Airline Complaints Soar — but There’s a Silver Lining

Passenger complaints about the country’s leading airlines have nearly doubled compared with one year ago. However, there is some good news.

Passenger complaints about the country’s leading airlines have nearly doubled compared with one year ago, according to the latest monthly Air Travel Consumer Report.

That report, issued this month by the U.S. Department of Transportation, shows a total of 1,450 consumer complaints were filed against 13 airlines in August. That’s up from 773 in August 2014.

These figures represent complaints made to the government. Consumers also complain directly to airlines, so overall totals likely are higher.

The airlines with the highest complaint rates in August were:

  • Spirit
  • Frontier
  • American

Those with the lowest complaint rates were:

  • ExpressJet Airlines
  • Alaska
  • Southwest

The federal report isn’t all bad news, though. It shows that airlines are continuing to improve their on-time rates, for example. (The government defines on-time flights as those that arrive within 14 minutes of schedule, according to the Associated Press.)

In August, 80.3 percent of arrivals were on time. That’s up from 78.1 percent in July and from 77.7 percent in August 2014, the AP reports.

The airlines that had the lowest on-time rates in August were:

  • Spirit
  • JetBlue
  • Frontier

Those with the highest on-time rates were:

  • Delta
  • Alaska
  • Hawaiian

Have you flown recently? Let us know if you’d complain about or compliment the airline — leave a comment below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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