CBS2 Investigates: LAX Among Nation’s Top 3 For Airport Complaints
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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — This summer is shaping up to be one of the busiest travel seasons ever, and that can spell out problems at airports.
CBS2 investigative reporter David Goldstein has obtained a database of every 2013 complaint filed about Los Angeles International Airport with the federal government.
More than 10,000 complaints were filed about every airport in the world to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Luggage problems tend to be one of the biggest issues travelers have with LAX.
“When we had gotten here, there was one piece of luggage and it took three hours to get the other one. I was pissed,” LAX traveler Cheyanne Cranmer said.
Not the welcome she and her boyfriend, Jamal, expected when they landed from Philadelphia last week.
One person who experienced flight delays with United Airlines at LAX called it “abysmal customer service.”
Another traveler on Aeromexico said: “Picked up my luggage in LAX and, when I got home, the laptop had been stolen.”
Another vacationer flying Air Canada said she “felt racially discriminated” by the attendant at the LAX counter.
So how does LAX rank among airport complaints?
LAX ranks third in the nation, having received 336 complaints in 2013.
Chicago O’Hare placed at second with 409 complaints and JFK is number one with 502.
The top complaint about LAX involved flight problems.
That doesn’t surprise travelers like Gerard Danishek: “It’s always in the back of my mind when I get to the airport, if I’m going to be delayed for mechanical.”
The DOT compiles the data to make sure airlines are in compliance with consumer protection laws. In some instances, a series of complaints can lead to civil charges.
When it comes to airlines at LAX, United received the most complaints with 91 filings. It’s the largest carrier at the airport so it’s likely it would have a higher number.
When asked about the complaint filings, United sent CBS2 the following statement:
“United’s on-time performance, baggage handling and customer satisfaction scores have each improved at Los Angeles International Airport year over year since 2012, with baggage handling up by 25 percent in the last year alone. We have also provided new customer service training to our airport agents and flight attendants to ensure they deliver a better experience for our customers.”
Coming up in second with 69 complaints is American Airlines.
Jeffrey Spring, of AAA, says the number of complaints at LAX are to be expected.
“LAX is one of the busiest airports in the country, so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that there have been certain issues with some terminals or airlines, especially as we’re coming toward the summer travel season,” Spring said.
He advises air travelers to arrive early, have paperwork ready and make sure luggage is identifiable.
Travelers can file a complaint with the Department of Transportation here.