I’ve had terrible customer service, awful flight delays, cancelled flights. Things happen in travel. I try to let it go, and appreciate what Louis C.K. reminds us is “the miracle of human flight.”
I have never submitted a complaint to the Department of Transportation. (Nor have I ever complained to the federal government about credit card marketing.)
Have you? I’ve often wondered what it would take to cause me to escalate an issue, make it federal.
Reader Paul H. points me to this piece on complaints filed with the DOT, based on a FOIA request for submissions referencing customer service and discrimination during a two month period in 2014.
Here are some truly special highlights…
- Receiving a text from a JetBlue employee who apparently checked out the passenger while checking them in, and wanted to pursue the matter further. Inappropriate, of course — and likely a firing offense from JetBlue — though not sure this ought to be a federal issue.
- An infectious disease specialist didn’t like the sanitary conditions of a regional jet’s lavatory. I can only recommend Emirates here, which has two designated attendants to clean their first class lavatories onboard the A380.
- White people complain about being charged a change fee, when they saw other people that weren’t white having fees waived (no mention of the specific issues leading to such a fee waiver). So, racism.
- In another ‘discrimination’ case, a complainant lost their seat on a flight when they left the gate area prior to departure. We learn this was because their daughter ‘pooped’.
- Someone complained that they weren’t permitted to sit in an exit row because they displayed medical issues that could prevent them from carrying out the assigned duties to an exit row passenger, and because they demonstrated that they don’t follow flight attendant instructions.
- Another passenger was “devastated emotionally and psychologically” after having their cup filled only halfway with water and having to insist on getting more. Apparently flight attendant eye rolls deserve federal complaints.
- In the perfect instantiation of ‘DYKWIA’ someone complained to the federal government because they were not permitted — as a Gold frequent flyer — to deplane their aircraft before business class passengers.
- Someone else complained — again, to the federal government — because gate agents announced that overhead bins were full and passengers would have to gate check.. when there was still space left in the bins. Put another way, it was like any other domestic flight.
- One woman was removed from a plane for her behavior. In her complaint to the DOT she acknowledges that her husband says she was drunk. And the DOT is supposed to…?
- Southwest only offered $50 compensation to someone that was given a drink with the metal tie from the ice bag in it. The federal government should intervene to get them $100.
These, people, are your fellow passengers!