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Travel Tip Tuesday: Always Read and Be Familiar with the Contract of Carriage for your Airline

Travel Tip Tuesday for October 11, 2011

I wanted to update this post in light of recent news as well as my friends telling me about their flight experiences all the time. One thing too is that if you are asked by the airline to leave the flight, just do so. You can argue later, but the flight crew is responsible for the flight and if they ask you to get off, you have to do it. Even if you think they are wrong.

Also, your seat is not guaranteed no matter how long ago you booked your ticket. It actually says that in the Contract of Carriage. Plus you should ensure that you get a seat assignment as soon as you can after purchasing your ticket. I know it does not sound right, but that’s what you agreed to when you bought your ticket. The airline can always move you around for operational reasons; weight and balance, etc. The more you know the better it is for you and if you don’t just ask questions and/or check the airline’s Web site. But please don’t refuse to do something that the crew has asked you to do.

Welcome to another episode of Travel Tip Tuesday, this is Kerwin with Cruisinaltitude.com.

Today we are going to talk about the “Contract of Carriage.”  You’re probably asking, “the Contract of What?”  Well, the “Contract of Carriage,”is something that you agree to when you buy a ticket from an airline.  Now, you’re probably going, well, I’ve never done that, well, yes you have.  If you buy a ticket online, there’s a little box that says I agree to the terms and conditions of this ticket and when you check that box, this is you saying that I agree to everything, all the rules of this ticket.

In the airline speak, its called a “Contract of Carriage” or a “Conditions of Carriage” and that just means that the rules that govern how you are carried on that airline

I took the liberty of printing out just the first page.  This one is from British Airways, this one is Southwest, these are available right on their web sites, just search for “Contract of Carriage” or “Conditions of Carriage” and you’ll find it.  This one is from United and this is from American.  Now some of the things they talk about here are:

  • Customer Relations
  • Customer Information
  • Customer Disability
  • Ticket Validity
  • Refunds
  • Acceptance of Children

Basically, all the rules that governs the airlines.

So one of the things that I looked at that one of them says, from British Airways #6c says:

“You must check-in by the check-in deadline.”

Now a lot of people have problems with this ’cause they’ll show up like lets say the deadline is an hour and they show up at 0:55 before the flight and they (the airline agent) go check-in is closed.  Well you know what? Check-in is closed!  So, i f your attitude is like “well, I can’t believe I can’t check-in for my flight,” maybe the agent won’t bend that rule. And some of the international airlines will not bend that rule.  You’re gonna be on standby for the next flight.

So make sure you read the Contract of Carriage or at least be familiar with so if you get to the airport late, just kind of be nice and say hey, I had some problems this morning or whatever the reasons are.  Don’t be like “I have to get on that flight” ’cause whatever as its just not going to work.

The Contract of Carriage is what governs you.

Now some airports have an early check-in so maybe you have to be checked in at 0:45 instead of an hour because of whatever the operational issues is for that airport, just make sure you are aware of that..

So, the real tip here is make sure you are aware of the Contract of Carriage or the Conditions of Contract depending on which airline you are traveling, ’cause it will definitely affect how you do your flights.

This is Kerwin with Cruisinaltitude.com and that’s another Travel Tip Tuesday.

Have a great flight.

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