When you combine airline staffing issues with a dramatic increase in travelers, you end up with flight cancellations and lots of it. According to the Department of Transportation, the number of flight cancellations this year has doubled that of 2013. If you’re planning to travel for a holiday, you need to be prepared for the unexpected and make sure you have travel insurance.
What’s Covered by Travel Insurance?
If the flight cancellation is due to any of the reasons listed in your insurance policy, your insurance provider will reimburse the cost of your trip up to the date and time of your departure. These covered reasons may vary from one insurance company to another but they generally include mechanical failure, air traffic control system shutdown, airline bankruptcy, and others. Other reasons such as staffing shortages or personal reasons may not be covered.
If you have travel delay insurance and your flight is canceled just before departure and you want to push through with your trip, the airline will typically put you on the next flight available. But you may have to wait hours or even days. If you have coverage for a significantly delayed flight, your insurance will reimburse eligible expenses like meals, transportation and accommodation.
There’s usually a per day and maximum benefit stipulated on your policy. For example, it may cover up to $200 per day or $1,000 total.
If you want to travel on a different airline because the next flight on your original airline isn’t available for at least a couple of days, the airline will refund the cost of your ticket. You can then file for a trip cancellation claim with your insurance provider and they can pay for the cost of your ticket with another carrier.
If your connecting flight is cancelled and you want to take another flight, trip interruption insurance can reimburse your non-refundable trip costs up to 150% provided that the reason for cancellation is listed in your policy. If you miss your connecting flight, the airline can book you on the next flight.
What About Lost or Delayed Baggage?
A lost or delayed baggage is among the most frustrating issues people deal with when traveling. Fortunately, a travel insurance policy can reimburse you for the cost of your baggage and its contents if it’s lost, damaged, delayed or stolen.
- Lost luggage. The insurance company will assist in finding your lost luggage. If it’s lost, the insurance company will reimburse you for the cost of the items.
- Delayed baggage. Your insurance policy will reimburse you for things you need while waiting for your baggage, such as clothes, toiletries, medicines, etc.
- Stolen/damaged items. If your baggage and its contents are damaged during your trip, your insurance provider can reimburse you to replace it. As for stolen items, the policy will also provide a reimbursement.
Whether you’re flying with Southwest Air or American Airlines, look up the terms and conditions of your booking on their website so you’ll know more about their policy in regards to lost baggage.
Watch this video to get a better idea of what happens to your bag after check-in: