How to Complain at Airports

Written by  Thomas Maris

When a consumer pays money for a flight they hope that everything will go well. However, unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes what goes wrong may be well within the control of the airline while other times it simply may not. 

Whatever the reason, customers find that they feel wronged by the airline and want to be acknowledged. Whenever this happens, depending upon where the airline is headquartered, there may be a specific section within the company that handles consumer complaints following a holiday. Also, most countries have certain government entities to which these claims can be made. Some situations are deftly resolved by the airline while others need to be taken a step further. 

For complaints made in Europe, air passengers have much more rights than air passengers in the United States. If customers experience any situations such as overbooking, cancellations or flight delays, they may be eligible for financial compensation. When this particular legislation was passed, there was a marked increase in airline complaints. Cancellation reports have increased by 600%. Delay complaints increased 500%. 

Since 2005, problems with US flights have increased. However in comparison to the number of overall flights, this rate is rather similar. About half of the complaints made are about flights and baggage. With more complaints being made, it is no surprise that these numbers have increased.

Different governmental agencies do handle complaints made about airlines. In the United Kingdom, the Air Transport Users Council handles air complaints. In the United States, the Department of Transportation is in charge of regulating the airline industry. For countries that are part of the European Union, some countries do not have specific offices to deal with airline complaints. However, since they are members of the E.U. the Air Transport Portal of the European Commission is in place to help field consumer complaints.

Different Airports should deal with your complaints in the same way, but each can have their own procedures, or specific things to complain about. Manchester airport is a high quality, professional airport with lots of flights. Complaints are obviously have a different slant from a smaller airfield, and with an increased number of people, the complaints procedure needs to be a lot more efficient.


Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Manchester deal with Manchester specific legal issues.

Comments by other travellers

We have been in touch recently abt how we were treated by passport services at the airport both coming and going trough the airport , twice somebody called John from their staff, rang to speak to my wife Janice [who made the complaint] this was not possible as on the 2 occasions she was not in , however he has not been in touch again , ????

Can someone ring our house to get this matter sorted ?


Brendan Ofarrell

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