Surely worse than having a employment situation where airline workers go on strike. Or the occasional delays one encounter because of weather, operational problems (with the aircraft) or airport congestion. Because what would one do if you were in a foreign land having flown out, only to find out that the carrier you’ve paid to bring you home has gone belly up?
2017 saw a number of such bankruptcies that caused quite a lot of anguish to both employees (of the airlines) and customers (aka the passenger). Would you buy the airline’s assets (here) as it disposes of them in bankruptcy?
In the past two decades, there had been a proliferation of airlines both full service but mostly budget oriented across the world. The business model premise on efficient use of aircraft assets (ie turnaround) and minimal frills (except when you pay for it). Competition have been intense (still is) and for years consumers appear to have been beneficiaries, ‘proletarizing’ travel making it accessible to almost anyone. Sustainability appears to be something that is now creeping up against these business entities…
While failing airlines are not unusual, today’s post harks to what we as travelers need to be aware of. It pays to look carefully at which carrier you are booking with with a few considerations such as :
- Insurance of the travel kind. Does it cover airline insolvency? How can you claim them and to what limits?
- Track record of the carrier. Punctuality, reliability/safety etc… has it been in financial trouble before? Would you even do this?
- Alternate travel arrangements, ie a mitigation plan. Yeah this might be a little over the top but if you travel cheap… might want to think about it.
Because while size may not seem to matter, it does when the unexpected occurs. Large airlines go bust too. Digressing: this applies in the event natural disasters occur too, leading you to be potentially stranded.
Have you experienced booking on an airline that went bankrupt?