Bowman’s Travel File: Necessary and Unnecessary Complaints

Last week, the Department for Transport revealed that complaints about air travel were on the rise.

In June this year, nearly 6,000 complaints were filed, which is a 40% increase from last year and a whopping 270% from 2019.

There were more complaints in the first six months of 2022 (28,550) than in all of 2019.

Flight delays, cancellations and refunds were the main issues faced by travelers, which of course comes as no surprise. Other issues include lost luggage and disability complaints (it’s a shame airlines continue to damage wheelchairs at such a high rate).

Was the summer difficult for air travel? Yes.

Are all these complaints necessary? Probably not.

I think the sharp increase in complaints filed is also a sign of the times. There is so much hostility and angst among Americans these days compared to the pre-pandemic days of 2019.

Spend an hour or two on social media and you’ll notice people getting angry faster these days than before our world was changed forever in 2020.

Sometimes complaints about things will lead to a better overall service or product. For example, the increase in complaints about the increase in the number of damaged wheelchairs should hopefully serve as a catalyst for a serious change in the way travelers with disabilities are treated. Airlines and airports need to improve here.

Other times though, people cross the line. These unnecessary, and mostly rude, complaints do more harm than good.

It is not necessary to treat people badly. Just because you’re upset doesn’t mean you have to put someone else down.

So to the people I’ve recently seen yelling at the gate agent, I sincerely hope your atrocious behavior doesn’t cause said gate agent to question whether or not she should continue working in the travel industry. I really hope your attitude and approach to life improves, because there is absolutely no need for a mature adult to behave like a child and yell at someone for trying to do their job.

Do you think the sharp increase in complaints related to air travel is justified? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram: @EricBowman_

To catch up

In case you missed it:

ASTA concludes world-record convention and plans event for 2023 in Puerto Rico.

The US Department of State is updating travel advisories for several countries.

Airlines have canceled a staggering number of flights in the first half of 2022.

Will airlines continue to cut more flights in the fall?

Online searches for fall travel have increased by 40%.

Japan lifts COVID testing requirements for vaccinated travellers.

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