Customer complaints to be addressed by airlines


Share on LinkedIn

New travel regulations formulated by the Department of Transportation become effective tomorrow on April 29th and will help US airlines better serve travelers. According to the Better Business Bureau, complaints have increased by 170% in the last five years concerning delayed and canceled flights, lost baggage and being stranded on the ground.

Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections” describes the new rules and is designed to bring some consumer satisfaction from an industry that has consistently ignored the very basics of customer service. Customers can look forward to such new services as:

  • Dealing with customer complaints. Airlines are required to acknowledge customer complaints within 30 days and address the complaint within 60 days. This is still a long time to wait for a response, but it sure beats the previous record of never hearing from anyone.
  • Late take-offs. The DOT will now be allowed to penalize airlines on domestic flights if they are more than 30 minutes late on at least 1/2 of their trips each month for four months in a row. It isn’t a “given” that your flights will leave on time, but at least it whips up an inkling of transparency for the airlines.
  • Tarmac delays. Airlines must provide adequate food and water to passengers within two hours of the aircraft being delayed. Bathrooms must be made available and operable. If the delay is more than three hours on the tarmac, the aircraft must return to the gate and allow the passengers to de-plane as long as it is safe and causes no airport disruption issues.
  • Website clarity. Each airline is required to display flight delay information for each domestic flight. This requirement might be extended for a period of time to allow airline companies to upgrade their computer capabilities, however it will be nice not to play the “delay” guessing game anymore.
  • Rights. The airline company must display a customer service plan as recommended by the DOT which clearly outlines the company’s policy for such services relating to over booking, baggage handling, customer compliance and other issues that might apply to passengers.

It’s hard to believe that the airline industry had to put up such a fuss just to give consumers back a bit of their dignity; let’s hope it works.

photo credit: AchimH

Possibly Related Posts:

  1. Spirit Airlines’ customer satisfaction a myth Spirit Airlines predominantly serves the East Coast, Caribbean, Bahamas, Latin…
  2. Jet Blue flies high with customer service perks Just check Terminal 5 at New York JFK airport for…
  3. Tighten your belt on Continental On Monday, Continental Airlines announced in-flight meals will now be…
  4. Delta Gets Proactive About a week ago, I received a letter from Delta…
  5. The Devil is Really in the Details Customers use detail management as an indicator of a service…

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Cheryl Hanna
Service Untitled
Cheryl Hanna is a successful real estate sales person in Florida and has used her customer service knowledge and experience to set her apart and gain a competitive edge in a very difficult market. Cheryl has been writing professionally since 1999 and writes for several blogs and online publications


  1. Great article. What I find interesting is that the points you highlight are seen as a step forward, rather than a basic requirement of simply keeping your customers informed. In my mind, such a basic level of service should be a given, a minimum expectation, rather than part of any regulations. It just goes to show how low down customers come on a list of priorities.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here