“Next time I’ll try a bus!” The best of the DOT’s aviation consumer complaints

“Alcohol cannot remove stool on hands” and other valuable air travel tips.

Written by JPat Brown
Edited by Beryl Lipton

Last July, MuckRock user Curtis Raye requested all aviation consumer complaints in the categories of “customer service” and “discrimination” made to the Department of Transportation in March and April of 2014. Just last week, the response came back in the form of 166 case histories - and while some serious incidents are mentioned, the overwhelming majority are decidedly not-so-serious.

For example:

Or this masterclass in passive-aggression:

Or this, which appears to be holding American Airlines accountable for the weather:

Again, not all of these complaints are unfounded - such as one flight that had no working sinks, leading one concerned doctor on board to note that “alcohol cannot remove stool on hands.”

Or this one, which was delayed due to the plane having “the wrong fuel.”

And then you have the truly bizarre, such as this one, where a customer asks if somebody who can’t shut off their cellphone can be trusted with an exit row.

Or this one, claiming that Spirit Airlines has a racial bias against white people:

Read through the whole 166 pages yourself on the request page or embedded below, and if you find anything worth sharing, tweet us at @MuckRock or email info@muckrock.com.


Thanks to MuckRock’s Alex Richardson for helping compile this list.

Image by Gietje via Wikimedia Commons