How to Choose a Charter Line

Here are some tips to check out a charter line:

"Don't just trust the carrier's word, put paper in hand," says Chuck Roach, who has run Chuck's Travels for 22 years.

It's an insurance certificate that should be provided with just a phone call.  $5 million in insurance coverage.  That's the law, and that's something Chuck says disreputable charter companies probably won't have.  But they might have -- a deal.

"They can afford to give good deals because they're not carrying the high cost of insurance that we're carrying." he says.

They might not also be carrying the ICC or DOT numbers.  That's government registration.

"And a lot of them are running hot, when I say running hot that means they have no ICC authority, no insurance authority."

Also, get the owner's name and phone number... make sure they haven't been doing business as someone else.

If they ever subcontract with another charter... like what happened in this tragedy... make sure that company is insured and reputable.

"If I have to farm out a coach, to make a move, we will not put a coach with one of our coaches unless it meets the criteria exactly what ours is."

And remember to get everyone's insurance certificate.

"Not just insurance is involved, safety is involved," Chuck says.

Look for yourself... does the bus appear well maintained. Is it a newer model. They might be factors to influence your decision. It's a bit of homework.

But with so many lives at stake, East Texas operators say it's worth it.