How to Write a Complaint Letter to an Airline

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Most of us have encountered, or will encounter, a harrowing moment or two with airline service at least once in our lives. Because this is almost inevitable, most airlines have compensation systems in place for the inevitable problems that passengers encounter. Only in extreme cases does a passenger need to file a complaint letter against an airline.

Most of the time, airlines compensate up-front for flight delays, misplaced baggage, and other common mishaps. But since this is a human system, rare moments occur when things just go awry and you end up an angry, miserable, disgruntled, totally wronged passenger. At times like these, you do not need to call your friends at the law office just yet. A complaint letter against an airline may be sufficient to receive the damage compensation that you deserve.

Things You Need:

• Airline documents (ticket, boarding pass, etc.)
• Photos, written slips, damaged items, and other items that may serve as evidence of what happened


1) Before you sit down to write the complaint letter against the airline, reconstruct the incident in a different account. Use this document to support your complaint letter and attach it to the letter itself.

2) Gather all airline documents and all objects involved in the incident. Set them aside in an accessible place where you can easily retrieve them. More than the complaint letter against the airline, you should also secure supporting documents that you need. Make photocopies of the documents and attach them to the complaint letter.

3) Find out which office and the person in charge of handling complaint letters against the airline. Address your letter to him or her. With, you can find airline contact information by going to Resources, under which you will see Airline Contact Info.

4) Write your complaint letter against the airline. Use a business-like tone. You may follow this format:

[Name of Airline Officer]
[Name of his Company Department]
[Airline Company Name]
[Address of Department]

Dear [Name of Official],

a. Open your complaint letter against the airline with a calm and objective tone. If you can manage a friendly tone, this works wonders in getting favorable results.

b. In the same tone, state your problem objectively.

Example: It is my pleasure to commend the services of [Airline Company]. I have been a loyal customer for several years because I believe in the excellence of your company. I truly enjoy your services, and I love how your staff serves your passengers with a smile. In fact, it is with a heavy heart that I file this complaint against your company.

c. State your complaint in a brief story. If you can manage to keep it to one or two paragraphs, all the better.

d. State how you want the airline to make it up to you: financial compensation, a refund, a voucher, or a replacement of the item.

Example: I would like [Airline Company] to replace my MacBook. Although only my hard drive was damaged, please understand that the files in it were crucial to my business and the way that I earn a living.

e. State the documents you are presenting as proof. This is where you indicate that you have attached copies of photos, as well as the detailed story (the separate document that you created earlier). If you are to staple the other documents, attach them to the complaint letter or put them in a separate envelope. If you are mailing the complaint letter, place your letters in the company pouch, so you can send two separate envelopes. If you are using only paper documents, you can just staple all other documents in order of importance and pertinence to the complaint behind the complaint letter.

f. Sign the letter and provide your contact details below your name and signature.


1) Be very detailed in your chronicle of the incident. In your complaint letter against the airline, be sure to include your most important details like contact information, flight schedule (date and time), and time of the incident. Also indicate the names of the people involved and the people who tried to help you. Give details on the damaged object and other information that may be needed by the airline to determine how to resolve your complaint.

2) Despite everything, keep a cool head and continue to be generous with praise. You may have flown this company for a long time that, surely, you have a lot of things to compliment them on. Do not allow how upset you are about the situation affect the way you perceive things, as well as how you communicate with the company. Keeping a good, objective disposition toward the company helps you think clearly and work toward a solution with focus and clarity.


1) Make sure that you use clear, concise terms to explain yourself. Angry, hurt, emotional language will not give you the results you need but will only serve to annoy the person reading your complaint. It may even cause the person to simply reject your complaint.

2) Bear in mind that the person handling your complaint is likely different from the person directly involved in the incident that led to your complaint. It is not fair to dump your emotions on the person who may have the ability to give you the full compensation you desire.

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