Airport complaints up nearly 270% from pre-pandemic levels

The on-time arrival rate for June 2022 was slightly higher than the rate pre-pandemic

Updated: August 29, 2022 - 4:07pm

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Air travel consumer complaints are up nearly 270% from pre-COVID pandemic levels, with a 34.9% increase in complaints from May to June alone, according to the Transportation Department's Air Travel Consumer Report for June.

During the first six months of 2022, the department received 28,550 complaints, more than it had during the entire year of 2019. In June 2022 alone, officials received 5,862 complaints, up 269.6% from the 1,586 complaints to the agency in June 2019.

Flight numbers are still down from before the pandemic with flights in June 2022 at 85.8% of the level as three years before, according to the agency's report, which was released on Friday.

Notably, the on-time arrival rate for June 2022 was 73.5%, or 0.2% higher than the on-time arrival rate three years prior.

The complaints focused on airline service, with 28.8% of the complaints involving cancellations or delays and 24.5% of the complaints involving refunds.

The Transportation Department recently concluded its probe of 10 airlines for "extreme delays in providing refunds" for canceled or significantly changed flights. The agency is actively investigating additional airlines refund practices, officials stated.

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