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Complaints against airlines climb despite better on-time record

September 12, 2011 | 12:19 pm

  Delayed passengers

While the nation's airlines have improved their overall on-time performance, passengers are increasingly complaining about the services the airlines offer.

The nation's top 16 airlines landed and departed on time 77.8% of the time in July, up from a rate of 76.7% in the same month last year, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Despite the on-time improvement, passengers filed 1,285 complaints against domestic and foreign airlines in the U.S. in July, up 17% from 1,097 complaints in the same month last year, according to federal statistics.

In other categories, the nation's airlines had a mixed record.

The percentage of passengers who were bumped from overbooked flights dropped by 37% in the first six months of the year, compared to the same period in 2010. But the percentage of lost, delayed or damaged bags remained about the same in July, compared to the same month last year.

In July, the nation's carriers canceled 1.7% of their scheduled domestic flights, up from the 1.4% cancellation rate in July 2010 but down from the 1.8% rate of June, 2011.

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Alaska Airlines faces $590,000 fine for wiring problem

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Passengers at Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Los Angeles Times.