The holidays are winding down and for some that includes traveling back home or to another holiday destination by flight. There’s risk involved with all travel that an accident or crisis will occur. Sadly family and friends of passengers on Air Asia flight QZ8501 are now dealing with the unthinkable, the fact that the plane carrying their loved ones went missing on Sunday morning.
If a family member/friend is a passenger on a plane that is involved in a crisis/emergency or the plane is missing, what should/can you do? It’s a topic we all don’t want to have to discuss but it’s something we should know how to handle, if it occurs.
If you believe someone in your family is a passenger and you have not been contacted by the airline, here are a few things you can do, if we’re ever faced with this unimaginable flight emergency.
- Confirm that your family member or friend was indeed a passenger on the flight involved in the emergency.
- Obtain confirmation from the airline. Call the airline and have them confirm that the person actually boarded the plane. You never know your family member/friend could have missed the flight or gave up their seat if it is a busy travel season (like the holidays) and the flight was overbooked.
- Seek reliable information. If they are a confirmed passenger, ask the airline representative on the main customer service line, if a specific ‘emergency hotline/phone number’ for this flight has been established. Call the special hotline only for the most current news and information. Don’t rely solely on the media for the latest information.
- Also ask if a physical ‘crisis center’ has been set up for this flight emergency. In most flight emergencies such as a crash/missing plane, the airline will establish a crisis center at the airport where the flight originated and ask family members to come the center and wait for official news and updates from the authorities.
Sometimes when we travel we often forget, but we should get into the habit of sending a family or friend a copy of our final travel itinerary. Also remember to complete the emergency contact information when buying plane, bus or train tickets.
BMWK, do you give your loved ones a copy of your travel itinerary?