August airline passenger complaints are up 320% compared to pre-pandemic figures

(CNN) – The federal government faced a surge in complaints from angry airline passengers in August, the final month of a summer marred by flight cancellations and delays.

In newly released figures, the Department for Transport says it has received more than 7,000 complaints from aircraft, a 6% increase from July and a 320% increase from pre-pandemic levels.

“Flight issues were the largest category of complaints received in August 2022,” the DOT says. “Of the 7,243 complaints received, 2,321 (32.0%) were about cancellations, delays or other deviations from airline schedules.”

The data also shows that in August United Airlines took the top spot for canceled flights at 3.6% of flights operating on its network. American Airlines was close behind with 3.5% of all canceled flights followed by Southwest Airlines in 3rd place at 2.7%.

Delta Air Lines, followed by Alaska Airlines and ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines, received top marks for having the most on-time flights.

More than 15,000 flights were canceled on US carriers in August, or 2.1% of flights, according to data from flight-tracking site FlightAware. More than 155,000 flights operated by US-based airlines were delayed, or nearly 22% of August flights.

Airline and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has debated which staffing issues were most to blame for the summer travel mess.

Ahead of the busy Labor Day weekend, the DOT launched a dashboard of benefits that the 10 largest US airlines have pledged to provide to passengers when flights are canceled.