2013 Airline Consumer Complaints Down From Previous Year
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February 14, 2014

Airline consumer complaints filed with the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Aviation Consumer Protection Division during 2013 were down 14.1 percent from 2012, according to the DOT's Air Travel Consumer Report.

The Department received 13,168 complaints in 2013, down from the 15,338 complaints filed in 2012. In December, the Department received 1,114 complaints about airline service from consumers, up 23.5 percent from the 902 complaints received in December 2012, and up 47.5 percent from the total of 755 filed in November 2013.

The consumer report includes data for on-time performance, tarmac delays, cancellations, chronically delayed flights, and the causes of flight delays filed with the Department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by the reporting carriers. In addition, the report contains information on passengers denied confirmed space (oversales/bumping) as filed with BTS by the carriers, mishandled baggage reports filed by consumers with the carriers, and airline service complaints received by DOT's Aviation Consumer Protection Division.

The report also includes reports of incidents involving the loss, death, or injury of pets traveling by air, as required to be filed by U.S. carriers.

In terms of on-time performance, Hawaiian Airlines was best with a 92.4 percent on-time arrival rate. Virgin America was second at 85.6 percent, followed by Alaska Airlines at 85.5 percent. The worst performer for on-time arrivals was Southwest Airlines, with only 57.7 percent of flights arriving on-time.

For the highest rate of cancelled flights, American Eagle Airlines finished at the bottom of the list with 9.4 percent of flights cancelled. American Eagle was followed on the worst-performer list by American Airlines with 6.5 percent, and ExpressJet Airlines with 5.4 percent of its flights cancelled.

The best performer for least amount of cancelled flights was, once again, Hawaiian Airlines, with only 0.2 percent of its flights cancelled. Hawaiian was followed closely by Delta Airlines and Frontier Airlines, with only 0.4 and 0.5 percent of flights cancelled respectively.