Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Airline Complaints Soaring

Did your latest flight arrive early? Mine did and that's not necessarily a good thing. As an analysis in USAToday showed, just about two months ago, that airlines are padding their flight times to improve on-time stats.

That means on-time and early arrivals, yes, but also more time spent just sitting on the darn plane. In fact, the paper found that 93% of flights are now longer than they were in 1995. 

Combine that increased time with the fact that planes are flying much fuller than they were a decade ago, and with more seats crammed on to them, to boot,  and what do you get? Complaints. A massive surge in complaints.

According to the Associated Press, complaints are up by a full 20% from a year ago. It's basing its reporting on statistics just released by the Department of Transportation.

An additional source of friction has been the increase in involuntary bumping (with fewer planes in the sky, fewer passengers are volunteering to wait for the next plane when flights are overbooked than in the past. Why? Does so could mean getting to one's destination days rather than hours late).

It's all an ugly brew, and frankly, there's not much to do. But forewarned is forearmed right?

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