DOT: July Flight Cancellations Drop But Complaints Rise

Despite the percentage of domestic air flights being canceled decreasing in July from June, the number of consumer complaints increased, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

About 1.8 percent of domestic flights operated in July by the 10 network carriers were canceled, an improvement over June’s cancellation rate of 3.1 percent, according to DOT.

There were nearly 607,700 domestic flights operated in July 2022, about 86.5 percent of the approximately 702,900 flights operated in July 2019 and a slight increase over the 605,500 flights operated in June 2022. 

The carriers with the lowest rate of canceled flights in July include Hawaiian Airlines (0.1 percent), Spirit Airlines (0.4 percent) and Alaska Airlines (0.4 percent). The carriers with the highest rates of canceled flights were American Airlines (2.5 percent), United Airlines (2.0 percent) and JetBlue (1.8 percent).

DOT on Sept. 1 launched an airline customer service dashboard giving details on passenger meal or hotel voucher entitlements when there is a cancellation or delay. The dashboard release prompted nine of the 10 largest airlines to make changes to their plans to improve passenger services, according to DOT.

Despite fewer cancellations, July consumer air complaints increased 16.5 percent month over month to 6,831 and were 264 percent above pre-pandemic levels. Nearly 51 percent of the July 2022 complaints were against U.S. carriers, 43 percent against foreign carriers and 6 percent against travel companies. Baggage issues topped the list, comprising 27 percent of all complaints, with most of those against foreign carriers.

RELATED: U.S. Consumer Air Travel Complaints Up 35 Percent in June Over May

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