Got a complaint about the travel industry? It’s got one about you, too

“I’m weary of those entitled passengers who are continuously whining and complaining,” says Lisa Thomas, a veteran flight attendant based in Denver. “I feel like telling them, ‘Take some responsibility for your choices.’ ”

Thomas’s comments, made to me after a recent column about the rise of fees in the travel industry, triggered a fascinating debate. Many travelers say that they think fees are out of control, particularly in the airline business. The top 10 airlines collected more than $28 billion in revenue from extra fees and services last year, up from about $2 billion a decade ago, according to a recent study by the consulting firm IdeaWorks.

At the same time, many in the industry say that they think people are getting exactly what they paid for: a quality product at a ridiculously low price. Industry employees like Thomas suggest that travelers have become spoiled. Read more “Got a complaint about the travel industry? It’s got one about you, too”

In another frenetic month for complaints, American Airlines extends its losing streak

October was another wild month for reader complaints, with the number of grievances jumping an impressive 27 percent from a year ago and coming just a few cases short of tying an all-time record.
Read more “In another frenetic month for complaints, American Airlines extends its losing streak”

You’ve never heard of these people, but they’ve changed the way you fly

Their advocacy results in big, embarrassing airline fines. They’ve helped create federal agencies that make air travel safer. And they’ve brought competition and transparency to the skies. Read more “You’ve never heard of these people, but they’ve changed the way you fly”

What should we do with these odd complaints?

Wow. Test. You.

Scroll through our vast complaints database — more than 2,000 of them this year — and you’ll see a lot of familiar names under the “company” category. And some you would not expect. Read more “What should we do with these odd complaints?”

Consumer complaints slide for September as summer vacations end

Want proof that the summer travel season is over? Have a look at our latest consumer complaint report card, which shows the number of grievances received through this site slid to 286 for the month, down from a record 340 cases in August.
Read more “Consumer complaints slide for September as summer vacations end”

As airline complaints soar, the government comes to the rescue

Kendra Thornton is an unlikely candidate for government aid, but when Frontier Airlines recently denied her a seat on a flight from Chicago to Denver, that’s exactly what she got.
Read more “As airline complaints soar, the government comes to the rescue”

Who’s responsible for the scam epidemic?

For the 12th year in a row, ID theft is the number-one complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, the agency announced recently. It’s followed by the usual shenanigans, including debt collection schemes, bogus sweepstakes, and bank fraud.
Read more “Who’s responsible for the scam epidemic?”

The opaque travel site with the most complaints is … (this one’s for the math cops)

By now, my friends, you must know that these “in” box polls have a certain randomness and statistical irrelevance to them.

The math police came after me after totaling the online travel agency complaints a few days ago. They also frowned on my analysis of fee complaints.

But is that going to stop me? Oh no.
Read more “The opaque travel site with the most complaints is … (this one’s for the math cops)”

And the online travel agency with the most complaints is …

Expedia. That’s according to a survey of my authoritative email “in” box, which contains seven years of complaint data from travelers. Coming in second? Travelocity, followed by Orbitz.

Alright, my methods may not be completely scientific (after all, my email contains all of my correspondence, not just complaints) but it’s a pretty good indicator.
Read more “And the online travel agency with the most complaints is …”