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Air Travel Complaints Quadruple From Pre-Pandemic Levels

Air Travel Complaints Quadruple From Pre-Pandemic Levels
Mia Taylor

by Mia Taylor
on March 29, 2023
Past updated: 3:50 PM ET, Wed March 29, 2023

Consumers continue to be much less than happy with their air vacation experiences.

New information shows that whilst the number of folks who flew U.S. airlines in 2022 stays beneath pre-pandemic 2019 stages, problems about air journey have practically quadrupled as opposed to three many years back. What is more, the new information examination, from U.S. PIRG Education and learning Fund, does not even account for the tidal wave of purchaser grievances in December 2022, which resulted from the Southwest Airways scheduling meltdown.

The largest gripe among vacationers for 2022? The deficiency of refunds from airlines, which topped the listing for the very first 11 months of 2022. On the brilliant aspect, the quantity of refund issues total is down in comparison to 2021, the report notes. But they are however 10 times better than in 2019. And once more, as a reminder, this facts is all just before the onslaught of December 2022 purchaser complaint filings.

Supplemental highlights from the investigation incorporate:

-Airways canceled 190,038 flights in 2022 in the United States, which equates to 2.7 percent of all scheduled flights

-1.44 million far more flights, or 20.6 p.c, had been delayed

-Past yr observed the highest variety of cancellations considering the fact that 2001, when air journey was disrupted by the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults and the skies were being empty for times

-The variety of buyer issues focused only on cancellations and delays tripled in 2022 in comparison to 2019

-Airlines mishandled just about 3 million baggage, wheelchairs and scooters very last year

-Lost, ruined, delayed, or pilfered baggage represented complications with a increased percentage of checked bags than in 2021 or 2019.

Passenger at airport in Beijing, China.

Passenger at airport in Beijing, China. (photograph through 06photograph / iStock / Getty Illustrations or photos Plus)

All of these takeaways are centered on an examination of details from the Office of Transportation that was produced a number of weeks back. For the first time in 25 yrs, the DOT’s calendar year-conclude report did not include specific complaint data, according to the U.S. PIRG Training Fund. This is mainly because just after the Xmas weekend airline meltdown, there ended up “only far too lots of complaints for the DOT to tally,” the government agency said in its possess report.

Overall, the report notes that during a 12 months when the travel business- and the earth-was striving to return to some edition of pre-pandemic normalcy, the airline business only was not all set or up to the activity.”Almost each individual big getaway and journey period of time last yr was marred by cancellations,” suggests the report.

“In a nutshell, just about anything detrimental received even worse in 2022: complaints, cancellations, delays, involuntary bumping and baggage dealing with-all whilst the range of air travelers for the complete year of 2022 was beneath 2019 degrees,” states the U.S. PIRG Education Fund investigation.

This information will come as the sector is planning to enter what is mostly expected to be the busiest journey year in four years, with 78 million passengers projected in April.

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