001, when air journey was disrupted by the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults and the skies have been empty for days

—The variety of client complaints targeted solely on cancellations and delays tripled in 2022 in comparison with 2019

—Airways mishandled almost 3 million luggage, wheelchairs and scooters final yr

—Misplaced, broken, delayed, or pilfered baggage represented issues with the next proportion of checked luggage than in 2021 or 2019.


Passenger at airport in Beijing, China.
Passenger at airport in Beijing, China. (picture by way of 06photo / iStock / Getty Photos Plus)

All of those takeaways are primarily based on an evaluation of knowledge from the Division of Transportation that was launched a couple of weeks in the past. For the primary time in 25 years, the DOT’s year-end report didn’t embrace particular criticism information, in response to the U.S. PIRG Schooling Fund. It is because after the Christmas weekend airline meltdown, there have been “just too many complaints for the DOT to tally,” the federal government company stated in its personal report.

General, the report notes that in a yr when the journey trade— and the world—was attempting to return to some model of pre-pandemic normalcy, the airline trade merely was not prepared or as much as the duty.“Almost each main vacation and journey interval final yr was marred by cancellations,” says the report.

“In a nutshell, nearly every part detrimental received worse in 2022: complaints, cancellations, delays, involuntary bumping and baggage dealing with—all whereas the variety of air vacationers for the complete yr of 2022 was under 2019 ranges,” says the U.S. PIRG Schooling Fund evaluation.

This information comes because the trade is making ready to enter what is essentially anticipated to be the busiest journey season in 4 years, with 78 million passengers projected in April.


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