Australia's most complained about airline in 2014: Tigerair Australia

Tigerair Australia has retained its title as Australia's most complained about airline.

The low-cost airline has topped the list of most complained about Australian airline for the third year running, according to the annual Airline Customer Advocate (the Advocate) 2014 Report

Tigerair Australia, which commenced flight services domestically in 2007, received the highest number of complaints for it overall services followed by Jetstar, Virgin Australian, Qantas and Regional Express.

Overall, the number of airline complaints nationally has risen by more than 13 per cent since last year, with refund requests (31 per cent), delays and cancellations (15 per cent) and service terms and conditions (12 per cent)  being the most complained about issues from air passengers.

Close to 70 million passengers flew domestically and internationally in 2014, with the total of 1132 complaints received by the Advocate for that year; compared to 983 complaints received in 2013 - an increase of 149 complaints.

With a rise in the number of complaints, the average time spent finalising a complaint increased from 14.9 to 18.3 calendar days. However, resolution rates decreased to just over 60 per cent in 2014 - the decline was a first since 2012 when the inaugural report was published.

Singapore Airlines was recently named the best international airline for customer service by Australian travellers, according to research from Roy Morgan Research, ahead of Emirates, Qantas and Garuda, with a 90 per cent satisfaction score. 

It follows news of Qantas being recently named Australia's best airline in TripAdvisor's Travellers' Choice Awards, with travellers citing the airline's frequent flyer program and customer service as key attractions.

The figures released by the Advocate are based on the number of eligible complaints: the complaint must be in relation to a participating airline's flight services; the passenger must have taken steps to resolve the matter directly with the airline according to the airline's complaints process and sought a review of the response received from the airline; and the complaint must relate to an event or circumstances that occurred no more than twelve months ago.


Top five complaint issues

1. Refund request: 31 per cent

2. Flight delay or cancellation: 15 per cent

3. Terms and conditions: 12 per cent

4. Fees or charges: 8 per cent 

5. Airport customer services: 7 per cent

Key report findings 

• 1132 complaints received in 2014 (983 complaints received in 2013)

• 1071 complaints finalised in 2014 (933 complaints finalised in 2013)

• 648 complaints resolved in 2014 (644 complaints resolved in 2013)

• Average complaint timeframe was 18.3 days in 2014 (average complaint timeframe was 14.9 in 2013)