Personal Information and the Privacy Policy

What happens to my personal information that I give to the airline? How can I find out about this?

The rules surrounding how a company or any organisation should handle your data are very strict and are governed by the Data Protection Act 1998.

You will find that on airline websites a link to the privacy policy is always provided. This is usually placed in the footer of the website page.

The privacy policy should advise you of the following:

  • How your data is gathered.
  • What information is gathered.
  • What is done with the information that is gathered.
  • How you can use the content on the website.
  • If your details will be passed onto any third parties.

This is very important information, especially if you are concerned about what will be done with the data that you provide. Airlines will also state in their terms and conditions how your information will be used.

The information that you provide when you book your flight(s) will be shared with third parties, such as a governmental agency, but this will only be to provide you with the services attached to your flight.

When you provide the airline with your details, you should see a tick box (or something equivalent) that should ask you whether you would like to receive any third party marketing. Do read this carefully so that you are aware of what you are agreeing to. There will normally be a link to the airline’s terms and conditions. Do read these before you sign up to anything.

What you should look out for:

  • The privacy policy - it will tell you how information is handled
  • The tick box – this is where you give your permission to receive any third party marketing or permission for your details to be shared
  • Check the terms and conditions or the privacy policy about how you can opt out of receiving marketing material

For further information about how your personal data is handled, and what you can do about it, see the Information Commissioner's Office website.