Feds Say Airlines Are Somehow Getting Worse As Complaints Double In 2023

A photo of someone pushing two Southwest Airlines wheelchairs.
A photo of someone pushing two Southwest Airlines wheelchairs.

Complaints from disabled travelers doubled at the start of this year.

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.

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.

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.

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