American Airlines did it again.
The world’s largest airline far outpaced other companies in the complaints department, according to our latest count of consumer grievances.
Here’s our April scoreboard:
|2.||Expedia (including Orbitz and Travelocity)||17|
|5.||Delta Air Lines||7|
We received a total 305 new cases in April, or an average of just over 10 cases a day. (That’s 31 more cases than we had in March.) As a reminder, we only count cases received through our intake form. Typically, these are consumers who have really been wronged by a company.
American is widening its lead for the year, easily outperforming its closest rival, Expedia, with a comfortable 90-case lead.
Year to date
|2.||Expedia (including Orbitz and Travelocity)||63|
|4.||Delta Air Lines||38|
We adjusted our methodology to account for recent mergers and acquisitions. For example, we now count an Orbitz case as belonging to Expedia, since Expedia acquired it. We’ve also consolidated some of the car rental companies into a single corporate owner (so Budget cases are counted as part of Avis).
So what do these numbers mean?
- American is drawing more than its share of complaints. Despite promises that it would address its service problems after merging with US Airways, it appears to have failed to do so. Indeed, American had a commanding lead in the latest Department of Transportation report card.
- Expedia’s shareholder-centric corporate culture appears to have spilled over into Travelocity and Orbitz, which it gobbled up last year in a series of acquisitions. It is the only non-airline, and perhaps even the only company, that could challenge American for the title of worst company in America. Bear in mind that Expedia isn’t even the largest online travel company, so it doesn’t have an American-sized excuse.
- Enterprise can no longer lay claim to the title of the worst car rental company in America. The complaint numbers suggest Hertz is drawing more grievances from customers, which is a surprise. Not even a year ago, Hertz still enjoyed a reputation as a “blue chip” rental company that would take care of its customers. It seems to be behaving more like an airline now — and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
My advocacy team takes no pleasure in reporting these numbers. It’s a difficult but necessary part of what we do, though. These tallies serve as warnings to our readers of what they should expect when they deal with these companies. I hope you’ll heed our warnings, lest you become another statistic.