DOT Complaint Process

Old Sep 15, 17, 10:40 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Programs: UA GS ,QF Plat
Posts: 544
DOT Complaint Process

I am considering filing a DOT complaint on an issue, I know how to but I was wondering what happens down the road after filing ?
What communications take place ,is it typically 100% between the person who files and DOT
Does the party, UA or other respond to the filer
Time frame etc
Thx
wanderingkev is offline  
Old Sep 15, 17, 11:06 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Programs: DL 1 million, AA 1 mil, HH lapsed Diamond, Marriott Plat
Posts: 28,174
IME, the DOT may forward your complaint to the carrier and asked to be copied on carrier's response to you. Carrier has 30 days to acknowledge and 60 days 'to provide a substantive response.' You may not think the response is adequate. The DOT doesn't (generally) pursue individual claims but instead looks at enforcement action after seeing a pattern of complaints. That's the reason why one should take the time to make a thoughtful complaint. Rambling and venting are valueless here.
3Cforme is offline  
Old Sep 15, 17, 12:17 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA
Programs: HHonors Diamond; United 1K (domestic). Hertz Presidents Circle
Posts: 1,846
Originally Posted by wanderingkev View Post
I am considering filing a DOT complaint on an issue, I know how to but I was wondering what happens down the road after filing ?
What communications take place ,is it typically 100% between the person who files and DOT
Does the party, UA or other respond to the filer
Time frame etc
Thx
The one time I filed a complaint with the DOT about (old) UA (while UA and CO were operating independently, and specifically re 14 CFR 253.4(b)-(c)), I think I got an auto ack from the DOT that my complaint had been received and then everything after was from United via snailmail -- never heard from the DOT again.

This seems to be the process with federal agencies; with the FCC any updates you make to a complaint appear to be auto CC'd to the target of the complaint and for my most recent complaint, communication has been a mix of both electronic ("Nope, still appear to be violating 47 CFR 79.1(j)!"), paper ("We think we fixed it, will you let the FCC close the complaint?")

In general, 30 days seems to be the "allowed" timeframe for a response to be made.
lincolnjkc is offline  
Old Sep 15, 17, 12:25 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist, Virtuoso Travel Agent, Commercial Pilot
Posts: 1,786
Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
IME, the DOT may forward your complaint to the carrier and asked to be copied on carrier's response to you. Carrier has 30 days to acknowledge and 60 days 'to provide a substantive response.' You may not think the response is adequate. The DOT doesn't (generally) pursue individual claims but instead looks at enforcement action after seeing a pattern of complaints. That's the reason why one should take the time to make a thoughtful complaint. Rambling and venting are valueless here.
I've filed a handful of DOT complaints over the past several years, and this is pretty much always the case. You generally won't hear back from the DOT except for the acknowledgement of your complaint and note that they've forwarded it to the airline. There rest of your communication will be with the airline directly.

I've had a single exception to that rule where a trial attorney from the enforcement division of the DOT followed up with a few questions, but I think that is exceptionally rare and probably because there was enough of a pattern of issues that they were considering enforcement action.
Sykes is offline  
Old Sep 15, 17, 12:35 pm
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,156
The DOT process forces the carrier to acknowledge the issue and counts in that the DOT assembles the stats.

It does not mean that the carrier will accede to the demands of the passenger or that anything will change. The DOT generally does not provide enforcement action that results in the consumer getting anything directly.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Sep 15, 17, 3:01 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Programs: UA GS ,QF Plat
Posts: 544
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
The DOT process forces the carrier to acknowledge the issue and counts in that the DOT assembles the stats.

It does not mean that the carrier will accede to the demands of the passenger or that anything will change. The DOT generally does not provide enforcement action that results in the consumer getting anything directly.
Thanks, my issue concerns a general policy that I would like to flag
wanderingkev is offline  
Old Sep 15, 17, 3:04 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Programs: DL 1 million, AA 1 mil, HH lapsed Diamond, Marriott Plat
Posts: 28,174
Originally Posted by wanderingkev View Post
Thanks, my issue concerns a general policy that I would like to flag
Do what you will, but, IMHO, unless you can point to a CFR that's being violated or a practice that is unfair and deceptive in Federal Trade Commission parlance, you're wasting your time.
3Cforme is offline  
Old Sep 15, 17, 3:21 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Programs: UA GS ,QF Plat
Posts: 544
Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Do what you will, but, IMHO, unless you can point to a CFR that's being violated or a practice that is unfair and deceptive in Federal Trade Commission parlance, you're wasting your time.
Unfair is my line,not much of rambler Thx
wanderingkev is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread