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View Full Version : Independence Air may stop flying!!!


Chicago526
09-20-2005, 01:54 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/today/sky.htm

Chapter 7, that means total liquidation, so the WOULD stop flying. They DO NOT have ticket agrements with other airlines, so other carriers may not honor their tickets.

I just wanted to warn you all. DON'T book them and if you have tickets, be prepared to re-book new travel in a moments notice. Once they go under, you'll be fighting with thousands of other travelers for space on other airlines.

You won't get a refund from the airline, so contact your credit card company (if/when they file) and see if they can help you (their policies may vary).

If they file Chapter 11, then you won't have nearly as much to worry about, as airlines keep flying under Chapter 11. It's only if they file 7 that passengers will be up a creek!

CarolA
09-20-2005, 02:09 PM
OK.

If your flight is in the next few weeks you may have to go the standby route. If they go Chap 7 and quit flying a couple of things can still happen. If your flight is before mid November Congress has a law that requires other airlines to accomodate you on a standby basis for a change fee not to exceed something like $50. That may be your best bet if you have a flight upcoming very soon as it is unlikely you will find a cheap fare on another carrier.

If this becomes official I would contact my CC immediately.

Option two is that someone could "assume" them. Kind of like what happened with ATA a few months ago. In that case the "assumer" would probably honor the tickets. Not sure SW wants this one though!

TDC Nala
09-20-2005, 06:51 PM
I have three flights on IA before the end of the year. If I rebook now, I lose the fares whether they go under or not. There's no refund from IA, just a credit. Waiting is about all there is to do.

bicker
09-21-2005, 05:35 AM
If your flight is before mid November Congress has a law that requires other airlines to accomodate you on a standby basis for a change fee not to exceed something like $50.That would be Section 145 of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act:

49 USC 40101
SEC. 145.
AIR CARRIERS REQUIRED TO HONOR TICKETS FOR SUSPENDED SERVICE.

(a) In General.--Each air carrier that provides scheduled air transportation on a route shall provide, to the extent practicable, air transportation to passengers ticketed for air transportation on that route by any other air carrier that suspends, interrupts, or discontinues air passenger service on the route by reason of insolvency or bankruptcy of the other air carrier.

(b) Passenger Obligation.-- An air carrier is not required to provide air transportation under subsection (a) to a passenger unless that passenger makes alternative arrangements with the air carrier for such transportation within 60 days after the date on which that passenger's air transportation was suspended, interrupted, or discontinued (without regard to the originally scheduled travel date on the ticket).

(c) Sunset.--This section does not apply to air transportation the suspension, interruption, or discontinuance of which occurs more than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

It was adopted on November 19, 2001, and had been extended. However, I believe it finally did expire November 18, 2004.

Note that the Act never specified a dollar amount, and the airlines therefore interpreted it to mean that they could charge whatever they determined to be their "cost," so in many cases that could be hundreds of dollars, especially for a whole family.

Also, the provision was limited to carriers that fly the specific route, and interpretations of that led to various limitations. For example, New York LaGuardia to Sanford FL would not necessarily have been considered the same route as New York JFK to Orlando. There were even rumblings that if you had a connection on the insolvent airline, another airline wouldn't be obligated to carry you if they didn't provide a connection through the same city.

Also, the protection was only offered for passengers traveling within 60 days of the bankruptcy. Folks purchasing tickets further out weren't protected. This, combined with the fact that credit card customers are only guaranteed protection from their credit card issuer for the first 60 days after purchase, ended up creating a large gap of protection.

Truly, IMHO the best protection is to purchase airline tickets along with travel insurance. If you cannot get travel insurance for a specific airline, then either don't fly that airline, or decide that you'll take your chances and pay for the replacement tickets, if it becomes necessary to secure them, out of your own savings.

MermaidsMom
09-21-2005, 07:24 AM
Truly, IMHO the best protection is to purchase airline tickets along with travel insurance. If you cannot get travel insurance for a specific airline, then either don't fly that airline, or decide that you'll take your chances and pay for the replacement tickets, if it becomes necessary to secure them, out of your own savings.


I thought that insurance would work, but I read the small print on the insurance NWA is selling with their tickets and if they shut down the insurance doesn't cover that. They cover alot of other things but not an actual business closing. I called the number for questions about the insurance and was told they recently dropped that coverage from NWA and Delta, which she said is common when a carrier hints of bankruptcy. I don't know if AA or Continental still have this coverage or not. Be sure to read the fine print.

Brian Noble
09-21-2005, 07:51 AM
purchase airline tickets along with travel insurance
You want to be very careful with insurance providers. If you go to *****************, you'll find that only a few policies cover default if the policy is purchased post-bankruptcy, and then only if you buy the insurance policy within a short time after buying the airline tickets.

PortieOwner
09-21-2005, 12:53 PM
What a shame. I have flown them twice and they were an excellent airline! I much prefer them to NW, USAir, United, etc.

CarolA
09-21-2005, 02:52 PM
I am not sure, but my undestanding is that congress did pass an extension of the above act. However, that extension is scheduled to expire this November. So basically it is a year to year thing. (I remember posting the newslink when it was extended through this year and I recently read something on one of the news websites indicating it was up for renewal again this fall.)

wuv tigger
09-21-2005, 02:59 PM
I hope they are still around then!

I sure don't want to get stuck in FL w/ a rental.

bicker
09-21-2005, 05:51 PM
I thought that insurance would work, but I read the small print on the insurance NWA is selling with their tickets and if they shut down the insurance doesn't cover that.Definitely go with independent insurance. And again, limit yourself to airlines that they're willing to cover, even for bankruptcy, if it is protection that you're after.

I am not sure, but my undestanding is that congress did pass an extension of the above act. However, that extension is scheduled to expire this November.I don't think so. I did a pretty significant search this morning, and was following it very closely when it expired last year (because I had airline tickets for flights to a cruise in January). I'll check again, though.

bicker
09-21-2005, 06:15 PM
Okay, found the information...

The Act was extended late, as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458, 17 December 2004) (so evidently there was a full month when it wasn't in force). So it is in force now through November 18 of this year.

Let's keep in mind, though, that it doesn't matter much. The Act doesn't really help very much. This is a great summary of what the Act really says:

http://www.hasbrouck.org/articles/bankruptcy.html

The most important bits are:

"Ticket holders are considered 'unsecured creditors'. As such, they are among the last people to get paid, if there is anything left after all the secured creditors (such as aircraft leasing companies) are paid. In most recent airline liquidations, ticket holders have gotten nothing. At most, they would get pennies on the dollar, at least if they bought their tickets in the USA."

Also....

"This law provides no protection at all to many ticket holders, and only very limited protection to the rest. It was intended to reasssure travellers, not really to protect them. Its main effect it to give travellers a false sense of protection. It applies only to other airlines based in the USA flying the same route, and only if they have space available after selling as many tickets as they could to their own paying passengers. If a major airline goes out of business, many passengers will have to wait weeks for seats to be available, especially at that airline's hubs. Particularly on international routes, there is often no other USA-based airline flying the same route."

And...

"Does this law mean I can still count on getting to my destination? -- No. There's no guarantee there will be any space available on another airline, especially since an airline faced with the prospect of having to transport a bankrupt airline's passengers for US$50 each would have a strong reason to lower its prices to fill those seats with its own passengers for US$51 each. Even if seats are available, you might have to travel several days or weeks earlier or later than you had planned."

Please be sure that you're not surprised should the worst happen. I very much doubt that this is a likely prospect for folks holding tickets on Northwest or Delta, but it is a likely prospect for folks holding tickets on Independence Air.

TDC Nala
09-21-2005, 07:24 PM
Okay, I have two of my three flights rebooked on Southwest. The problem with one is that the return trip is at 6:45 AM. I am going to be watching those DING fares so I can rebook that one.

I don't know what to do about the third, in mid-November. The cost for the available Southwest flights is ridiculous. United has good fares, but with Southwest I can cancel and take the credit if IA doesn't go under. With United I can't cancel, but if I cancel IA to go with United I don't get any money back, just a credit with them.

I think I will wait and just cancel the November trip if IA goes under and I can't rebook.