USA: Department of Transportation slammed for handling of airline complaints

Airline passenger complaints to the U.S. Department of Transportation are rolling in by the thousands this year, but fliers waiting for government help may be disappointed.This year, the DOT’s enforcement office has closed just 25 consumer protection investigations with so-called consent orders, or settlement agreements, with the violators. As part of those orders, DOT has assessed $1.15 million in fines against airlines and other aviation-related firms for a variety of violations, including deceptive practices and failing to properly accommodate disabled passengers on planes.Meanwhile, the DOT through September has logged 8,612 passenger complaints, up 70% for the same period last year. Those complaints — about delayed and canceled flights, lost luggage, bad customer service, refunds never made and other problems — doubled during the heavy travel months of July and August from a year earlier. Critics, including past DOT officials, say the department’s consumer protection enforcement is simply not good enough.Source:; read full article here.DOT information on complaints about air travel to be found here.

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