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Top 5 TSA, Airline Complaints Revealed

By Aditi Mukherji, JD | Last updated on

As summer vacation draws near, travel awaits -- along with potential airline and TSA complaints. So what are the most common reasons for customer complaints?

We can only guess, as most complaints probably go unreported. But for those who take the time to file official complaints, the U.S. Department of Transportation is listening -- and they've compiled the data in public reports posted online.

While the latest report was released in September 2012, it covers complaints filed in July 2012, providing a snapshot of what travelers may endure this summer.

Without further ado, here are the Top 5 airline and TSA complaints:

Airline Complaints

According to the report, airlines were the target of more than 2,400 passenger complaints last July. The most common complaints involved:

  1. Flight problems (cancellations, delays, and misconnections), totaling 840 complaints;
  2. Reservations, ticketing, and boarding, with 497 complaints;
  3. Customer service, with 311 complaints;
  4. Baggage issues, with 281 complaints; and
  5. Refunds, which triggered 153 complaints.

In step with our articles regarding airlines accommodating passengers with disabilities and discriminating against passengers, complaints about disability accommodations (No. 7 on the list, with 97 complaints) and discrimination (No. 11, with 16 complaints) also made the list.

TSA Complaints

As for complaints received by the TSA, the DOT's report listed five categories. These complaints most commonly involved:

  1. Damage claims, totaling 732 complaints (both at security checkpoints and regarding checked bags);
  2. Personal property issues, with 401 complaints;
  3. Courtesy, with 291 complaints;
  4. Processing time, with 118 complaints; and
  5. Screening procedures, 27 complaints.

How to Complain

Passengers can file complaints with the Department of Transportation regarding safety and security, airline service, as well as disability and other forms of discrimination.

To file a complaint, you'll have to provide some personal information like your name, address, and telephone number. You will also have to provide a detailed description of the experience leading to the complaint.

After you file the complaint, a specialist will be assigned to handle your complaint and will send you an acknowledgement of receipt of your concern. The specialist might conduct a fact-finding inquiry into the complaint and recommend measures to be put in place.

Here's hoping your summer travel plans don't end with a TSA or airline complaint. But if you do run into some legal turbulence of any sort, you may want to make our online lawyer directory your next destination.

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