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Customer Support Ruling


Insurance for Airline Tickets
Updated March 2001

PS-287 (503.4)

This Customer Support Ruling discusses the availability of postal insurance for airline tickets.

The Postal Service offers four separate products that provide indemnity for loss or damage that occurs in the domestic mails: Express Mail, registered with postal insurance, collect on delivery (COD), and insured mail.

Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 503.4.2.2 limits the types of mail eligible to be sent as insured mail to the following:

a.       Package Services.

b.       First-Class Mail (including Priority Mail), if it contains matter that may be mailed as Package Services.

c.       Standard Mail pieces subject to the residual shape surcharge (bulk insurance only).

d.       Official government mail endorsed “Postage and Fees Paid.”

Because DMM 503.4.2.2 limits the availability of insured mail to specific classes of mail, it is necessary to first determine the article’s classification category before determining whether the article is eligible to be insured.

The airline ticket in question contains the following computer-prepared information: name of passenger, name of issuing agent, payment method, credit card number and expiration date, ticket price, date and time of flight, flight number, origin and destination of flight, date ticket expires, and seat assignment.  Since the airline ticket as described has the character of actual and personal correspondence, it is First-Class Mail matter and may not be mailed as insured mail.

If postal insurance is desired for the airline ticket in question, the customer has the options to send it as First-Class Mail with either COD, or registered with postal insurance service, or as Express Mail.

As further information, indemnity for airline tickets is limited to costs incurred to have the lost or damaged ticket reconstructed (the ticket must be for the same flight as the original ticket mailed).  As explained in DMM 609.4.1l, indemnity for airline tickets is limited to the cost of filing a lost ticket report with the airline if that action is required by the airline before a replacement ticket will be issued.

Sherry Suggs
Mailing Standards
United States Postal Service
Washington DC 20260-3436