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Who's Responsible for Your Travel Experience?

Jan 05 2022

Who's Responsible for Your Travel Experience?

Picture this: it's the middle of winter. The gate attendant has announced that your flight has been delayed. Again. You are going to miss your connecting flight due to a short-staffed deicing crew. Frustrated, you take to social media. You message the airport on Facebook and ask why they don't call in additional deicing crew. Surely if they do that your plane can leave on time, right? Well, that deicing crew works for the airline you are flying with. They don't work for the airport. Working at the airport is not the same as working for the airport.

Unpleasant travel experiences that happen at the airport are often blamed on the airport itself. But that is not a fair assumption. Here's why.

Landlord / Renter Relationship

The airport owns and operates the physical facilities on the ground: terminals, taxiways, runways.

The airport rents space to airlines. They also rent space to parking lot management companies, restaurants, and car rental agencies. At the same time, the airport does not tell these businesses how to conduct themselves.

Flights and Baggage

The airport is not responsible for cancelled or delayed flights, lost baggage, or planes waiting on the tarmac. Anything that has to do with baggage or flights is the airline's job. Questions related to that must be directed to your airline. You can find airline information to the four airlines serving Springfield here.

Who Runs Security Checkpoints?

Security checkpoints are staffed and run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). TSA is part of the federal government. TSA is separate from the city of Springfield which owns the airport. The airport is not responsible for TSA procedures, wait times, or confiscated items that violate TSA's rules.

Making sure that terrorists cannot board an airline flight is the TSA's mission. Part of the security process includes limiting or excluding liquids, gels, aerosols, etc. to prevent explosions onboard aircraft. These limits are why you cannot bring an unopened water bottle through the security checkpoint, for example.

Please refer to TSA's website if you are unsure of what you can or cannot bring. Do not solely rely upon signage you may see at the checkpoint. You can learn more about this at TSA's website here, and the Department of Homeland Security's website here. 

So, Who is Responsible?

Traveling can be frustrating. Especially when unexpected situations arise. To resolve issues, voice concerns or lodge complaints, you need to contact the correct enterprise. Airlines, TSA, and car rental agencies are separate from the airport. Again, the airport is only responsible for maintaining and operating the physical facilities.

We do our best to be transparent with you when we, the airport, are at fault. There are a lot of moving parts in the aviation and travel industry. We do our part to make your trip as safe and as smooth as possible.

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