Consumer Watchdog

Consumer complaints against U.S. airlines hit record in 2022

Frontier, Spirit, JetBlue have the worst complaint ratios, measured per 100,000 passengers. Horizon, SkyWest, Mesa and Delta have the best records.

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Consumers filed more complaints against U.S. airlines last year than in any prior year going back to at least 1990, with 47,591 complaints filed last year. There was only one other year, 2020, with more than even 21,000 complaints against U.S. airlines. (Records before 1990 aren’t available, but experts say it’s highly unlikely more complaints were in a given year before that could be done online.)

DOT data released April 12 show passengers are increasingly unhappy with air travel because of cancellations, delays, lost baggage, refunds not issued, bumping and more.

Overall in 2022, consumers filed 77,656 total complaints against U.S. and foreign airlines, travel agents, third-party booking websites and others. That’s the second-highest number ever behind refund-plagued 2020, according to DOT records going back to at least 1990. But in 2020, most of the 102,550 complaints were against foreign airlines. So last year was a record for U.S. airlines.

Read about the best and the worst airlines, our recommendations and what’s going on in Washington to address the problems in our report, The Plane Truth Part 2.

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