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Cabotage CNMI Saipan Guam
My daughter had a flight booked with Delta last night from the US to Seoul. She then booked separately with Jeju Airlines Seoul to SPN – Saipan. Delta alerted her that her overseas flight would be delayed four hours and offered her a different routing. Delta to NYC and then on to Seoul. The original flight to SEL was codeshare Korean Air/Delta but the second one was not. 20 minutes before boarding, she was called to the desk and they introduced the concept of cabotage to her and its restrictions. Somehow they knew she had a connecting flight to SPN. I’ve been traveling the globe for over 40 years and this law has never come across my radar.
She is en route to SEL now, having signed a Declaration of Indemnity with Korean Air but we’re not sure what will happen once she lands. She will go through customs, pick up her checked bags and then re-check on Jeju to SPN. Any input is very much appreciated.
Cabotage is a fascinating concept. I believe some carriers got into some hot water at some point because they were selling USA-Guam tickets via Asia strictly on Asian carriers. From what I understand it is not an issue if you have two separate tickets. Who’s to say that someone does not need to go from the USA to Seoul for lunch with a colleague and then onto Guam? That seems very odd.
Interestingly enough right nearby in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands cabotage is common practice with Air Niugini and United Airlines (Island Hopper). Because those countries do not have their own robust carriers they rely on these services for links to other islands.