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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Documentation for travel

    Where can I find Passport, Visa and Health advice?

    ​The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate information source available for personalized passport, visa and health requirement advice depending on your nationality and destination.

    IATA's immigration specialists constantly update this information. But rules and regulations change on a daily basis. Possessing the correct documentation does not guarantee entry to a foreign country. Local immigration authorities have complete control whether an individual is granted entry and under what conditions and airlines may also apply specific guidelines. Re-check requirements close to your departure. Please refer to the IATA Travel Centre Terms and Conditions.

    Passenger rights

    Can IATA help me with my airline/airport complaint?

    ​While IATA serves the airline industry, it is not a regulatory body, and cannot intervene in service disputes or other commercial matters involving airlines or agents and their customers. For any issue, approach the respective airline or agent directly.

    Is there a governmental authority?

    If you wish to escalate an issue related to any aspect of air travel, contact the Civil Aviation Authorities of the country in which the airline is registered. Directory of Civil Aviation Authorities

    What are my rights with regard to an incident or accident related to a journey by air?

    The Conditions of contract and other important information details airline liability with regard to passenger death or bodily injury, loss of or damage to baggage, and for delay. It also defines passenger rights and obligations for denied boarding, check-in times, baggage and the transport of dangerous goods. There may be some regional adaptation of the ticket notice. Please check out the ticket notice applicable to the country of departure indicated on your ticket: www.iatatravelcentre.com/ticketSome passengers may be eligible for compensation under European Regulation 261 for compensation and assistance to passengers in the events of denied boarding and cancellation or long flight delay.


    Are there consumer organizations that I can contact?

    Are there rules for persons with reduced mobility that airlines should follow?

    Yes there are. A resolution lays out service standards for passengers with reduced mobility on journeys involving two or more airlines (interline journeys). It requires that airlines have special equipment made available when necessary, offer priority boarding and organize individual briefings on safety procedures. It also provides for passengers with reduced mobility to be attended throughout the entirety of an airport transfer.

    Baggage

    How do I make sure my bag is packed correctly?

     

    • Make sure your baggage is not overweight. Check before flying as baggage weight allowances vary by airline but as a general rule if you can't lift your bag, it is likely airline staff won't be able to either.
    • Please use something to identify your bag; a lot of luggage looks the same, if not identical. Ideally use an individualised strap rather than tying a cloth to the handle as this obscures the baggage label.
    • Please pack your bag uniformly. Heavy and dense objects can cause the bag to move as well as delays at security.
    • Please remove any labels and tags from previous flights.
    • Please place a luggage label on one handle of your bag
    • Does your bag have wheels? Please lock them, if possible, to prevent movement after check-in.
    • Does your travel insurance cover the cost of replacing the contents of your bag and the bag itself?
    • Have you listed the contents of your bag in case you need to make an insurance claim?
    • Is your bag over-packed? Please use another bag if this one was hard to close.
    • If you have straps on your bag please remove them and place them in your bag.
    • Please do not lock your bag as it may need to be searched.

    What liquids, aerosols and gels am I allowed to bring on board?

    The International Civil Aviation Organisation, the UN’s aviation standard-setting body, has defined guidelines that more and more governments are adopting. The current restrictions for liquids, aerosols and gels from ICAO and in effect in most many countries are that they must be in containers 100ml or equivalent, placed in a transparent resealable plastic bag with max capacity 1-litre. At screening, plastic bags should be presented apart from other carry-on items. Medications, baby milk/foods, special dietary requirements are exempt. Consult your local airport’s website for more information.

    What do I do when my bag goes missing?

    First, you report it to the baggage claims department on arrival at your final destination. There you will provide information to the airline to help them track down your baggage. Most airlines use one of the major global baggage tracing systems. All missing baggage information is filed on this system and matched to bags recorded at airports around the world. Once a match is found, the baggage is returned to its owner. The vast majority of mishandled luggage is returned to the passenger within 48 hours.

    Travelling with pets

    What should I consider if I want to bring a pet?

    For common household pets – namely cats and dogs – there are a number of considerations. Before calling the airline have the answer to the following questions:

    • Is your pet going to travel within your own country, or will it be travelling internationally?
    • When do you want your pet to travel?
    • What is your pet's size and weight?
    • How many animals will be travelling?
    • Is your pet to be accompanied?
    • Do you intend to break the journey, or stopover at an intermediate station?
    • What is the pet's final destination?
    • Do you have a suitable container for your pet?

    You will find additional information, on the Traveller Pet Corner , as well as on the customs regulations section of your destination country. Also check the IATA Travel Centre Country Information for customs regulations about travelling with pets

    Environment

    What you need to know about aviation and the environment

    You will find answers on all your questions related to the environment on www.enviro.aero, the aviation industry’s environment site.

    ​IATA is aware that there are fraudulent online travel and flight booking agencies operating internationally. These websites can appear highly professional and may even display the IATA logo to make their webpages appear legitimate. Because this is a growing concern, we urge you to use only verified agents (Accredited agents/agencies will provide their IATA code if asked and this can be verified online via the Check a Code website or through the IATA Customer Portal.  Please be cautious of any agent whose website states that they accept credit cards for payment, but then requests payment via wire transfer only.

    If you learn of or suspect an online agency of fraud, please contact information.security@iata.org. Please remember, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is

    Aviation Safety

    Is flying safer than taking a train or bus?

    ​Yes. Flying is the safest form of long distance transport with 1.61 accidents per 1 million flights.

    What is the industry doing to improve safety?

    ​Safety is our industry’s number one priority. IATA provides airlines with a wide array of tools and programmes to improve safety. Key among these is the IATA Safety Audit Programme (IOSA). IOSA is the world's first airline safety audit programme, based on internationally harmonised standards and requiring compliance with over 900 standards and recommended practices. Satisfactory completion of the IOSA audit is now a requirement for IATA membership. List of IOSA-registered airlines.

    What are blacklists?

    ​The European Union has created a blacklist of airlines which it is has deemed unsafe to fly in its airspace. EU Regulation on air carriers subject to operating ban (pdf) The blacklist itself is updated periodically and can be found on the EC website.
    IATA does not endorse any blacklists / safety rankings.

    Does IATA have a safety ranking for airlines?

    ​IATA does not consider airline safety ratings to be a valid measure of an individual organization’s safety performance. Furthermore, IATA does not believe that aviation safety should become a competitive issue as it would violate the industry’s position that safety is the highest priority of all involved in aviation. For more information on why safety rankings are inherently flawed, read our Position Paper (pdf).

    All IATA member airlines must pass the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) as a condition of membership in the organization. Many non-member airlines also chose to undergo the IOSA audit as well. IATA maintains a registry of airlines that have completed its IOSA certification. See the IOSA Registry.

    ​There are three primary reasons. First, to give passengers more control over their travel experience. Second, to save passengers time. Third, to allow airlines to more efficiently serve their customers.

    Security

    How will airport security affect my journey?

    ​Security measures are constantly being updated in line with current threats, which vary from country to country. These measures can often lead to longer times spent between check-in and boarding. Passengers should be aware of restrictions regarding baggage and the carrying of liquids and gels before they travel and should allow plenty of time to clear security on departure. See our FAQs on Baggage. Passengers should also check which rules will apply to their journey before purchasing duty free goods.

    Do I have to pay for security when I fly?

    ​The cost of security is borne by the airlines and is built into the price of your ticket.

    What are airlines doing to make security less troublesome for travellers?

    ​Although some of the measures in place can be inconvenient, it is necessary for everyone to take responsibility for security. IATA and its member airlines are working with many authorities worldwide to ensure that security measures are harmonised between countries, are easy to understand, and make use of efficient processes and new technologies to help achieve a smoother journey.

    Border control

    What are the automatic gates that are used at some airports when arriving into a country?

    ​Some countries offer automated gates on arrival that check passengers against a database of passport information and allow them to enter the country without seeing an immigration officer. They typically use a ‘biometric’ means of identification to validate the passenger, for example a fingerprint, photograph of an iris or a comparison of the face with the photograph in the passport.

    Can anyone use them?

    ​It usually depends on the country you are travelling to, and your nationality. If you are a frequent flyer, you should check with the immigration authority to see if you would be eligible and whether you need to register for the program. IATA is working with many authorities to encourage the use of this type of automation to help with queuing times.

    Healthy flying

    Is there a good general reference on the issues of health and wellbeing related to air travel?

    ​The World Health Organization (WHO) publishes a manual called ''International Travel and Health'' which is a good resource for travellers. The second chapter of the manual deals with modes of travel and health considerations; it provides a very clear general overview of health and wellbeing in air travel. The manual features a range of topics such as cabin air pressure, flight phobia, communicable diseases, etc. and also includes a list of precautions to take while travelling.

    Where can I find more information on specific diseases or groups of diseases and air travel?

    ​The Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) has an article called ''Health Tips for Airline Travel'' that is available online.

    Where can my physician find out whether my particular illness makes me fit for travel?

    ​The Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) article on "Medical Considerations for Airline Travel" is specifically meant for physicians. (Also change the link for the one mentioned above) Physicians can also check IATA's Medical Manual, providing guidelines on fitness to fly.

    Travel and cargo agents

    How to become an IATA-accredited travel agency?

    As of September 2016, travel agents can apply for IATA accreditation online via our Travel Agent Accreditation page.

    There are several steps to follow in order to apply for IATA accreditation:

     

    • Ensure you meet the local criteria as specified in the 'Travel Agent Handbook​'
    • Select your country of application and read the Application Guide
    • Submit your Application as specified in the Application Guide for your country​​ 
    • Pay the Accreditation fee as specified in the 'Application Guide ' (Agents in Europe, Middle East and Africa : you will be contacted for payment once your application has been accepted)
    • For any question and support, please register and login to our Customer Portal at www.iata.org/cs​ and contact our Customer Service teams via the 'Contact Support' tab once logged in

    Accreditation information for agents in Russian Federation.

    What is an IATA/IATAN Travel Agent Card, and how can I apply for one?

    An IATA/IATAN Travel Agent Card means global recognition of your professional experience when you show your valid ID Card to a travel supplier.

    Travel professionals who hold an IATA/IATAN ID Card receive exclusive access to education and travel rewards programs from industry suppliers such as hotels, airlines, attractions, FAM trips organizers and more.

    Industry suppliers often use CheckACode to validate your agent status on the spot. As such, IATA/IATAN ID Cards can be instantly validated on CheckACode.com.

    For agents based ​in the US, please visit​ IATAN site.

    How to become an IATA cargo agency?

    Any company involved in international ​air freight and complying with appropriate license and legal requirements can be accredited. 

    As an IATA Cargo Agent, you'll have recognition of your financial and professional competence. Airlines working with our cargo agents have access to a worldwide distribution network of approved agents to sell their product.​

    Please contact us via our Customer Portal for more information. Or if you are in the US, please go to the CNSC website

    How to receive assistance with issues related to BSP, BSPlink, CASS and CASSlink?

    • For Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, go to the Customer Portal
    • For other regions, check out the country pages under IATA by Region

    What are the processes behind the transportation of dangerous goods?

    For information about dangerous goods, please visit our Go to our Dangerous Goods FAQ page

    Preventing email and website fraud

    I have been contacted by a fake IATA website/email address, what do I do?

    Be vigilent by only using IATA-verified agencies. Please see our guidelines on how to report suspect fraudulent activities.

    How do I check travel agent accreditation?

    You can check the status of a travel agent by requesting their code and entering it into this code checking tool.

    IATA codes

    What are IATA codes?

    IATA is responsible for the programs that generate and manage the airport Codes (and other Codes) used by the commercial aviation industry or other entities whose activities related to commercial aviation. These Codes have become a vital part of the efficient operations for companies involved with aviation operations worldwide. As such, and given the importance of maintaining harmony, IATA owns and controls these Codes, and has a copyright in the complete lists of Codes. With such ownership we are able to prevent inadvertent and/or “rogue” changes to the Codes that would disrupt airline/airport/cargo and other operations.

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