Air Travel Civil Rights Problems
Where to File Complaints

This Informational Sheet provides contact information to help members of the public who feel they have been the subject of discriminatory action or treatment at airports file complaints with the appropriate agency in the Federal government. Since the horrific attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, much effort has been expended by various agencies within the Federal government to prevent intentional harm to our critical air transportation system. In securing that system, we have also taken steps to ensure that all persons are provided equal protection of the laws and that no person is subject to unlawful discrimination when traveling in the Nation.

While we expect security personnel and law enforcement officials at airports to be in full compliance with the civil rights laws, we realize that, on occasion, individuals may believe they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination. We also realize that with various security and law enforcement agencies at the airports, there is increased confusion regarding the appropriate place to file discrimination complaints. The Department of Transportation’s Aviation Enforcement Office has prepared this information sheet to assist consumers in determining with whom to file a discrimination complaint and how to do so.

1. Complaints alleging discriminatory treatment by air carrier personnel (e.g., pilots, flight attendants, gate agents or check-in counter personnel) should be directed to the Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection Division. This office provides complaint forms for consumers to download and print on its website at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/problems.htm. The Aviation Consumer Protection Division accepts complaints on its web site at the above address or via mail to:
Aviation Consumer Protection Division, C-75
Suite # W96-432 (West Building)
U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of the General Counsel
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590

2. Complaints alleging discriminatory treatment by Federal security screeners (e.g., personnel screening and searching passengers and carry-on baggage at airport security checkpoints) should be directed to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and/or the Transportation Security Administration’s Office of Civil Rights and Liberties External Compliance Division. These offices accept complaints by mail to the following addresses:

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Mail Stop #0800
245 Murray Lane, S.W.
Building 41
Washington, D.C. 20598

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Director, Office of Civil Rights and Liberties
601 South 12th Street – West Tower, TSA-6
Arlington, Virginia 22202
Attn: External Programs Division

These offices also accept complaints by email and telephone. Members of the traveling public who believe that they have been unlawfully discriminated against by federal security screeners may send an e-mail to the Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at civil.liberties@dhs.gov., or to the Transportation Security Administration’s Office for Civil Rights and Liberties External Compliance Division at compliance@dhs.gov. or Center@dhs.gov. They can also call DHS’s Office of Civil Rights and Liberties toll free at (877) EEO-4-TSA (877-336-4872) or (800) 877-8339 (TTY) 1**.

3. Complaints alleging discriminatory treatment by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Border Patrol, or Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security should be directed to the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General and/or the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. The Office of the Inspector General accepts complaints by mail to the following address:

Department of Homeland Security
Office of the Inspector General
P.O. Box 16666
Washington, D.C. 20041-6666

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties accepts complaints via e-mail to civil.liberties@dhs.gov. That office also accepts complaints by mail to the following address:

Department of Homeland Security
Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Mail Stop #0800
245 Murray Lane, S.W.
Building 41
Washington, D.C. 20598

4. Complaints alleging discriminatory treatment by airport personnel (e.g., airport police) should be directed to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Civil Rights. That office accepts complaints via mail to the following address:

Federal Aviation Administration
Office of Civil Rights
800 Independence Ave., S.W., Room 1030
Washington, DC 20591

5. Complaints alleging discriminatory treatment by members of the National Guard should be directed to the National Guard Bureau’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights. That office accepts complaints via mail to the following address:

Mr. Felton Page, Director
Office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights
National Guard Bureau - EO
1411 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA. 22204

6. Complaints alleging discriminatory treatment by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) personnel should be directed to the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). That office accepts complaints via e-mail to inspector.general@usdoj.gov or via mail to the following address:

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Complaints
Office of the Inspector General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Suite 4706
Washington, D.C. 20530


Issued on 03/27/2002 and amended on 04/08/2002, 07/26/2002 and 09/20/2007, by the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings and its Aviation Consumer Protection Division.


1** DHS, through its Travel Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP), also handles complaints regarding "watch list" misidentifications. Such complaints may be sent to Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP), using its DHS TRIP redress form, that can be obtained online at http://tsa.gov/travelers/redress/index.shtm. The form should be mailed to 601 South 12th Street, TSA-901 Arlington, VA 22202-4220, or faxed to (866) 672-8640 or (571) 227-1925. DHS TRIP may also be contacted by e-mail at TRIP@DHS.gov
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Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings | U.S. Department of Transportation | 1200 New Jersey Ave, SE | Washington, DC 20590
(Last Updated 09/28/2007)