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What are seaman flights and why are they so important?

Seaman flights are an integral part of the equation for successful ship and crew management. With international shipping transports accounting for more than 80 per cent of global trade, the maritime and shipping industry relies on careful planning and punctuality to deliver results. Thus safe and timely transportation of seamen heading to and returning from vessels is the cornerstone of success.

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Before any seaman even travels on board a vessel, he or she first needs to get to the vessel. Same thing also applies for technical staff, engineers, safety inspectors etc who need to perform any repairs or maintenance work and make sure the vessel is safe to travel. In order to respond to the needs of the maritime industry, airlines offer marine fares for seamen flying on and off duty. This special type of ticket is relevant specifically for seafarers as well as technical staff traveling with a valid seaman’s book, in relation to their work on vessels.

Marine fares are different than standard published fares in three substantial ways:

1. They offer more favourable terms when it comes to changes and cancellations.

As the marine industry is characterized by high unpredictability, very often travel arrangements for crews need to change. For instance a vessel may delay docking due to extreme weather conditions. Or its cargo may arrive at the port a day earlier or later, so changes in planning are frequent and unpredictable. Airlines acknowledge this by offering flexibility to marine fares.

2. They usually come with additional luggage allowance.

As a vessel may be travelling at sea for months before it reaches its destination, seafarers need to carry enough for long trips. Also in many cases engineers, contractors, surveyors and superintendents traveling to/from vessels need to carry large and heavy equipment to and from the shore.

3. They can be considerably cheaper.

As costs for the transportation of large crews accumulate, airlines understandably price marine flights at more economic prices. However, marine fares are not available with all airlines, as for instance is the case with low-cost carriers.

Who takes care of seaman flights? 

Arranging flights for seamen on duty is part of a crew manager’s responsibilities. And it certainly is no easy job. First of all crew managers need to keep control of their available budget. As travel costs accumulate for larger crews, crew managers understandably need to search for the best prices for their seamen’s flights.
Another factor of complexity is that each crew typically consists of seamen from multiple nationalities who need to travel from different parts of the world to board the vessel. Crew managers need to be aware of a maze of regulations and visa requirements that guide travel for different nationalities.
Finally, the biggest headache crew managers deal with is the frequent need for changes to their crew’s travel arrangements. And while airlines allow marine fares to change without cost, it still remains a hassle for crew managers who need to cancel booked flights, search for last-minute availability and make new bookings for their whole crew. This is not only time-consuming, but also leaves a fat stack of invoices behind that need to be checked and reconciled one by one.

Seaman flights made easy

Responding to the challenges of successful crew management C Teleport developed an automated web and mobile app to make searching, booking and changing flights a smooth, seamless experience. Without the need to call or email a travel agent, crew managers can see all available marine tickets, within seconds. Comparing dates and airports side by side and using smart filters, they can find the best flights for their crews.
And the best part? C Teleport made it incredibly easy to change or cancel flights for a whole crew in just one go. Calling or emailing a travel agent is now a thing of the past. Within minutes it is easy to make changes or cancellations for a crew of several seafarers. Crew managers can save up to 90% more time previously spent on tedious tasks and focus on what matters most.
If you are interested finding out more, visit cteleport.com to discover how you can get the best fares for seaman flights with the best user experience.


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