What’s the best way to effectively lodge a complaint against an airline?  Chris Eliot recently interviewed John Romantic, head of US Air’s customer complaint department, and he provided some tips. A recent DOT report says that complaints against airlines are up 77% since 2007, and that one out of every four complaints involved US Airways!

Romantic said the most effective means of reaching US Airways is by using the form on their website. The form is then prioritized to get to exactly the right person. He also said that customers ‘should summarize their concern at the beginning of their note including info like the confirmation code, date of travel, and flight numbers. Then put in bullet points illustrating key aspects of their experience.”  This instead of a rambling, long letter with lots of details that may not be relevant and won’t help resolve the problem.

Romantic also said that airline fees for things like baggage and food are here to stay. He explained that with the current recession and complex pricing model, it’s not easy for airlines to just raise prices and that paying only for what you want, in an a la carte business model is what you’ll see a lot more of.

So the next time you fly, try to fit all of your stuff into one carry-on, and bring a sandwich for the flight, to avoid the extra fees that bug people so much.