Taking a Ride with Lyft May Be Riskier Than You Realize.

To catch a ride through Lyft’s popular ridesharing app users must download the app to their mobile phone, create an account, and provide their contact and credit card information.  The only way to complete this process is to agree to Lyft’s Terms of Service.  The process is easy, but the Terms of Service are a binding contract between you and Lyft, Inc., so it’s important to understand them.  Lyft’s Terms of Service include 14,671 words (about 29 typewritten pages) and are written at grade 15 reading level. One reason for the length is that Lyft’s Terms of Service include provisions applicable to its drivers as well as riders.  To help you understand Lyft’s Terms of Service, TermScout believes these are the five most important provisions you should understand.

 

Five Things Riders Should Know About Lyft’s Terms of Service

1. Lyft Claims No Responsibility for Driver Conduct.  Although Lyft screens drivers, Lyft disclaims any responsibility for their conduct. If the driver causes an accident that injures you, you probably won’t be successful if you Lyft.  That’s also true if the driver assaults you. Safety tip: If you don’t feel comfortable with the driver, don’t get in the vehicle. If you the driver’s driving concerns you, instruct the driver to pull over and let you out.

2. Fares May Increase Significantly During Prime Hours.  Lyft offers two types of fares – variable fares and quoted fares. Variable fares consist of a base charge and incremental charges based on the duration and distance of your ride.  In some cases, Lyft may quote you a fare when you request a ride. However, the Terms of Service provide that at times of high demand the charges may increase substantially. For rides with a variable fare, Lyft promises to use reasonable efforts to inform you of any Prime-Time multipliers in effect.  For quoted fares Lyft may factor in the Prime-Time multiplier.

3. Lyft May Charge You if You Cancel a Ride. You may cancel a ride at any time using the app, but Lyft may charge you a fee if you do.  Lyft will charge you a fee if (1) two minutes or more pass after a driver accepts your request and (2) your driver is on time to arrive within five minutes of the original estimated arrival time. In most cities, Lyft will charge you $10.00 for cancelling a ride.

4. Lyft Requires You to Waive Your Right to a Trial and to Instead Participate in Arbitration.  Though Lyft’s Terms of Service make it difficult for you to successfully bring a claim against Lyft, if you do, Lyft requires that you waive your right to a trial and instead agree to binding arbitration.

5. Lyft Will Send You Promotional Texts and Emails Unless You Opt Out.  To be able to provide services, Lyft requires that you provide your phone number and email address. However, Lyft will sometime use that information to send you promotional texts and emails.  Lyft makes it easy to unsubscribe from promotional communications.

TermScout hopes you find this summary helpful.  Remember – this is just a summary. It is not a substitute for reading Lyft’s Terms of Service.

Authors

Mark Cohen

Advising Attorney, TermScout  

Traveling with a Medical Device

Quick Facts

  • Your carrier may require you to provide up to 48 hours’ advance notice and check in 1 hour earlier than normal if you need to use and/or connect a respirator or similar device to the plane’s power supply
  • You may need to provide up to 48 hours’ advance notice (72 hours for international flights) and check in 1 hour earlier if you want to use medical oxygen during the flight that is supplied by the carrier.
  • Many devices require manufacturing labels to prove they are FAA compliant.
  • Your carrier may require you to bring enough fully charged batteries to power your device for at least 150% of the expected flight time.
  • Your carrier may not require you to sign a waiver of liability for loss or damage of your assistive device, or as a requirement to receive in-flight services such as medical oxygen.
  • If you have a disability, you may ask at the gate to preboard the plane in order to have more time to stow your equipment or be seated.
  • Your assistive device will not count toward your carrier’s carry-on policy, so even if your carrier does not allow carry-on items, you may still bring your device.
  • If your device is lost or damaged during the flight, you could recover an amount up to its original purchase price.

Introduction

            According to the Air Carrier Access Act, carriers may not discriminate against individuals with a disability.1 In order to carry out this Act, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published part 382 in the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.).2 These rules outline many of the rights airline passengers with disabilities have and how carriers must accommodate these rights. All U.S. carriers must comply with these rules, and foreign carriers must comply for flights to/from the U.S.3 We have read through these rules, and this article will lay out what rights you have if you are someone who needs to travel with an assistive device.

For the purposes of this article, an assistive device does not refer to mobility aids, such as wheelchairs. For information on those, please refer to Traveling with a Mobility Impairment.

Before Your Flight

            According to the C.F.R., you are not required to provide advance notice that you will be on a flight.4 However, a carrier may require you to provide up to 48 hours’ advance notice and check in 1 hour earlier than normal if you need to use and/or connect a respirator or similar device to the plane’s power supply, need your carrier to provide packaging for your assistive device (if the carrier requires packaging), or need to travel with an incubator. You may also need to provide up to 48 hours’ advance notice (72 hours for international flights) and check in 1 hour earlier if you want to use medical oxygen during the flight that is supplied by the carrier. 5

You should contact your carrier before your flight to ask for any other requirements or restrictions such as labels, size, and weight. Many devices require manufacturing labels to prove they are FAA compliant. Additionally, your carrier may require you to bring enough fully charged batteries to power your device for at least 150% of the expected flight time. If you tell your carrier in advance that you will be using an assistive device in-flight, then your carrier must inform you of the expected flight time within 48 hours of your booking, “or 24 hours before departure, whichever is earlier. If you do not comply with the carrier’s requirements, then you may be denied boarding.6 For a full list of POC machines that do not need a label, please refer to § 382.133(c)-(d) on pages 446-447 in the C.F.R.7

It is also important to note that a carrier may not require you to sign a waiver of liability for loss or damage of your assistive device, or as a requirement to receive in-flight services such as medical oxygen.8

 At the Airport

            At the airport, you and your assistive device will be subject to the same TSA screening as everyone else.9 However, your carrier may also conduct an additional screening if your device sets off the security system, or if it believes that your device may conceal a prohibited item.10

Boarding and Deplaning

            If you have a disability, you may ask at the gate to preboard the plane in order to have more time to stow your equipment or be seated.11 If you do preboard, your assistive device may be stowed with priority over other passengers’ items, except for wheelchairs.12 If you do not preboard, then the space in the priority storage area will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.13 If the space is filled in the priority storage area, then your device may be stowed with priority over other baggage in the overhead baggage compartment.14

On the Plane

            If your assistive device can be stowed in a designated area, then your carrier must allow you to bring it in the cabin.15 Your assistive device will not count toward your carrier’s carry-on policy, so even if your carrier does not allow carry-on items, you may still bring your device.16 While on the plane, you may ask for help with stowing and retrieving your assistive device.17 If your assistive device needs to be disassembled and reassembled in order to be stowed in the cabin, then you may provide written instructions which the carrier must follow if possible. If your device is disassembled by the carrier, then the carrier must ensure its reassembly and return.18 If your device is lost or damaged during the flight, you could recover an amount up to its original purchase price.19

If you are traveling on a plane designed to carry more the 19 passengers, then you may use the following assistive devices in the cabin as long as they are compliant with TSA, FAA, and PHMSA regulations: a personal oxygen concentrator, a ventilator, a respirator, or a CPAP machine.20

More Resources

For additional information check out our articles on traveling with a service or emotional support animal, traveling with a hearing or vision impairment, and traveling with a mobility impairment

References

1 49 U.S.C. § 41705(a) (2003).
2 14 C.F.R. §382.1 (2018).
3 14 C.F.R. § 382.7(a)-(b) (2018).
4 14 C.F.R. § 382.25 (2018).
5 14 C.F.R. § 382.27(b) (2018); 14 C.F.R. § 382.27(c)(1), (2), (5) (2018).
6 14 C.F.R. § 382.133(e)(1)-(3) (2018); 14 C.F.R. § 382.133(h)(1)-(3) (2018).
7 14 C.F.R. § 382.133(c)-(d) (2018).
8 14 C.F.R. § 382.35(a)-(b) (2018).
9 14 C.F.R. § 382.55(a) (2018).
10 14 C.F.R. § 382.55(b)(2)(i)-(ii) (2018).
11 14 C.F.R. § 382.93 (2018).
12 14 C.F.R. § 382.123(a)(2) (2018).
13 14 C.F.R. § 382.123(a)(3) (2018).
14 14 C.F.R. § 382.125(a)-(b) (2018).
15 14 C.F.R. § 382.121(a)(3) (2018).
16 14 C.F.R. § 382.121(b) (2018).
17 14 C.F.R. § 382.111(e) (2018).
18 14 C.F.R. § 382.129(a)-(b) (2018).
19 14 C.F.R. § 382.131 (2018).
20 14 C.F.R. § 382.133(a)-(c) (2018).

Authors

Matt Matsuyama

Contract Analyst Intern, TermScout  

Ben Golopol

Contract Analyst, TermScout  

Your Rights When Traveling with a Mobility Impairment

 

Quick Facts

  • Your carrier may require you to provide up to 48 hours’ advance notice and check in 1 hour earlier than normal to guarantee certain services.
  • Your carrier must provide help with moving throughout the airport if you need it and request it due to your disability.
  • You will still be subject to standard TSA screening requirements, even if you are escorted by a carrier.
  • You may pre-board if you self-identify at the gate as having a disability which requires more time or help with boarding, stowing your mobility aid, or being seated.
  • If you tell the carrier that you have a disability which requires a seating accommodation, then the carrier must make that accommodation if it is available on your specific plane.
  • In order to guarantee you will be able to receive these accommodations, you must request them at least 24 hours before your flight’s departure time and check in at least one hour earlier than the general public.
  • Carriers are required to permit manual wheelchairs and other mobility aids into the cabin, provided they can be stowed in a designated area.

    Introduction

    According to the Carrier Access Act, carriers may not discriminate against individuals with a disability.1 In order to carry out this Act, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published part 382 in the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.).2 These rules outline many of the rights airline passengers with disabilities have and how carriers must accommodate these rights. All U.S. carriers must comply with these rules, and foreign carriers must comply for flights to/from the U.S.3 We have read through these rules, and this article will lay out what rights you have if you are someone with a vision and/or hearing impairment.

    Before Your Trip

    You are not required to provide advance notice that you will be on a flight.1 However, a carrier may require you to provide up to 48 hours’ advance notice and check in 1 hour earlier than normal for the following services: traveling in a stretcher, transporting an electric wheelchair on a plane with less than 60 seats, traveling in a group of 10 or more disabled individuals, or using an on-board wheelchair on a plane (with more than 60 seats) without an accessible lavatory.2 Additionally, a carrier may require you to check in 1 hour earlier than normal if you want to check a battery-powered wheelchair.3 If you do not provide advance notice or check in early for these services, the carrier must still make a reasonable effort to accommodate you without delaying the flight.4

    At the Airport

                If you need help moving throughout the airport because of your disability, then you should request help from your carrier, as it is required to either provide or ensure help is provided.5 However, you will still be subject to standard TSA screening requirements, even if you are escorted by a carrier. Your carrier may also impose additional screening requirements. If the carrier reasonably believes that a prohibited item is hidden in your mobility aid (e.g., wheelchair, crutches), then it may examine it. But, if your mobility aid sets off the TSA security system, then the carrier may search you and the mobility aid. No other screenings may be performed on the basis of your disability alone.6

    Boarding and Deplaning

                If you stow your wheelchair in the cabin of the plane, then you are entitled to pre-board the plane.7 You may also pre-board if you self-identify at the gate as having a disability which requires more time or help with boarding, stowing your mobility aid, or being seated.8 Even if you do not pre-board, your carrier is required to provide assistance with boarding and deplaning, upon your request, through the use of various types of wheelchairs and/or motorized carts where applicable. If a level loading bridge is not available, then the carrier must (with some exceptions) use a lift or ramp to help you board and deplane at U.S. airports with at least 10,000 annual enplanements.9 After you request assistance with boarding, deplaning, or connecting with another flight, the carrier may not leave you unattended for longer than 30 minutes while you are in a mobility aid and cannot move by yourself.10

     On the Plane

    Seating Accommodations

                If you tell the carrier that you have a disability which requires a seating accommodation, then the carrier must make that accommodation if it is available on your specific plane. For example, if you are unable to get in/out of a seat with an armrest, then you may request to be moved to a row with movable armrests. Or, if your leg is immobilized, then you may request to be moved to either a bulkhead seat, or another seat with more leg room than normal, on the side of the plane that is better for your leg.11 Additionally, the carrier must provide an adjoining seat for your in-flight assistant if your assistant will perform tasks that the flight crew are not required to do, or if your assistant was required by the carrier.12 In order to guarantee you will be able to receive these accommodations, you must request them at least 24 hours before your flight’s departure time and check in at least one hour earlier than the general public. If you do not do this, then the carrier must still try to accommodate you reasonably, but it is not required to reassign another passenger’s seat for you.13

    In-Flight Assistance

                While on-board the plane, the carrier must provide the following services at the passenger’s request:

    (1) help with moving to/from your seat while boarding and deplaning,

    (2) help with the on-board wheelchair to use the lavatory, and

    (3) help with stowing and retrieving carry-on items.14

    You should also note that the carrier personnel are not required to provide assistance within the lavatory or provide medical services.15

    Mobility Aids

                Carriers are required to permit manual wheelchairs and other mobility aids into the cabin, provided they can be stowed in a designated area.16 These items will not count toward the carrier’s carry-on policy, however, the number of mobility aids allowed could be restricted, so you should check with your carrier if you need to bring more than one.17

    More Resources 

    For additional information check out our articles on traveling with a service or emotional support animal, traveling with a hearing or vision impairment, and traveling with a medical device.

    References

    1 14 C.F.R. § 382.25 (2018).
    2 14 C.F.R. § 382.27(c) (3), (4), (6), (7) (2018).
    3 14 C.F.R. § 382.127(a)-(b) (2018).
    4 14 C.F.R. § 382.27(g) (2018).
    5 14 C.F.R. § 382.91(a)-(d) (2018).
    6
    14 C.F.R. § 382.55 (2018).
    7 14 C.F.R. § 382.67(f) (2018).
    8 14 C.F.R. § 382.93 (2018).
    9 14 C.F.R. § 382.95(a)-(b) (2018).
    10 14 C.F.R. § 382.103 (2018).
    11 14 C.F.R. § 382.81(a), (d) (2018).
    12 14 C.F.R. § 382.81(b)(1), (4) (2018).
    13 14 C.F.R. § 382.83(a)(1)(iii) (2018); 14 C.F.R. § 382.83(a)(2)(iv) (2018).
    14 14 C.F.R. § 382.111(a), (c), (e) (2018).
    15 14 C.F.R. § 382.113(a)-(c) (2018).
    16 14 C.F.R. § 382.121(a)(1)-(3) (2018).
    17 14 C.F.R. § 382.121(b) (2018).

    Authors

    Matt Matsuyama

    Contract Analyst Intern, TermScout  

    Ben Golopol

    Contract Analyst, TermScout  

    Your Rights When Traveling with a Vision or Hearing Impairment

     

     Quick Facts 

    • If you have both severe vision and severe hearing impairments, then you may be required to provide 48 hours’ advance notice and check in 1 hour earlier than normal in order to receive accommodations.
    • All carriers in U.S. airports must make their information accessible “at each gate, ticketing area, and customer service desk” within the respective carrier’s control.
    • Your carrier must provide help with moving throughout the airport if you need it and request it due to your disability.
    • If you tell the carrier that you have a disability which requires a seating accommodation, then the carrier must make that accommodation if it is available on your specific plane.
    • In order to guarantee you will be able to receive seating accommodations, you must request them at least 24 hours before your flight’s departure time and check in at least one hour earlier than the general public.
    • Your carrier is required to permit canes and other aids into the cabin, provided they can be stowed in a designated area.

    Introduction

    According to the Carrier Access Act, carriers may not discriminate against individuals with a disability.1 In order to carry out this Act, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published part 382 in the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.).2 These rules outline many of the rights airline passengers with disabilities have and how carriers must accommodate these rights. All U.S. carriers must comply with these rules, and foreign carriers must comply for flights to/from the U.S.3 We have read through these rules, and this article will lay out what rights you have if you are someone with a vision and/or hearing impairment.

    Before Your Trip

                According to the C.F.R., you are not required to provide advance notice that you will be on a flight.4 However, if you have both severe vision and severe hearing impairments, then you may be required to provide 48 hours’ advance notice and check in 1 hour earlier than normal in order to receive accommodations.5 If you do not meet these potential requirements, then the carrier must still make a reasonable effort to accommodate you without delaying the flight.6

    At the Airport

                Even with a vision and/or hearing impairment, you will still have access to all of the same information as other passengers (as long as personnel can provide the information safely). If you have trouble accessing this information, you should notify carrier personnel. All carriers in U.S. airports must make their information accessible “at each gate, ticketing area, and customer service desk” within the respective carrier’s control.7

    If you need help moving throughout the airport because of your disability, then you should request help from your carrier, as it is required to either provide or ensure help is provided.8 However, you will still be subject to standard TSA screening requirements, even if you are escorted by a carrier. Your carrier may also impose additional screening requirements. If the carrier reasonably believes that a prohibited item is hidden in your mobility aid or assistive device (e.g. cane), then it may examine it. But, if your aid sets off the TSA security system, then the carrier may search you and your aid. No other screenings may be performed on the basis of your disability alone.9

     Boarding and Deplaning

                If your visual or hearing impairment affects your ability to board and deplane, then you may request assistance. You may pre-board if you self-identify at the gate as having a disability which requires more time or help with boarding, stowing your mobility aid, or being seated.10 If you do not pre-board, your carrier is still required to provide assistance with boarding and deplaning, upon your request, through the use of various types of wheelchairs and/or motorized carts where applicable.11

    On the Plan

    Seating Accommodations

    If you tell the carrier that you have a disability which requires a seating accommodation, then the carrier must make that accommodation if it is available on your specific plane. For example, the carrier must provide an adjoining seat if you are traveling with a reader, an interpreter, or an assistant who will perform tasks for you in-flight. Additionally, the carrier must provide an adjoining seat if your assistant will perform tasks that the flight crew are not required to do, or if your assistant was required by the carrier.12 In order to guarantee you will be able to receive these accommodations, you must request them at least 24 hours before your flight’s departure time and check in at least one hour earlier than the general public. Even if you do not do this, the carrier must still try to accommodate you reasonably, but it is not required to reassign another passenger’s seat for you.1

    In-Flight Assistance

    While on-board the plane, the carrier must provide the following services at the passenger’s request: (1) help with moving to/from your seat while boarding and deplaning, (2) help with the on-board wheelchair to use the lavatory, (3) help with stowing and retrieving carry-on items, and (4) effective communication to accommodate for your visual and/or hearing impairments.14 You should also note that the carrier personnel are not required to provide assistance within the lavatory, provide medical services, or assist with eating.1

    Assistive Devices

    Carriers are required to permit canes and other aids into the cabin, provided they can be stowed in a designated area.16 These items will not count toward the carrier’s carry-on policy, however, the number of mobility aids allowed could be restricted, so you should check with your carrier if you need to bring more than 1.17

    More Resources

    For additional information check out our articles on traveling with a service or emotional support animal, traveling with a medical device, and traveling with a mobility impairment

    References

    1 49 U.S.C. § 41705(a) (2003).
    2 14 C.F.R. §382.1 (2018).
    3 14 C.F.R. § 382.7(a)-(b) (2018).
    4 14 C.F.R. § 382.25 (2018).
    5 14 C.F.R. § 382.27(c)(10) (2018).
    6 14 C.F.R. § 382.27(g) (2018).
    7 14 C.F.R. § 382.53(a)(1)-(2) (2018).
    8 14 C.F.R. § 382.91(a)-(d) (2018).
    9 14 C.F.R. § 382.55 (2018).
    10 14 C.F.R. § 382.93 (2018).
    11 14 C.F.R. § 382.95(a) (2018).
    12 14 C.F.R. § 382.81 (2018); 14 C.F.R. § 382.81(b)(1)-(4) (2018)
    13 14 C.F.R. § 382.83(a)(1)(iii) (2018); 14 C.F.R. § 382.83(a)(2)(iv) (2018).
    14 14 C.F.R. § 382.111(a), (c), (e), (f) (2018).
    15 14 C.F.R. § 382.113(a)-(c) (2018).
    16 14 C.F.R. § 382.121(a)(1)-(3) (2018).
    17 14 C.F.R. § 382.121(b) (2018).

    Authors

    Matt Matsuyama

    Contract Analyst Intern, TermScout  

    Ben Golopol

    Contract Analyst, TermScout  

    The Best Baggage Policies for American Military Members

    Top 10 Airlines for Military Baggage

    As the costs of air travel have consistently increased in recent years, we are all looking for ways to reduce the costs of our trips.  For active-duty members of the military, one of the easiest ways to ease this burden is by taking advantage of complimentary baggage allowances provided by many U.S. airlines. 

    This information isn’t always well advertised, so we decided to bring all the data together here for easy reference.  For all airlines, a common access ID is required, and when benefits differ for official and personal travel, official orders may be required as well. Below, you’ll find easy-to-use reference guides for traveling on orders and on personal business ranked from most generous to least generous along with our overall winner.

    Military Baggage Benefits When Traveling on Orders

     

    Airline (with ranking)Carry-OnFree Checked BagsCan They be Oversized?What Benefits are there for Dependents?
    T-1. UnitedFree for Anyone5YesSame as military member
    T-1. AmericanFree for Anyone5YesSame as military member
    3. AllegiantOne Free3YesFree carry on + 3 standard checked bags
    4. AlaskaFree for Anyone5YesSame as military member; must be traveling on same itinerary
    5. SouthwestFree for AnyoneUnlimitedYesNot indicated; call 1-800-435-9792 to verify
    6. HawaiianFree for Anyone4YesSame as military member
    7. JetBlueFree for Anyone5NoSame as military member; must be traveling on same itinerary
    8. DeltaFree for Anyone5YesNone
    9. FrontierOne Free2YesNone
    10. SpiritOne Free2NoNone

    Military Baggage Benefits When Traveling on Personal Business

    Airline (with ranking)Carry-OnFree Checked BagsCan They be Oversized?What Benefits are there for Dependents?
    1. AllegiantOne Free3YesFree carry on + 3 standard checked bags (includes veterans)
    2. AlaskaFree for Anyone5YesSame as military member; must be traveling on same itinerary
    3. UnitedFree for Anyone3YesSame as military member; must be traveling on same itinerary
    4. FrontierOne Free2YesNone
    5. JetBlueFree for Anyone2NoSame as military member; must be traveling on same itinerary
    T-6. AmericanFree for Anyone2NoNone
    T-6. SouthwestFree for Anyone2NoNot indicated; call 1-800-435-9792 to verify
    T-6.HawaiianFree for Anyone2NoNone
    T-6. DeltaFree for Anyone2NoNone
    T-6. SpiritOne Free2NoNone

    Our Overall Rankings

    1. Allegiant

    While many airlines offer benefits to both active-duty military members and their dependents, only Allegiant goes the extra mile, by providing those benefits to veterans as well. As a result of this generous policy, we have ranked Allegiant first overall when it comes to military baggage benefits.1

    2. Alaska

    Alaska’s policies are very generous, with the only knock being the fact that dependents on personal travel may only take advantage of the benefits if they are traveling on the same itinerary as an active-duty military member.2

    3. United

    Like Alaska, United offers very generous baggage benefits on all types of travel, but restricts dependents’ benefits on personal travel to only trips booked on the same itinerary as an active-duty member.3

    4. American

    American offers great benefits to military members and their dependents when traveling on orders, but the benefits on personal travel are comparatively much less generous.4

    5. Southwest

    When traveling on orders (and perhaps without dependents), Southwest is as good as it gets, placing no limit on the number of bags one can check.5  We could not find any information on Southwest’s website that dependents are afforded the same allowance, but a phone representative stated that dependents are included.  We recommend calling 1-800-435-9792 to verify.

    6. JetBlue

    JetBlue does offer substantial benefits to military members, but dependents must be traveling on the same itinerary for both travel on orders and personal business, which hurt their ranking.6

    7. Hawaiian

    Hawaiian offers great benefits to both members and their dependents when traveling on orders, but on personal travel their policies are less impressive, resulting in a lower ranking.7

    8. Delta

    Though Delta offers substantial benefits to military members traveling both on orders and personal business, these policies are not extended to dependents on any type of travel.8

    9. Frontier

    The two free oversized checked bags that Frontier offers military members are nice, but still less than any other provider except for Spirit and Frontier does not offer dependents any such benefits.9

    10. Spirit

    Finally, Spirit’s offer of two free standard checked bags for military members is the least generous of any of the top 10 US airlines, especially considering that dependents are not offered any benefits whatsoever.10

    Summary

    We were proud to learn that each of the top 10 US airlines offers some sort of free baggage allowance to our servicemen and women. We are thrilled to congratulate Allegiant on being ranked first overall in our inaugural rankings and commend the company for taking of veterans in addition to our active-duty forces.

    1 Allegiant Honors.
    2 Rule 15(F)(1)-(3), Contract of Carriage
    3 Checked Baggage.
    4 Military Bags, Special Items, Special Items and Sports Equipment.
    5 Section 7(e)(2), Southwest Contract of Carriage.
    6 Baggage Waiver, Military Customers.
    7 Military baggage allowance.
    8 Baggage Fee Exception, Active Military, Checked Baggage.
    9 Buy Bags Early and Save, Military Personnel.
    10 Does Spirit offer U.S. Military Discounts.

    Authors

    Ben Golopol

    Contract Analyst, TermScout  

    Five things to know before you buy a ticket on Hawaiian Airlines

    1.Watch out…there’s a $300 cancellation or change fee

    If you need to cancel or change your flight to Hawaii from the U.S. (or vice-versa), you will pay a $300 change/cancellation fee in addition to the difference in fair between your original ticket and the new one. And if the price of your ticket has gone down, Hawaiian will not issue a refund for the price difference.i

    Even if your ticket is eligible for a refund, you will still pay a $100 service fee to process your refund, unless you opt for a travel credit instead which must be used within one year of its issuance.ii

     

    2. Do not bring your pet! (unless you are moving to Hawaii)

    Hawaii is the only state that remains rabies free. As such, Hawaii has very strict requirements regarding bringing animals into the state.  It is possible if you bring your dog or cat with you, it will be quarantined for up to 120 days upon arrival unless it meets certain requirements. This is true for service and emotional support animals as well.iii Therefore, we highly recommend you visit Hawaii’s Animal Industry Division website to read about all the requirements and fees necessary for bringing your pet with you to Hawaii.

    If you do decide to travel with your pet from the U.S. upon Hawaiian Airlines, you may not bring it inside the cabin. Instead, you must ship your dog, cat, or bird as cargo, and the fee to do so is $175. This does not include any fees you may have to pay to the State of Hawaii upon arrival.iv

    If you’re traveling wholly within the State of Hawaii, you may bring your dog or cat on board with you for a fee of $35.

     

    3. There’s a fee for unaccompanied minor travel, and we’re not sure what your $100 gets you

    For a fee of $100, you may use Hawaiian’s Unaccompanied Minor service for up to two children from the same family. This service must be used for children between the ages of five and 11 traveling without an accompanying passenger who is at least 15 years old and can only be used when the flight is non-stop and direct.v

    Based on Hawaiian’s contract and website, it is unclear what, exactly, this $100 gets you. Other airlines specify such services as a free drink and a snack onboard, pre-boarding, or an escort from the gate to meet the designated pick-up person. Hawaiian does not provide this information so presumably, they don’t offer anything. You can text Hawaiian at 855-808-1717, call them at 800-367-5320, or submit a question here.

     

    4. You don’t have to purchase your carry-on

    If you are flying domestically, Hawaiian does not charge for carry-on bags, and the fee for checked bags is $30, $40, and $100 for the first, second, and third bag, respectively. If you are traveling wholly within the State of Hawaii, the bag fees are $25, $35, and $50, respectively.vi

     

    5. Get your meal voucher if your flight is delayed more than four hours

    If your flight is delayed for more than four hours, talk to a gate agent or customer service representative and they will issue you a meal voucher in many situations (may not apply to delays caused by extreme weather and events beyond Hawaiian’s control). If this delay extends into the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., Hawaiian will provide you with one night’s accommodations, so long as the delay doesn’t occur in the city where you reside.vii

     

    TermScout can help!

    TermScout is releasing its Passenger Guides to the top ten U.S. airlines in early November. Our Guides will include everything you need to know from before you’ve purchased your ticket and you want to know what cancellation fees are or what policies an airline has related to your particular situation, to after you’ve purchased and you’re wondering what you can pack or how the airline can accommodate you, and even what to do when you’re traveling and something goes wrong.

    Click here to subscribe to our email list and be notified when we release our Passenger Guide to Hawaiian Airlines.

     

    References

    i Conditions for All Other Travel (Not Wholly Within the State of Hawaii), Fare Rules Terms and Conditions.
    ii Rule 24(B)(1)(d), Hawaiian Contract of Carriage.
    iii Rule 10(A)(7), Hawaiian Contract of Carriage.
    iv Rule 19(B)(4), Hawaiian Contract of Carriage.v Rule 12(C)(1), Hawaiian Contract of Carriage.vi Rule 17-18, Hawaiian Contract of Carriage.vii Rule 21(E)(1)-(5), Hawaiian Contract of Carriage.

     

    Authors

    Megan McCulloch

    Contract Analyst, TermScout  

    You may be entitled to money if you flew on one of these airlines.

    Did you know that if you traveled domestically on American, Delta, United, Southwest, Continental, or US Airways between July 1, 2011 and June 14, 2018 you could be eligible for compensation?  23 separate anti-trust class action suits were consolidated in 2016, alleging that the “Big Six,” which collectively make up more than 80% of the airline industry, colluded to cap the number of seats they would add to planes in order to artificially raise ticket prices even though fuel costs were lowering and ticket demand was unchanged.1Southwest and American agreed to settlements last year – without admitting any wrongdoing – in the amounts of $15 million and $45 million, respectively.  The lawsuits against United and Delta are ongoing.If you traveled during the time frame listed above aboard one of the “Big Six,” you can register here to receive updates about the lawsuit.  You may also go to the class action homepage for more information.Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates and alerts like this one delivered straight to your inbox.

    Authors

    Megan McCulloch

    Contract Analyst, TermScout  

    Your Rights When Traveling with a Service or Emotional Support Animal

    This article describes the rights you have under federal law if you are traveling with an emotional support or service animal.  The requirements differ for each.  Part 1 of this article applies only to service animals and Part 2 applies only to emotional support animals.  If your situation precludes you from bringing your animal on board as a service animal or emotional support animal, you may still be able to bring the animal onboard as a pet, but airline requirements for pets vary, and you should consult the individual airline to determine the applicable requirements.

     Quick Facts 

    • Airlines may require you to provide up to 48 hours’ advance notice and check in one hour earlier than normal if you want to bring your emotional support animal in the cabin or bring any service animal on an 8+ hour flight.
    • Your airline must provide a relief area for service animals at the airport.
    • If you have a disability and are traveling with a service animal, you may request to sit in a bulkhead seat or in another seat.
    • In order to guarantee seating accommodations, you should request them at least 24 hours before your flight’s departure time and check in at least one hour earlier than the general public.
    • You may request to pre-board your flight with a service animal or if you have a disability and self-identify at the gate as needing additional time or assistance to board.
    • Your airline must allow you to travel with your emotional support or service animal in the cabin (if you meet the applicable requirements).
    • Airlines have no obligation to transport “certain unusual service animals,” such as snakes or rodents, in the cabin.

    Your Rights

    According to the Air Carrier Access Act (the “ACCA”), airlines may not discriminate against individuals with a disability.1In order to carry out the ACCA, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) published part 382 of Title 14 in the Code of Federal Regulations (“C.F.R.”).2 These rules outline many of the rights airline passengers with disabilities have and how airlines must accommodate these rights.  All U.S. airlines must comply with these rules, and foreign airlines must comply for flights to and from the U.S.3

    Before Your Trip

    If you plan to travel with an emotional support or service animal, you should check with your airline to determine whether you must provide advance notice and check in early.  Airlines may require you to provide up to 48 hours’ advance notice and check in one hour earlier than the general public if you want to bring your emotional support animal in the cabin or bring any service animal on a flight scheduled to last more than eight hours.4

    However, your airline must not require you to sign a waiver of liability for loss of, or injury to, your service animal.5

    Part 1: Traveling with a Service Animal

    At the Airport

     According to the C.F.R., if you are traveling with a service animal, your airline must provide a relief area for your animal at any airport in which you depart, connect, or arrive on a flight operated by your airline.6 You may also request that the airline cooperate with the airport operator in escorting you and your service animal to the relief area.7

    On the Plane

    Seating Accommodations

    If you have a disability and are traveling with a service animal, you may request to sit in a bulkhead seat or in another seat.8 Your service animal may also accompany you at any other seat, unless the animal blocks the aisle or emergency exit area.  If your seat cannot accommodate you and your service animal, the airline must offer you the opportunity to move to another seat with your service animal.9 In order to guarantee you will be able to receive these accommodations, you should request them at least 24 hours before your flight’s departure time and check in at least one hour earlier than the general public.  If you do not do this, then the airline must still try to accommodate you reasonably, but it is not required to reassign another passenger’s seat for you.10 You may also request to pre-board your flight and the airline must accommodate this request.11

    In-Cabin Animals

    If you have a disability, your airline must allow you to travel with your service animal in the cabin.  However, if you are traveling on a flight longer than 8 hours, your airline may require you to provide documentation that your animal won’t need to relieve itself, or that it can do so in a sanitary manner.12

    Airlines are not required to transport all service animals and have no obligation to transport “certain unusual service animals,” such as snakes or rodents, in the cabin.  Other service animals, such as miniature horses, may be denied transportation in the cabin if doing so is not possible or not practicable.  If the airline decides not to allow you to travel with your service animal in the cabin with you, it must notify you of the reason and provide written documentation at the airport or within ten calendar days of the denial.13 Foreign airlines are “not required to carry any service animals other than dogs.”14

    Part 2: Traveling with an Emotional Support Animal

    If you are traveling with an emotional support animal, you must provide documentation signed and dated by a mental health professional within the last year that states: (1) you have a mental or emotional disability recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – Fourth Edition, (2) you need the animal during the flight or at your destination, (3) your assessment is provided by a licensed mental health professional, and (4) the date, type, and jurisdiction of the mental health professional’s license.15

    The federal regulations under the ACAA governing emotional support animals are not nearly as robust as those governing service animals.  Thus, airlines have more freedom to adopt their own restrictions and requirements for emotional support animals, so be sure to check your airline’s policies for these animals.

    More Resources

    Click here to visit the Department of Transportation’s website regarding traveling with service and emotional support animals. For additional information check out our articles on traveling with a vision or hearing impairment, traveling with a mobility impairment

    References

    149 U.S.C. § 41705(a).
    214 C.F.R. §382.1.
    314 C.F.R. § 382.7(a)-(b).
    414 C.F.R. § 382.27(c)(8)-(9).
    514 C.F.R. § 382.35(b).
    614 C.F.R. § 382.51(a)(5).
    714 C.F.R. § 382.91(c).
    814 C.F.R. § 382.81(c).
    914 C.F.R. § 382.117(b)-(c).
    1014 C.F.R. § 382.83(a)(1)(iii); 14 C.F.R. § 382.83(a)(2)(iv).
    1114 C.F.R. § 382.83(c); 14 C.F.R. § 382.93.
    1214 C.F.R. § 382.117.
    1314 C.F.R. § 382.117(f), (g).
    1414 C.F.R. § 382.117(f).
    1514 C.F.R. § 382.117(e)(1)-(4).

    Authors

    Matt Matsuyama

    Contract Analyst Intern, TermScout  

    Ben Golopol

    Contract Anayst, TermScout  

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