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U.S. Consumer Airline Complaints Up 300 Percent from 2019

The U.S. Department of Transportation received more than 5,000 complaints about airline service from consumers in April, up 14.8 percent from March and 321.5 percent from about 1,200 complaints received in April 2019, the agency reported last week.

Of the 5,079 complaints in April, about 63 percent were concerned about U.S. carriers, about 28 percent concerned about foreign carriers and the remaining 10 percent about travel airlines. One-third of refund-related complaints, while 31 percent involved flight cancellations, delays or “other deviations from the airline’s schedule” were in second place.

Reporting carriers canceled 2.3 percent of their scheduled domestic flights in April, up from 1.5 percent in March, but less than the 2.4 percent reported in April 2019, according to DOT. Delta Airlines (1.1 percent), Hawaiian Airlines (1.4 percent) and American Airlines (1.6 percent) had the lowest percentage of cancellations in April, followed by Spirit Airlines (10.3 percent), JetBlue (9 percent) and Alaska Airlines (3.8 percent).

The report comes at a time when carriers are trimming schedules to improve activities after a challenging holiday weekend. According to FlightAwar, the cancellation affected about 3,000 flights on Memorial Day weekend and about 3,400 flights on Juventus Weekend.

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