If you need to complain about an airline or airport, here are a few suggestions to try and make sure your complaint is dealt with properly.
When it happens
- Try and talk to someone on the spot. They may be able to help sort out your problem straight away.
- Try to find out who is responsible for what went wrong. It may not be the airline or airport.
- Make a note of staff names if possible, times, flight numbers, dates and any other relevant information. You will find it easier to resolve your problem on your return home if you have all the necessary information that you need to hand.
After you get home
Check the airline or airport's website to find out the best way of complaining; some prefer you to write, some to email and others prefer you to fill in an online form. Be aware that if you fill in an online form, you may not be sent a copy of this, so print out the form before you submit it, or copy the text into an email you send yourself.
Briefly explain what went wrong. Include your flight number, date of travel, and reservation reference. See our checklist below for things to include. State what you want in terms of compensation and/ or reimbursement.
- Be polite and reasonable. You are more likely to succeed in resolving your problem if you remain calm.
- Address your complaints to the customer relations department of the airline, tour operator or package holiday operator, or airport. Save writing to the Chief Executive for when you are not satisfied with the customer relations department’s response.
- Keep copies of all correspondence. Print out a copy of any online forms before you submit as you may not receive a copy otherwise or copy the text into an email you send yourself.
The covering letter setting out your claim or complaint should include:
- name(s) of passenger/s
- e-mail and postal address
- telephone contact number
- Booking/reservation reference
- Travel date
- Flight number
- Destination to/from
- Airport at which incident occurred
- Enclose clear copies of receipts if relevant.
- Enclose a copy of booking confirmation/reservation details. This is not always required but may help the airline if they are unable to locate your booking details from the information you have provided.
Keep copies of all correspondence to the airline
This could include emailing yourself a copy of the text from any online form if this is how the airline requires correspondence to be submitted to them.