Americans Increasingly Angered By Air Travel

The Bureau of Transportation have received more than 12,000 complaints from fliers in 2012.

An traveller is patted down by a TSA agent at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Monday, Nov. 22, 2010. There are new requirements at some U.S. airports that air passengers must pass through full-body scanners that produce a virtually naked image. Those who refuse to go through the scanners are subject to thorough pat-downs.
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A couple of weeks before one of the biggest holiday travel days, Americans are anything but jolly when it comes to their experiences flying on the nation's airlines.

In the first nine months of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics recorded more than 12,000 complaints from consumers, the Chicago Tribune reported. That's up 33.5 percent over the same period in 2011.

[Fees for Everything: Airlines Rake In Big Bucks From 'Extras']

Some of the most common complaints based on just September data were flight delays, cancellations, lost baggage, ticketing and reservation issues, and—surprise, surprise—customer service.

United Airlines took the tarnished trophy for the most offenses against fliers, with 211 complaints lodged, followed by American Airlines with 162.

[READ: Are You Too Fat to Fly?]

But regardless of all the belly-aching over subpar customer service and seemingly endless fees, more travelers will be heading to the airport for Thanksgiving this year, according to industry trade group Airlines for America.

Although those choosing to fly home for the holidays is about 10 percent below the peak travel levels in 2006-2007, airlines expect nearly 24 million passengers during the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday season, an increase of about 150,000 travelers.

Hoping to fly the friendly skies this year? Check out U.S. News's rundown of the nation's best and worst airlines.

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Meg Handley is a reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can reach her at and follow her on Twitter at @mmhandley.