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Air Travel Consumer Report: June-December 2023, Full Year 2023 Airline Consumer Submissions Data

Air Travel Consumer Report: June-December 2023, Full Year 2023 Airline Consumer Submissions Data
Air Travel Consumer Report: June-December 2023, Full Year 2023 Airline Consumer Submissions Data

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today released data on the submissions (complaints, inquiries, and opinions) it has received from consumers about air travel for June-December 2023 and the full calendar year 2023. The submissions about air travel in calendar year 2023 are the highest number on record except for calendar year 2020.    […]

The post Air Travel Consumer Report: June-December 2023, Full Year 2023 Airline Consumer Submissions Data first appeared on Reliable News.

Air Travel Consumer Report: June-December 2023, Full Year 2023 Airline Consumer Submissions Data

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today released data on the submissions (complaints, inquiries, and opinions) it has received from consumers about air travel for June-December 2023 and the full calendar year 2023. The submissions about air travel in calendar year 2023 are the highest number on record except for calendar year 2020.   

The release of the submissions data in the Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) was delayed primarily because of the high volume of complaints against airlines and ticket agents received by the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection (OACP) and the time needed to review and process these consumer complaints using the Department’s outdated legacy consumer complaint application system. Over the past three years, complaints made up an average of 91% of consumer submissions. 

The Department has been actively working on modernizing its system for handling consumer complaints with the support of a Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) investment to improve the customer experience for the tens of thousands of consumers who use the system each year. The modernization of the system will also enable OACP to engage in oversight of the airline industry more effectively.  

As DOT modernizes its system, given the continued high volume of air travel service complaints concerning airlines and ticket agents, DOT has revised how it processes consumer complaints for efficiency which has resulted in less granular data being available in the ATCR. Except for displaying civil rights complaints in a similar manner as before, the ATCR displays consumer submissions (complaints, inquiries, and opinions) as opposed to complaints for June-December 2023 and compares submissions received in 2023 to the total submissions received for the same period in 2022. The Department will revert to displaying detailed complaint data in the ATCR in a similar manner as before once its new modernized system is operational. 

Calendar Year 2023 

In calendar year 2023, DOT received 96,853 submissions, compared to 86,240 in calendar year 2022. 

Of the 96,853 submissions received in 2023, 67,661 concerned U.S. carriers, 24,991 concerned foreign air carriers, and 3,162 concerned travel companies. 

In calendar year 2023, the Department received a total of 2,685 disability-related complaints, up from the total of 2,098 complaints received in calendar year 2022.  

In calendar year 2023, the Department received a total of 223 discrimination-related complaints, up from the total of 176 complaints received in calendar year 2022.  

June 2023 

In June 2023, DOT received 9,204 airline service submissions, compared to 6,552 submissions in June 2022. 

Of the 9,204 submissions received in June 2023, 6,847 concerned U.S. carriers, 2,059 concerned foreign air carriers, and 242 concerned travel companies. 

In June 2023, the Department received a total of 278 disability-related complaints, up from the total of 175 complaints received in June 2022.  

In June 2023, the Department received a total of 33 discrimination-related complaints, up from the total of 15 complaints received in June 2022.  

July 2023 

In July 2023, DOT received 12,590 airline service submissions, compared to 7,607 submissions in July 2022. 

Of the 12,590 submissions received in July 2023, 9,714 concerned U.S. carriers, 2,569 concerned foreign air carriers, and 217 concerned travel companies. 

In July 2023, the Department received a total of 300 disability-related complaints, up from the total of 248 complaints received in July 2022.  

In July 2023, the Department received a total of four discrimination-related complaints, down from the total of 13 complaints received in July 2022.  

August 2023 

In August 2023, DOT received 10,132 airline service submissions, compared to 8,076 submissions in August 2022. 

Of the 10,132 submissions received in August 2023, 7,348 concerned U.S. carriers, 2,472 concerned foreign air carriers, and 203 concerned travel companies. 

In August 2023, the Department received a total of 287 disability-related complaints, up from the total of 196 complaints received in August 2022.  

In August 2023, the Department received a total of 18 discrimination-related complaints, up from the total of 14 complaints received in August 2022.  

September 2023 

In September 2023, DOT received 7,510 airline service submissions, compared to 6,933 submissions in September 2022. 

Of the 7,510 submissions received in September 2023, 5,125 concerned U.S. carriers, 2,128 concerned foreign air carriers, and 169 concerned travel companies. 

In September 2023, the Department received a total of 158 disability-related complaints, down from the total of 187 complaints received in September 2022.  

In September 2023, the Department received a total of 13 discrimination-related complaints, up from the total of 12 complaints received in September 2022.  

October 2023 

In October 2023, DOT received 5,783 airline service submissions, compared to 6,239 submissions in October 2022. 

Of the 5,783 submissions received in October 2023, 3,719 concerned U.S. carriers, 1,806 concerned foreign air carriers, and 165 concerned travel companies. 

In October 2023, the Department received a total of 202 disability-related complaints, down from the total of 206 complaints received in October 2022.  

In October 2023, the Department received a total of 17 discrimination-related complaints, up from the total of 16 complaints received in October 2022.  

November 2023 

In November 2023, DOT received 4,783 airline service submissions, compared to 7,392 submissions in November 2022. 

Of the 4,783 submissions received in November 2023, 3,052 concerned U.S. carriers, 1,514 concerned foreign air carriers, and 142 concerned travel companies. 

In November 2023, the Department received a total of 185 disability-related complaints, up from the total of 164 complaints received in November 2022.  

In November 2023, the Department received a total of 35 discrimination-related complaints, up from the total of 11 complaints received in November 2022.  

December 2023 

In December 2023, DOT received 5,442 airline service submissions, compared to 17,832 submissions in December 2022. 

Of the 5,442 submissions received in December 2023, 3,368 concerned U.S. carriers, 1,855 concerned foreign air carriers, and 136 concerned travel companies. 

In December 2023, the Department received a total of 202 disability-related complaints, down from the total of 218 complaints received in December 2022.  

In December 2023, the Department received a total of 12 discrimination-related complaints, up from the total of nine complaints received in December 2022.  

DOT’s Historic Record of Consumer Protection Under the Biden-Harris Administration  

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, DOT has advanced the largest expansion of airline passenger rights, issued the biggest fines against airlines for failing consumers, and secured returns of more money to passengers in refunds and reimbursements than ever before in the Department’s history.  

  • DOT announced a final rule that requires airlines to provide automatic cash refunds to passengers when owed and another final rule to protect consumers from costly surprise airline fees. These rules significantly expand consumer protections in air travel, provide passengers an easier pathway to refunds when owed, and save consumers more than half a billion dollars every year in hidden and surprise junk fees. Provisions of the final rule on airline refunds were fortified through the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 (Public Law 118-63) that President Biden signed into law on May 16, 2024. 
     
  • In 2022, under Secretary Buttigieg’s guidance, DOT created an Airline Customer Service Dashboard known as FlightRights.gov to help airline passengers understand what they are entitled to receive when a delay or cancellation was within the airlines’ control and create standards that the Department can enforce. Now all 10 major U.S. airlines guarantee free rebooking and meals, and nine guarantee hotel accommodations when an airline issue causes a significant delay or cancellation. These are new commitments the airlines added to their customer service plans that DOT can legally ensure they adhere to and are displayed on flightrights.gov. 
     
  • Since President Biden took office, DOT has helped oversee the return of almost $4 billion in refunds and reimbursements owed to airline passengers – including more than $600 million to passengers affected by the Southwest Airlines holiday meltdown in 2022. 
  • Under Secretary Buttigieg, DOT has issued more than $166 million in penalties against airlines for consumer protection violations. Between 1996 and 2020, DOT collectively issued less than $71 million in penalties against airlines for consumer protection violations. 
     
  • DOT launched a new partnership with a bipartisan group of state attorneys general to fast-track the review of consumer complaints, hold airlines accountable, and protect the rights of the traveling public. 
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  • In 2023, the flight cancellation rate in the U.S. was a record low at under 1.2% – the lowest rate of flight cancellations in over 10 years despite a record amount of air travel. 
     
  • DOT is undertaking its first ever industry-wide review of airline privacy practices and its first review of airline loyalty programs.  

In addition to finalizing the rules to require automatic refunds and protect consumers from surprise fees, DOT is also pursuing rulemakings that would:   

  • Propose to ban family seating junk fees and guarantee that parents can sit with their children for no extra charge when they fly. Before President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg pressed airlines last year, no airline committed to guaranteeing fee-free family seating. Now, four airlines guarantee fee-free family seating, as the Department is working on its family seating junk fee ban proposal. 
     
  • Propose to make passenger compensation and amenities mandatory so that travelers are taken care of when airlines cause flight delays or cancellations. 
     
  • Expand the rights for passengers who use wheelchairs and ensure that they can travel safely and with dignity.  

Consumers may file air travel consumer or civil rights complaints online at  https://secure.dot.gov/air-travel-complaint, or they may mail a complaint to the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection, U.S. Department of Transportation, C-70, W96-432, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590. 

The ATCR and other aviation consumer matters of interest to the public can be found at https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer

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Official news published at https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/air-travel-consumer-report-june-december-2023-full-year-2023-airline-consumer

The post Air Travel Consumer Report: June-December 2023, Full Year 2023 Airline Consumer Submissions Data first appeared on Reliable News.