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Airline complaints nearly tripled in May from same month in 2019


Travelers at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) within the Queens borough of Recent York, US, on Friday, July 2, 2022.

Angus Mordant | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Staffing shortages. Delays. Lost luggage. Massive lines. High fares. Air travelers in 2022 have plenty to complain about.

By many measures travel is worse than last 12 months, but here’s how this 12 months’s problems compare with before the pandemic:

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation recorded 2,413 complaints against U.S. airlines in May, compared with only 814 in the identical month of 2019, in keeping with a report published Wednesday.
  • Complaints regarding flight cancellations, delays and missed connections greater than doubled since before the pandemic.
  • Compliments for these airlines rose to 2 received in May, up from one in May 2019.

This past May, just 77.2% of flights to U.S. airports arrived on time, down from 77.9% in May of 2019.

These numbers, the most recent available, don’t include the chaotic summer rush which has forced airlines like United, Delta and others to trim their schedules. The difficulties also prompted an intervention from the FAA over congestion in a few of the country’s busiest airspace. American and United executives will face investors Thursday after they discuss their operations on quarterly earnings calls.

Delta on Wednesday sent members of its frequent flyer program 10,000 miles due to recent disruptions if those customers flights were cancelled or delayed greater than three hours for trips from May 1 through the primary week week of July.

“While we cannot get better the time lost or anxiety caused, we’re robotically depositing 10K miles toward your SkyMiles account as a commitment to do higher for you going forward and restore the Delta Difference you understand we’re able to,” said the e-mail, a replica of which was seen by CNBC.

The DOT also recorded a jump in complaints about baggage with over 516 baggage-related issues reported in May 2022, up from 190 three years ago. Nonetheless, the speed of mishandled bags — lost, damaged, delayed, or pilfered — are literally lower than the identical month of 2019, with 0.56 out of 100 enplaned bags in May, down from 0.63 per 100 bags in May three years earlier.

Mishandlings of wheelchairs and scooters across the 2 periods was similarly regular. While total mishandlings increased by 159 incidents, the proportion of such occurrences was similar, at about 1.53% in May.

The speed and variety of mishandled bags in addition to wheelchairs and scooters, nonetheless, was up from last 12 months.

Read the May 2022 report here, and the May 2019 report here.

– CNBC’s Leslie Josephs contributed to this report.

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