United Merger Woes Continue as Airline Amasses Most Complaints, Delays

United Airlines’ merger with Continental has not been trouble-free, and now it appears the carrier has the complaints to prove it.

United Changes Early Boarding for Families

United: Most Complaints in March 2012

According to the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics, United topped the list for most complaints for March of this year. The complaints were made by consumers to the Department of Transportation in writing, by telephone, via e-mail or in person. Note: The DOT has not determined the validity of the complaints, and the numbers do not include safety complaints which are handled by the Federal Aviation Administration or security complaints which are handled by the Transportation Security Administration.

The worst airlines for complaints are as follows:

Airlines – Worst for Complaints

March 2012

Number of Complaints



US Airways







United to Cut 1,300 Jobs

3 Airlines Tie for Least Complaints

On the opposite end of the scale, regularly scheduled airlines with the least complaints in March of 2012 were Alaska, Hawaiian and interestingly, United Express with five each, while Virgin America also did well with six complaints.

Complaints about Flights and More

Most of United’s complaints fell in the realm of what government statisticians refer to as scheduling, ticketing and boarding followed by a general category called flight problems which includes misconnections, cancelations and delays.

Oh, Those United Computer Glitches

United: Worst On-Time Arrival Rate

Delays also loomed large for United in another category, as it had the lowest on-time arrival rates for reporting airlines – just 77.4 percent compared to an overall on-time rate of 82.2 percent. The best on-time rate belonged to Hawaiian with a record of 92.5 percent.

United Troubles with Website Integration

One problem for United that appears to be an ongoing one is the integration of its website with Continental’s. According to The Los Angeles Times, passengers aren’t the only ones who have at times been confounded by the new site. United said it has been a “challenge” to retrain longtime employees on the new system, and more training is expected for employees who continue to struggle.


Published: June 8, 2012