Airline complaints over the past year, despite the more bumping incidents

You would not know that looking through the latest travel headlines, but the complaints against airlines during the first quarter of 2017 are down 19.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

According to the latest Air Travel Consumer Report released by the Ministry of Transport, the entire number of complaints received by air carriers between January and March 2017 is just 3,731. And while that figure seems high, especially considering the fact that it only covers the first three months of the year, it is a far cry from the 4,629 complaints during the same period last year.


In addition, the POINT of the figures that are based on data from the Aviation Consumer Protection Division — reflect complaints filed against domestic and foreign carriers, but they also take into account any complaints filed against travel agents and tour operators to work with the flights.

Consumerist also notes that, despite American Airlines that most of the complaints (183) in the month of March, Spirit Airlines received the most complaints per passenger (102) in the same month, with roughly 5 out of every 100,000 passengers lodging a complaint.

Both the American and the Spirit, however, racked up fewer complaints in March 2017 than they did in March 2016, when the U.s. garnered 334 and Spirit garnered 174.

But just like every flight has a high and low points, so the DOT’s in the first quarter Air Travel Consumer Report. According to their figures, more people were bumped due to overbooked flights, both voluntarily and involuntarily, in the first few months of 2017 the first few months of 2016, but not by so very much.

In total 102,285 passengers voluntarily bumped from their flights (in exchange for a fee) and 9,566 involuntarily removed in 2017. In 2016, those numbers were only slightly less, with 97,619 passengers to volunteer their seats, and 9,445 will be removed.


In both years, Delta Air Lines was responsible for most voluntarily bumped passengers (28,328 in 2016; 38,344 in 2017) and Southwest bumped the most passengers involuntarily (3,116 in 2016; 2,573 in 2017).

The DOT the most recent figures with respect to the transfer is not aligned to the new airline policies are set after the April 9 incident on board United Express Flight 3411, where a 69-year-old passenger was forcibly and violently removed from an oversold flight.

At the end of April, for example, United announced a new incentive program to cut down on their number of involuntarily bumped passengers. Southwest Airlines announced their decision in April to eventually stop in the event of overbooking of flights at all.

It remains to be seen what the impact of these measures on the DOT the future of Air Travel Consumer Reports.

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