Fly America Act

» Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Airlines | 0 comments

The Fly America Act was first approved by congress with the Air Transporation Fair Competitive Practice act of 1974. In 1981 it was amended to include the verbiage requiring Federal Employees and their dependents, consultants, contractors, grantees and others performing United States Government financed foreign air travel to travel by US flag carriers.

In April 2007 the US-EU Open Skies Agreement was signed this agreement amended the earlier Fly America Act to provide airlines of the European Community or its Member States the right to transport passengers and cargo on scheduled or charter flights for US Government transportation. In October of 2008 the United States Government signed an Open skies agreement with Australia and Switzerland.   These agreements are only applicable if a “city-pair” contract fare does not exist in the market. Open Sky agreements do not apply to travel funded by the Department of Defense.

The Department of Defense continues to follow the requirements of the Act were all foreign air travel funded with Department of Defense dollars is performed on US flag air carriers or on the foreign air carriers that code share with the US flag carrier. If there is no US carrier to a particular destination the traveler must travel on a US carrier to the farthest point possible. Additional cost for US carrier flights is not sufficient justification to fly on foreign carriers.

Below is a list of the US flag air carriers:

  • Alaska Airlines (AS)
  • American Airlines (AA)
  • Continental Airlines (CO)
  • Northwest Airlines (NW)
  • United Airlines   (UA)
  • US Airways (US)
  • Delta Airlines (DL)

Additional information on airline code share alliances is available on:

  • with 21 partners including UA/US
  • with 10 partners including AA
  • with 11 partners including DL/NW

A code share flight must be documented with the US flag carrier code.

There are acceptable reasons to not use a US flag carrier. These exceptions are listed below:

  • A US flag carrier does not provide service on a particular leg of your trip
  • There is no US flag carrier available for a particular leg
  • The use of a US carrier will unreasonably delay your travel time by three hours or more
  • Travel costs are reimbursed in full by a third party, such as a foreign government or international agency
  • The traveler is involuntarily rerouted
  • Medical or safety reasons.

By: Maruca Malloy

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