The excitement of taking a vacation can be dampened by a bad experience with your airline. Many travelers dread the possibility of delayed flights, missed connections, and an unplanned overnight stay at the airport. Worse, your bags may be enjoying the sun at your tropical destination even though you are still waiting at the gate. While it won’t make the plane arrive on time, travel insurance can help alleviate frustrations by reimbursing expenses during the delay, extra costs to catch up to your trip, and essentials that were in your checked luggage.
Airlines are often characterized by their lack of punctuality and empathy. As Phil Lebeau wrote for NBC News, flyer complaints increased this year.
“Overall, the Airline Quality Rating has dropped to its lowest level since 2008.
Besides a spike in complaints about airline service, the AQR also found:
- On-time arrivals dropped 2 percent
- A slight increase in the percentage of passengers bumped from flights
- Mishandled baggage climbed 11 percent”
Airlines already have the daunting task of keeping flights on schedule, and this past winter’s severe weather did not help their cause. The next time your flight is delayed, check your travel insurance policy for several coverage benefits.
Trip Delay: This means you’ve been delayed for 6 hours or more and are now incurring unexpected costs. Trip Delay can reimburse the expenses for taxi, hotel, and food during the delay.
Baggage Delay: When you’ve been without your checked luggage for 12 hours or more, this coverage reimburses you for essential items. This can include a change of clothes, toiletries, etc.
Missed Connection: This helps when a delay has a cascading impact on your trip. If you are delayed 3 hours or more and this causes you to miss another scheduled departure of your trip, Missed Connection coverage can reimburse the additional transportation costs for you to catch up to the trip, as well as unused trip costs that aren’t refunded.
Trip Interruption: Trip Interruption is similar to Missed Connection coverage in that additional transportation costs to rejoin the trip and trip expenses that were unused and non-refundable can be reimbursed. The main distinction is that Missed Connection has a lower time requirement for the delay, and a pre-determined dollar limit of coverage. Trip Interruption requires a 12 hour delay due to weather or strike, so it helps during a more substantial flight delay. Also, the amount of coverage is based on the trip cost you insured, which is usually more than the set amount allocated for Missed Connection coverage.
For travelers still in the planning stages, compare travel insurance plans closely to make sure your concerns are adequately covered. It is important to understand the dollar amounts of coverage and the requirements for how long a delay must last in order to find the right policy at the best value.
Want help selecting a travel insurance plan? Please call us. MH Ross agents are available by phone 24/7 and are happy to answer your questions.