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DOT: July Flight Cancellations Drop But Complaints Rise

While the percentage of domestic airline flight cancellations fell from June to July, the number of consumer complaints rose, the US Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

About 1.8 percent of domestic flights operated by 10 network carriers were canceled in July, an improvement over June’s cancellation rate of 3.1 percent, according to the DOT.

About 607,700 domestic flights were operated in July 2022, about 86.5 percent of the nearly 702,900 flights operated in July 2019 and a slight increase from the 605,500 flights operated in June 2022.

Among the carriers with the lowest rates of canceled flights in July were Hawaiian Airlines (0.1 percent), Spirit Airlines (0.4 percent) and Alaska Airlines (0.4 percent). The carriers with the highest rates of canceled flights were American Airlines (2.5 percent), United Airlines (2.0 percent) and JetBlue (1.8 percent).

The DOT on September 1 launched an airline customer service dashboard that details passengers’ meal or hotel voucher entitlements in the event of cancellations or delays. The dashboard release prompted nine of the 10 largest airlines to change their plans to improve passenger service, according to Dot.

Despite fewer cancellations, consumer aviation complaints rose 16.5 percent month-on-month to 6,831 in July, 264 percent above pre-pandemic levels. About 51 percent of complaints in July 2022 were against US carriers, 43 percent against foreign carriers and 6 percent against travel companies. Baggage issues topped the list, accounting for 27 percent of all complaints, most of which were against foreign carriers.

Related: US consumer air travel complaints rose 35 percent in June compared to May


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