Each air carrier must have at least one Complaints Resolution Official (CRO) available at each airport during times of scheduled air carrier operations. The CRO can be made available by telephone.
Any passenger with a complaint of alleged violations of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) rules is entitled to communicate with a CRO. The CRO has authority to resolve complaints on behalf of the air carrier. The CRO, however, does not have authority to countermand a safety-based decision made by the pilot-in-command of an aircraft.
If the CRO agrees with the passenger that a violation of the rule occurred, the CRO must give the passenger a written statement summarizing the facts and what steps if any, the air carrier proposes to take in response to the violation.
If the CRO determines that no violation has occurred, the CRO must give the passenger a written statement summarizing the facts and reasons for the decision or conclusion.
If possible, the CRO’s written statement must be given to the passenger at the airport; otherwise, it will be sent to the passenger within 10 days of the incident.
If the passenger is not satisfied with the response, the passenger has the right to pursue an enforcement action with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). If a passenger chooses to file a written complaint, the complaint should note whether the passenger contacted the CRO at the time of the alleged violation, and include the CRO’s name and the date of contact, if available. It should include any written response received from the CRO. Complaints should be mailed (postmarked) within 45 days after the date of an alleged violation.
A carrier must respond to a written complaint within 30 days after receiving it. The response must state the airline’s position on the alleged violation, and may also state whether and why no violation occurred, or what the airline plans to do about the problem.
Any person believing that an air carrier has violated any provision of the ACAA rules may file a complaint with the DOT.