Airline passenger complaints surged after the summer of travel chaos, with lost luggage in the US up by a quarter
- Last summer saw a spate of horror travel stories as airlines struggled to cope with renewed demand.
- Complaints broke records in Canada, where the backlog has reached an all-time high of 47,000 per Reuters.
Complaints from airline passengers surged last year as the sector struggled to cope with renewed demand after the pandemic, Reuters reported.
2022's summer of travel chaos saw a spate of horror stories like a lost wedding dress and a 13-month-old booked onto a separate flight from her parents.
The Canadian Transportation Agency is currently dealing with a record backlog of 47,000 complaints, and plans to expense airlines if they hand over unresolved complaints, according to Reuters.
And in the US, the Department of Transportation saw a 55% increase in complaints between 2021 and 2022, although that's about one-quarter less than the record set in 2020.
Lufthansa told Reuters that it paid out $355 million over complaints last year — an increase of more than 1,300% from the $26.9 million in 2021.
The airline did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
According to data from aviation IT firm Sita reported by the Daily Mail, complaints about lost, stolen, or damaged luggage in the US went up by 25% last year. That means an average of 6.35 mishandled bags for every thousand passengers.
Last summer, Insider's Grace Dean reported that American Airlines was among the worst for this, mishandling one in every 108 bags.
The new data comes as LAX airport expects Memorial Day weekend to bring its busiest day in three years, and Delta Airlines predicts travel over the holiday period to beat pre-pandemic demand.
To try to avoid a repeat of last summer's mayhem, the Federal Aviation Administration is encouraging airlines to schedule fewer flights but use bigger planes.
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