Airline passenger complaints increase, but Delta improves

More airline passengers complained about problems on flights to the federal government in May, according to the latest monthly report from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The U.S. Department of Transportation received about 1,062 complaints from consumers about airline service in May, according to the report. That's up 32.9 percent from May 2010 and up 20.8 percent from April 2011. The largest category of complaints dealt with flight problems, including cancellations, delays and missed connections.

A storm in Chicago at the end of the month led to a number of lengthy tarmac delays in May, with American Eagle Airlines reporting 14 tarmac delays longer than three hours on flights arriving at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. American Eagle is a regional carrier for American Airlines.

Meanwhile, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines had a decline in consumer complaints to the federal government in May, with a total of 107 in the month, down from 148 a year earlier.  The May 2011 figure amounts to about 1 complaint per 100,000 passengers boarding planes.

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