Frontier Airlines’ decision to comb through Kyle Clark’s travel records following an exchange about a recent publicity stunt, raised two questions around our newsroom.
What kind of information does an airline collect about you as a passenger? And who can access it?
For answers, we reviewed the privacy policies of Frontier, United and Southwest. Here’s what we found:
1) You agree to a range of data collection by clicking agree to their terms of service when you buy a ticket. These long, multipage privacy disclosures include everything from how they share your information with other companies to following what you say about them on social media.
3) And Frontier says it shares your travel information with other companies, including other airlines, as well as “certain third parties for direct marketing purposes.”
4) United and Southwest also say they can share your information with other companies that might want to sell you something.
5) All the airlines 9NEWS reviewed state in their privacy policies that they don’t sell your information to third parties, they share it with them. And they don’t collect and share information on children under the age of 13.
6) They aren’t just giving out your information. All three airlines collect information about you from other companies.
Here’s what United’s policy says: “We may also obtain information about you from our marketing partners, advertisers and other third parties.”
8) And all the information Southwest learns collects “such as how you interact with our service, may be combined with your personal information.”
9) Southwest also warns fliers that if they behave inappropriately, the airline may share that personal information with law enforcement.
It also might share information about you “if we believe your actions are inconsistent with our user agreements or policies, or to protect the rights, property, life, health, security and safety of us or any third party” or “any other purpose, with your consent or as permitted or required by applicable law.”
If you want one of the airlines to stop sharing your information with third parties, here’s what to do:
United: MileagePlus can call or change their profiles online to stop promotional emails.