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Help Your Traveling Employees Understand Their Airline Rights

Incidents this past spring brought a heightened awareness to airline safety and security. But in particular, it brought into focus this question: what exactly are your rights as an airline passenger? From being asked to get off of a flight to the on-time ratio of airlines and the inevitable delays that are just part of the equation when flying, there are many things for a business traveler to consider. This is especially true of a traveler with prompt deadlines in places across the globe. Smart and thorough organizational travel risk management can alleviate many of these concerns among employees.

Travel Risk Management | Traveling Employees Airline Rights

Your rights as an airline passenger and business traveler need not be a mystery. They are clearly spelled out on both a governmental level and within the airline industry. But for busy travelers, there may not be time for continual review of these rules. Here is where travel risk management can be useful; concise guidelines for all of your traveling employees can add a layer of security and precaution.

Below are some quick facts that should be included in any flight preparation guideline:

It's important to note that a paying airline customer, one who has done nothing incorrectly on their end, can legally be bumped off a flight.

In 2016, this happened about 40,000 times. And although that number seems high, it's a minor fraction of the total traveling population as well as the lowest the number has been since 1995 (when records of such events first started being collected).

The federal government no longer regulates routes and fares.

This is critical to remember. Airlines have their own internal statistical systems that are used to ensure seats are filled. Unlike in decades past, there is no mandate or law that these models must adhere to. In theory, this private sector route and fare structure has led to a more streamlined and cheaper air travel infrastructure. On rare occasions, the systems the airlines use create inconveniences for travelers, so consumers must be alert to the rights that they do (or do not) have.

There are basic flight rights that are applicable to all travelers regardless of airline.  

  • If you are bumped from a flight involuntarily, you are absolutely entitled to compensation. The amount ranges depending on the time lost because of the delay.
  • If you are on the tarmac, there is a federal limit to the time you can be there: four hours exactly. There are some exemptions based on safety and situational airport issues.
  • For simple flight delays, there are no federal regulations based on compensation. These are entirely on the individual carrier's internal guidelines (requesting information from the carriers regarding delay policies beforehand is wise).

These are but a few of the many nuances to air travel that are important for travelers to be informed of. Include this information into your corporations travel risk management processes. For more information on travel risk management, contact NC4 at 877-624-4999.


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