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How to File a Complaint Against an Airline?

How to File a Complaint Against an Airline

Both domestic and international air travel winds up with positive experiences. However, at times, lost luggage, unplanned delays, etc., can ruin a trip. In such circumstances, one may prefer to file a complaint against an airline. For the same, different methods are available, from online to offline. Further, through government agencies, complaints can be made against specific air carriers. Besides these, the legal option is available in case of major complaints/concerns. Regardless of the way chosen to file complaints, proper documentation is required, from personal to flight information. 

Types of Complaints to File Against Airlines

There are multiple kinds of complaints that a flier can file against an airline, based on his or her inconveniences faced. 

Some of the common complaints are mentioned below:

  • Lost or delayed luggage
  • Bumped from an oversold flight
  • Breach of the contract of carriage
  • Refusal of refund
  • Flight cancellations
  • Issues with FFP (Frequent Flyer Programs)
  • Damaged luggage
  • Problems with booking tickets
  • Trouble with family seatings
  • Unprofessional services

Contact the Airline Directly for Filling a Complaint 

In case any traveler has a complaint regarding a mishap before departure or after arrival, it is vital to directly get in touch with the airline’s officials. The officials will handle the complaint, whether online or in person.

Here are a few methods to file complaints directly to the airline:  

  1. Make Online Complaints:

For filing a complaint against an airline online, a flyer can use the particular air carrier’s official website, email ID, and social media handles. 

  • On the website, fill out the complete complaint form, if available. 
  • Or, write an email regarding a complaint to the airline and send it. 
  • Further, the officials are available on social media platforms to listen to flyers. 
  1. Offline Complaints Against Airline 

With offline ways, one can make a complaint against the airline by using its official phone number. Further, for in-person assistance, travelers can make complaints at the airport. 

Assemble Valid Documentation to File a Complaint Against an Airline

Before initiating the complaint process, one must gather all the legal papers needed to strengthen the case. A few of the papers or documents are listed below:

  • Provide flight details, such as the date and time.
  • Boarding passes are necessary as valid proof of traveling with the specific airline.
  • On-the-spot captured videos/photos of damaged luggage/standing in long queues are useful as proof.  
  • Receipts of overpaid money on meals due to flight delays or lost luggage are vital. 

Getting in Touch with the Airline After Filling Complaints 

After filing complaints against the airline,  sometimes, it may happen that no response may be received. In such instances, connect again with the airline for follow-up, via the same mode of communication used for reporting the inconveniences. 

Along with this, travelers can consider the following for further help:

  • When the former response is not up to satisfaction, speak with higher authorities.
  • Also, maintain a record of every communication with the airline, including:
    • Names of agents
    • Dates
    • Corresponding reference numbers

Seek Alternative Help to File Complaints Against Airlines 

Apart from directly complaining to airlines, a flier can choose different alternatives to report the instances. Some alternative options to consider are listed below:

  1. Customer Protection Agencies

A flier can seek help from consumer protection agencies to make complaints against airlines. They offer valuable suggestions and sometimes even advocate on the customer’s behalf.

  1. Aviation Regulatory Bodies 

An aviation regulatory body is the government agency owned by each country to oversee airlines. Its main objective is to make sure that the airlines follow all the rules and regulations. In the United States, flyers can file complaints against airlines with the Department of Transportation (DOT) via its official website.

  1. Federation Aviation Administration (FAA)

Complaints regarding flight safety come under the FAA. When flyers have any issues regarding possible dangers or safety violations while traveling, they can file reports against airlines through the FAA’s official site. 

Take Legal Action for Complaints Against the Airline 

Passengers have the option to make complaints against airlines legally. However, this method is suitable when instances like major injuries or death of travelers occur while traveling by air. Also, to legally file complaints against airlines, a traveler is required to pay high charges. 

Air travel is one of the best experiences a flier can have. However, sometimes, one can have a bad experience. In such instances, direct complaints can be made against airlines. Further, one can make complaints with customer protection agencies/aviation bodies to find the best possible solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions
What details are required to file a complaint against an airline?

Flight information, personal details, etc., are required to file a complaint against an airline.

Are there any airline procedures or forms for submitting complaints?

Yes, a particular complaint procedure/form is there on the airline’s website for use.

When can I anticipate a complaint response from an airline?

One can expect a complaint response within 3 days. Though airlines have varying response times.

How will I know about my complaint progress with an airline?

Communicate with the airline’s officials via mail/phone to know about the complaint’s progress.

Who will look over the complaints within the airline?

The airline’s customer assistance department will look over the complaints.

Is there contact information for a complaint filing with an airline?

An airline has specific contact information on its official website for reporting issues.

Can an airline’s complaint be filed online or is it acceptable via mail only?

Yes, one can file a complaint against an airline online via its official website.

What if a complaint is not adequately addressed by an airline?

When the complaint is not adequately addressed, opt for its escalation by contacting the airline.

What steps should I take in case my complaint is not resolved satisfactorily?

Contact the airline again for complaint escalation or seek help from authorities like the FAA and DOT.

Does an airline’s city office have a complaint-specific department or contact?

Yes, within an airline’s city office, one can find complaint-specific departments or contacts.

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