FLIGHT cancellations, refunds and delays garnered the most complaints from airline passengers in the final six months of last year, government data revealed yesterday.
The Airline Customer Advocate was set up last year to deal with consumer complaints about Australian airlines, and began operation on July 1.
Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese released the advocate's first annual report yesterday, revealing it received 442 complaints in its first six months of operation.
Of those received, the independent, government-funded advocate took just over 14 days to finalise complaints, with two-thirds of all complaints resolved to the customer's satisfaction.
Minister Albanese said it was clear from the annual report that the advocate was a great success, with complaints resolved quickly to the benefit of both airlines and customers.
"The travelling public have long called for an independent voice to help champion their rights and it is this Government that turned that idea into a reality," he said.
"For the first time airline customers have a real alternative when they need their complaints resolved and I'm thrilled the Airline Customer Advocate has been so positively received."
The advocate found the vast majority of complaints it received were regarding cancellations or refund requests; flight delays or cancellations and fees or charges.
The top five complaints in 2012 related to:
- Cancellation/refund request 31%
- Flight delay or cancellation 18%
- Fees or charges 16%
- Airline websites 9%
- Terms and conditions 5%
SOURCE: Airline Customer Advocate annual report, 2012.