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Do You Issue Tickets on Private Flights?

Clients don’t just show up like they do at the taxi rank :-)

Not any more. But on a few occasions I have flown people like this in the past. They missed their scheduled flight and the information desk at the airport pointed them towards the GA terminal where the first one who picked up his phone got the trip. No time for paperwork, just phone in a flightplan, put some fuel in the aircraft and go.
But flying has become expensive enough that both parties now usually insist on some form of written agreement (often by e-mail as you say) before the flight: The carrier wants some proof that payment was agreed and the passenger wants some guarantee that he will get transported for his money.
And the latter would be my prime reason for not issuing a ticket for a private flight. If I give my passenger a ticket, I have to deliver what is stated there. Unless the smallprint (and lots of it is required to cover anything that can go wrong) states differently.

EDDS - Stuttgart


in the old days I used to issue tickets for each flight, as there was a real value in doing that. Today, as Shorrick and some others have added, the liability limitation is no longer a factor as the new Montreal rules liability is the same with or without it. So i have a ticket booklet around but I have so far not used it.

The thing is, the airplanes you fly need to be properly insured. that is the major thing. You need to make sure that the liability coverage in that insurance covers the new rules sufficiently that in case of cases you will not end up front line liable. Most airplanes have such insurances, as not many owners are willing to gamble their family’s wellbeing away in such a case. I would not fly and certainly not take passengers in any airplane which is not sufficiently insured. Most airplanes today carry a liability cover of 10-15 Million.

As for risk taking I agree with some of the posters here that the risk management and acceptance of a residue of risk is something our society is very bad at and gets worse by the day. There are reasons for that however, many have to do with the new view of liability which, as some have mentioned rightly, has swapped over from the US. In many regards these fears here are diffuse, as not that many such liability cases have been concluded to an extent that it would blow the insurance cover apart. There have been some cases where people were found guilty of gross neglect with the subsequent consequences but they are pretty rare. What has happened and where I know of one very bad case is that the airplane insurance was not enough to cover all ground damage from a very nasty crash in the middle of a city a few years back and the consequence was very cruel to the family, who did not only loose the pilot but also will be in financial dire straits to the end of their days. That incident has prompted me to up my liability insurance consideraby.

While I also agree that if we take all these risks at their worst possible outcome as the decision criteria whether to do something or not the consequence would be that we would most probably lock ourselfs up at home, I would also say it is prudent to exercise caution when dealing with insurance covers. Most of the time, including certain risks into an insurance is much cheaper than what may happen if you do not. e.g. the difference in upping my third party liability insurance from 10 to 15 million was a rather small amount, but it does give a certain peace of mind.

LSZH, Switzerland

I think the chance of anybody suing you for anything in relation to flying your plane is low and to a substantial degree within your control. There’s no requirement for any kind of insurance to operate an aircraft in the US and I’ve never met anybody who has been sued in relation to private flying in any country. Of course it happens, but not often. Unwarranted fear is a bigger problem, and appears to be more so in the EU than in the US.

Assuming the worst possible consequence is obviously not risk management at all, its playing into the hands of those selling insurance, and its nonproductive. The positives of avoiding excessive insurance are obvious: you have more money to spend productively, you are less of a target to lawyers and will have a better negotiating position with them, and you’ll waste less time paying and negotiating against a well prepared opponent (the insurance company) who has no interest in your well being and who absorbs something on the order of 50% of premiums. I carry some liability insurance but I don’t consider it a great asset, particularly as no claim has ever been made by me or others on any vehicle policy I’ve bought (over 30 plus years).

Fairly obviously, the chance of doing a lot of damage on the ground due to an accident is small. So I think the most productive approach to minimizing liability is to learn how to fly the plane and not to take idiotic people for a ride. That’s something you can actually count on to work. In my mind insurance is just a second order thing that may or may not work, and brings considerable hassles along with it.

I thought the idea of issuing tickets for flights in your own aircraft was a joke!

Do you have one standard here in the EU for liability or depending in what country the accident occurs then that takes legal jurisdiction? Is it the jurisdiction of the registration?

Speaking of Liability its not insurance company (at least in the US) that you have to worry will renege on their obligations through FAR loopholes but rather 3rd parties suing for relatives or Passengers for medical expenses as well as for other losses they have incurred. Actually the only insurance company besides Death (Life) insurance that actually plays fair is aircraft insurance. From my experience all the others you can flush down the toilet.


what_next wrote:

Most of the time I fly commercially and we don’t issue tickets.

We don’t either. Sometimes an invoice beforehand if the customer asks for it, as proof of payment. What we do have is a poster with terms&conditions at places where the passengers embark, or in the aircraft. I guess that satisfies the lawyers…

For private flying, never heard of. The only time I’ve seen a paper being produced is for example afterwards, as “proof”, “certificate of flight”, to put on the bedroomwall (if people still do that).

I think it strongly depends on the particular country you’re in, and from what is being said here there is maybe one or two where there might be some legal issues. Doesn’t license or membership of a club usually come with some sort of 3rd party insurance?

Here are the club regulations of MFGZ, the group I fly with in Zurich. It describes the insurances that are made and it also comments on the tickets:

7.4 Beförderungsscheine
Die Mitglieder sind gehalten, bei entgeltlichen Flügen den Passagieren stets dem Gesetz und den internationalen Abkommen entsprechende Beförderungsscheine auszustellen.

Roughly translated it means that group members are required to issue tickets for paid flights with passengers according to the law and the international treaties.


I bet this paragraph is there since shortly after the big bang, and has never been checked against the current legal situation.

LSZK, Switzerland

Doesn’t license or membership of a club usually come with some sort of 3rd party insurance?

Membership sometimes does tie in with insurance. This also happens in sports organisations e.g. water skiing. An if you join for just one day, and nothing happens, the organiser can pocket the premium

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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