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Your UCP: National September 14, 2003

Accessible Transportation

Reporting Air Travel Service Problems

The Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection Division has released the following Information Sheet. This ACPD Information Sheet provides contact information for air travelers desiring to file discrimination complaints.

Air Travel Service Problems:
How Complaints Are Handled

The Aviation Consumer Protection Division (ACPD) operates a complaint handling system for consumers who experience air travel service problems. Consumers with concerns about airline safety or security should call the Federal Aviation Administration toll-free at 1-800-255-1111.

The Department of Transportation's aviation consumer disability toll-free hotline is also now available to travelers with disabilities. The toll-free number for the DOT aviation consumer disability hotline is 1-866-266-1368 (voice) and 1-866-754-4368 (TTY). This hotline can be used to obtain information and assistance for any travelers experiencing disability-related air service problems.

Consumers can call, write or e-mail the ACPD to register their concerns about airline service. You may call the ACPD 24 hours each day at 202-366-2220 (TTY 202-366-0511) to record your complaint. Due to staff size limitations, we cannot return phone calls. Letters and e-mails will be reviewed and acknowledged and, when appropriate, will be forwarded to an airline official for further consideration. Our mailing address is:

Aviation Consumer Protection Division
U.S. Department of Transportation
Room 4107, C-75
Washington, DC 20590

Our e-mail address is airconsumer@ost.dot.gov

Whether you call, write or e-mail, please be brief and concise in the description of your problem and be sure to include the following information:

  • your name, address and daytime phone number including area code
  • the name of the airline or company about which you are complaining, the flight date, flight number, and origin and destination cities of your trip

If you write, you should also include a copy of your airline ticket (not the original) and any correspondence you have already exchanged with the company.

If your complaint concerns accessibility problems experienced by a passenger with a disability, or alleged discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion or ancestry, please click here for information on where to file your complaint. If you determine from that document that your complaint should be filed here with DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division, use the link in that page or your browser’s “Back” button to return to this page. If you are filing an accessibility or discrimination complaint with us, we have optional complaint forms for these two types of complaints that you may download and/or print if you wish. Complaints of this type may be filed on the appropriate form, or by letter or e-mail. Click here for additional information about filing a complaint about accessibility problems with an airline that were experienced by a passenger with a disability. Click here for additional information about filing a complaint about alleged discrimination by airlines based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion or ancestry.

Although the ACPD does not mediate individual consumer complaints, all complaints are entered in DOT's computerized aviation industry monitoring system, and are charged to the company in question in the monthly Air Travel Consumer Report. This report is distributed to the industry and made available to the news media and the general public so that consumers and air travel companies can compare the complaint records of individual airlines and tour operators.

These complaints are reviewed to determine the extent to which carriers are in compliance with federal aviation consumer protection regulations. This system also serves as a basis for rulemaking, legislation and research.

The ACPD publishes a number of booklets and fact sheets on air travel consumer protection issues.

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