ST. LOUIS — Air travel can entail hiccups, especially amid pilot and other staffing shortages and the lingering impacts of COVID-19 — and travel is getting more frustrating for passengers, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Complaints are more than 320% above pre-pandemic levels, according to the most recent report, which looked at which airlines racked up complaints in August 2022. There was a 6% increase between July and August, following a 16.5% jump between June and July.
The report examined complaints cross a variety of areas, including mishandled baggage, refunds, reservations, customer service, mishandled wheelchairs and other mobility aids, animals and more.
Southwest Airlines, the busiest carrier at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, had among the lower rates of complaints per 100,000 emplanements for major carriers in August: 303 complaints against 14.3 million emplanements, or a rate of 2.12 per 100,000 enplanements.
American Airlines, the second-busiest carrier at Lambert, didn't preform quite as well as Southwest in August: 956 complaints against 13.4 systemwide enplanements, or a rate of 7.11 complaints per 100,000 enplanements.
Delta Air Lines, Lambert's third-busiest carrier, performed reasonably well. The report found Delta had 435 complaints in August, with 12.8 million emplanements, giving it a rate of 3.38 complaints per 100,000 emplanements.
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