Flying into Trouble: Airline Woes and Passenger Rights

Please send your airline complaints to me at or use the form in our contact section.

Flying into Trouble: Airline Woes and Passenger Rights.

Of late it seems hardly a day goes by without a complaint about an airline making the national news.

I am tempted to observe that the busiest part of any airline is the complaints department.


An airline is undoubtedly a complicated business with a lot of moving parts, and is unfortunately the kind of business where quite quickly one issue going awry can cascade into a multitude of problems.

When something goes wrong with a passenger flight, one can call customer services and hope to get the problem resolved, or so one would like to think. But when things go bad, it’s my experience that they only get worse.

I contacted Jason Schmitt of Schmitt Law, who surprised me by suggesting that the purpose of the Complaints Department wasn’t to resolve problems, but rather to frustrate people until the complainant gives up and goes away.

During discussions with Jason of Schmitt Law, an idea evolved.

For our spring issue Jason Schmitt will prepare an outline of air passengers’ rights and will advise the necessary steps to make effective complaints. If you have an ongoing complaint make sure you record everything and take notes of when and what was said and by whom. My experience convinces me that asking one to repeatedly explain one’s tale of woe to each new agent, is part of their strategy to wear one down.

We would like to hear about adverse airline experiences. What was your experience with the customer service department? Did you feel they were genuinely trying to help, or did you feel that they were simply trying to fob you off, till you gave up?

In our spring issue we will publish Jason Schmitt’s advice regarding how to handle customer complaint department inertia.


Share this article