The number of consumer complaints reported to this site fell to 259 cases in November, a 19 percent drop from the previous month and a new low for the year.
You’d think that would be good news for the serial offenders that normally top our lists. It wasn’t.
American Airlines continued to draw the most complaints, and the three legacy carriers remained in the top 10. Enterprise and Expedia gave the airline some competition, but not nearly enough to challenge its dominance for the year.
As a reminder, we only receive the most difficult and intractable cases through the site. The grievances represent a tiny fraction of the overall problems with a company. Often, consumers come to us when they’ve tried everything, up to and including litigation.
We don’t “weight” these figures against number of customers or passengers. We think the numbers speak for themselves.
Here’s what November looked like:
|Delta Air Lines||4||1.54%|
Here are the October figures:
|Delta Air Lines||7||2.22%|
|Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL)||5||1.59%|
Here’s our running total for the first nine months of the year:
We’ve had a total of 3,236 cases in the first 10 months of 2016.
What do these numbers mean?
✓ I can’t explain the drop-off in complaints. Our caseload is comparable to February and June. Since many of our grievances are travel-related, it could be related to the seasonality of travel. Who knows?
✓ It’s safe to declare American Airlines the most complained-about company of 2016 — barring a last-minute surge in complaints about United Airlines, Expedia or Delta Air Lines. Take a bow, American!
✓ How about Enterprise? I thought October’s strong showing was a fluke, but it repeated in November with a second-place finish. While the car rental company has made great strides to avoid frivolous damage claims and sign-here scams, it’s clear that more work needs to be done.
✓ Turkish Airlines. That’s an easy one. After this summer’s terrorism incidents, no one wanted to visit Turkey. They had nonrefundable tickets. Denied. Those are difficult cases to handle, because the answer is always “no.”
Last month, I predicted November would be “very, very busy.” I was wrong. So I’m not making any more predictions, at least for now. I’m actually happy that fewer people are complaining to us because it means businesses are doing more things right — and isn’t that why we’re keeping count?