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Posted: April 12, 2017

What do airline passengers complain about the most?

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Matt Cardy/Getty Images
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By Justin Gray, Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau

As the backlash continues after a passenger was dragged off of a United Airlines flight, we’re looking into federal records to see the top issues travelers have with airlines. 

Nearly 18,000 people called or went online to file official complaints with the Department of Transportation last year. 

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Digging through complaints, we found out being bumped off of flights is not one of the biggest issues from travelers.

Fewer than 600 people reported that problem to the DOT. 

Flight problems like delays and cancellations were the number one complaint.

Lost or damaged bags were the number two complaint.

The most complained about airline was Spirit. United was towards the bottom as well. 

Southwest Airlines had the fewest complaints.

Our Justin Gray learned that out of more than 700 million flights in 2016, only 20 people complimented their air service to the Department of Transportation. 

Charlie Leocha, with Traveler's United, said it's travelers who suffer when flights are overbooked. 

"They're trying to save money. They're pinching pennies. They're cutting corners and it's not good for consumers," he said.

The total number of customer complaints is actually down year to year.


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