Despite the COVID pandemic, holiday travel season is now in full swing. People often have questions about their rights while travelling on the airlines and at the airport. Unfortunately, things like physical injuries, delays, and lost baggage ruin holiday travel. The FAA has published holiday travel safety tips that everyone should follow but unfortunately injuries can still occur.
If you are injured onboard an aircraft, or while getting onto or off of a plane, the first thing you must do is report the injury to the airplane’s crew or to an airline employee. Do this immediately and do it before you leave the plane, the gate area, or the airport! Make sure that a report is written even if you don’t think your injury is serious.
In the rush to get to a holiday destination some people don’t want to be bothered with taking the time to make a report, but that can be a big mistake. What first seems like a minor injury may later require a doctor’s treatment, surgery, missed time at work, or worse.
When reporting an injury to an airline or airport employee be polite but:
- be clear that you are hurt and describe the injury as best you can;
- request immediate medical care if needed;
- make sure a report is written, especially if you decline medical care at the airport;
- get the name of the employee who wrote the report and the report number.
If the airline or airport is at fault for your injury, they are not interested in protecting your rights. If you have a significant injury, you should speak with an experienced aviation attorney before you sign any document from an airline or airport.
John Gagliano is an aviation lawyer and former U.S. Navy pilot with twenty years of aviation and legal experience. John has represented aviation clients against the biggest airlines and manufacturers with proven results.