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Airline Companies’ Contract of Carriage Policy and What You Need to Know

You must be aware that when you purchase a product or service, or even access certain websites, you are required to accept a legal document. This piece of the document contains various regulations that you must agree to in order to use the product, service, or the website you are visiting. Similarly, for airline carriers, there is something called a “contract of carriage”,which is a legal document that outlines regulations for both the company that is offering the product and/or service and customers.

In this blog, we are going to do a detailed overview on contract of carriage of airline carriers and also, things that you should know about such travel policies.

What is an Airline’s Contract of Carriage?

In air travel, a contract of carriage refers mainly to the terms and conditions between an airline carrier and its customers.

These terms and conditions or regulations basically define certain standards, responsibilities, rules, obligations, and rights of both parties. A contract, or portions of it, may differ from one airline carrier to another and the country’s jurisdiction.

In addition, you can also think of a contract of carriage as the rights which you can exercise, in case something goes wrong, at the airport or in-flight. Thus, this document may also allow both the airline carrier and passengers to deal with matters fairly.

What Does an Airliner’s Contract of Carriage Contain?

An airline carrier’s contract of carriage generally contain a lot of information. That is why such documents are often very lengthy, and many people simply ignore reading them through. However, it is advised that you go through the contract carefully and know what to do when things go off your or the airliner’s hands.

Basically, here are just a few of the policies that are included in the airliner’s contract of carriage.

  • Airline boarding policies
  • Checked-in and carry-on luggage policies
  • Denied boarding policies
  • Baggage/luggage loss and damage policies
  • Compensation and refund policies

Additionally, the airline’s contract may also contain obligations towards:

  • Products and services marketed and offered by the airline carrier
  • Purchase, customisations and cancellation of products and/or services
  • Delay in flight operations
  • Transportation of passengers
  • Handling of passengers’ baggage/luggage
  • Accommodation in hotels
  • Technical errors and issues
  • Emergencies
  • Mechanical problems beyond the airliner’s control
  • Acts of God or force majeure

Keep in mind that an airline carrier may not guarantee certain obligations to passengers, if they are not able to fulfil them financially or otherwise.

Where do I Find the Contract of Carriage of the Airline Carrier I’m Travelling?

Since an airliner’s contract of carriage usually contain lengthy regulations, these documents are not mailed to you. However, some countries may require an airline carrier to provide a copy of the contract to its customers.

Nonetheless, the only way to read the complete contract of carriage of an airline carrier is to visit their website. Usually, you will find the link to the contract located at the bottom of the website. It is included along with other policies which are commonly displayed on websites. They appear as “Terms and Conditions”, “Contract of Carriage”, and other related policies.

In addition, when you book a flight reservation, say, on American Airlines, or another carrier, the issuance of your flight ticket also indicates that you have agreed to the airliner’s terms and conditions. Although you will not realise this, purchasing a flight ticket adheres you to the airliner’s contract.

For example, upon purchasing a flight ticket for American Airlines, you will notice certain legal information that is printed either at the bottom or on the back of your ticket. The legal information that you see on your flight ticket is an excerpt of the contract which you have agreed to adhere to.

References to the Contract of Carriage of Airline Carriers

We have included a short list of a few airline carriers and a reference to their contract of carriage that you can access and read.

Air Canada: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Air France: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Air New Zealand: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Alaska Airlines: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

American Airlines: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Avianca: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

British Airways: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Cathay Pacific: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Delta Air Lines: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Iberia: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

JetBlue: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

LATAM Airlines: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Lufthansa: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Norwegian: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Qantas: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Singapore Airlines: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Southwest Airlines: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Swiss International Air Lines: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Turkish Airlines: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

United Airlines: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

Virgin Atlantic: Read the airliner’s contract of carriage here.

You can also find more airline carriers and their respective contract of carriage documents in order to know the rights between you and the carrier.

Conclusion

An airliner’s contract of carriage should not be ignored because knowing your rights can save you from unexpected situations occurring during your trip.

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