Got a complaint about the travel industry? It’s got one about you, too

“I’m weary of those entitled passengers who are continuously whining and complaining,” says Lisa Thomas, a veteran flight attendant based in Denver. “I feel like telling them, ‘Take some responsibility for your choices.’ ”

Thomas’s comments, made to me after a recent column about the rise of fees in the travel industry, triggered a fascinating debate. Many travelers say that they think fees are out of control, particularly in the airline business. The top 10 airlines collected more than $28 billion in revenue from extra fees and services last year, up from about $2 billion a decade ago, according to a recent study by the consulting firm IdeaWorks.

At the same time, many in the industry say that they think people are getting exactly what they paid for: a quality product at a ridiculously low price. Industry employees like Thomas suggest that travelers have become spoiled.

You’ve never heard of these people, but they’ve changed the way you fly

Their advocacy results in big, embarrassing airline fines. They’ve helped create federal agencies that make air travel safer. And they’ve brought competition and transparency to the skies.

American Airlines is the most complained-about company in America

The world’s largest airline is also the world’s most complained-about company, according to the latest tabulation of consumer complaints from this site. Of 821 cases received by in the first quarter of 2016, roughly 7 percent came from consumers’ interactions with American Airlines, giving it a commanding lead.

Is United Airlines’ complaint line closure the future of customer service?

When the nation’s third-largest airline stops taking complaints by phone, what does that mean? Yesterday’s news that United Airlines would shutter an Indian call center that took compliments or complaints after a flight, telling customers to send a letter or e-mail instead, has a lot of air travelers scratching their heads. I count myself among them.

Travel and timeshare fraud cases more than double in 2007, says government

The number of travel and timeshare complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission nearly doubled last year, jumping from 6,712 cases to 14,903 cases. As a whole, the travel category rose from 12th to 9th place, accounting for roughly 2 percent of all consumer grievances received by the federal agency.

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