Feds Say Airlines Are Getting Worse, Complaints Double In 2023


While all complaints were on the rise, it’s alarming to learn that the number of issues relating to accessibility almost doubled during the period. As the Associated Press explains:

There aren’t many people that legitimately enjoy flying, and I’m sure there’s a long list of things that most of us would rather be doing than squeezing into an aluminum tube for a few hours. In recent months, however, it feels like flying has gotten worse, and now there are stats to prove just how awful it has been for many of us.

Complaints from disabled travelers doubled at the start of this year.
Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg (Getty Images)

As well as a rise in the number of complaints, the DOT warned that some issues could stem from airlines announcing “flight schedules that they are unlikely to be able to perform.” As such, the agency is now investigating “several domestic airlines” and warned that they could face a hefty fine if found at fault.

In the first three months of 2023, complaints about airlines in the U.S. were up 88 percent over the same period in 2022, according to a report from the Associated Press. In total, the number of complaints against airlines hit 24,965 between January and the end of March 2023.

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In fact, the agency says things have gotten so bad that it hasn’t been able to process all the complaints it’s received this year, so May is the latest month it can offer stats for. What’s more, these figures only relate to complaints lodged with the Transportation Department, the AP warns that “many more complaints” were filed with individual airlines during the same period.

But it wasn’t just at the start of the year when airline service was awful. According to the report, the number of complaints filed against airlines was up 32 percent in April and 49 percent in May with more than 6,400 complaints being lodged with the U.S. Transportation Department.

A photo of someone pushing two Southwest Airlines wheelchairs.