fbpx

Missed Connection Coverage

Airline compensation for missed connections is extremely limited. This is why you need missed connection coverage for your trips.

10 March 2011
Missed Connection Coverage

This travel insurance coverage provides reimbursement for flight change fees or additional transportation costs required to meet a cruise or tour in the event of a missed flight connection due to accident or bad weather.

Contents (click to jump down)
What the airlines owe you when a Missed Connection occurs
What does Missed Connection cover?
Important notes about this coverage
What type of policy covers this?
How much coverage does each company provide?
Summary

Let us tell you a story

Brenda’s art and wine tour across Italy was a complete success. As she boarded her first flight home, she kept thinking of the gorgeous landscapes she saw on canvases and from her balcony.

The first leg of Brenda’s return trip was delayed for several hours due to mechanical problems, and her connection in the States was on a different airline. Brenda had originally scheduled plenty of time for the connection, but that time was rapidly eroded by the delay in Rome. Brenda’s trip insurance included missed connection coverage, so she wouldn’t be stranded when she got to the States. She called the assistance line before leaving Rome and when she landed in the States, they had negotiated a new flight to finish her trip home and would be sending her reimbursement for the additional flight charges.

What the airlines owe you when a Missed Connection occurs

Airline compensation for missed connections is extremely limited, which illustrates the important of Missed Connection coverage and travel insurance:

  • If you miss a connection because of mechanical problems, flight delays, or something within the airline’s control, or alternatively due to inclement weather, the carrier should re-book you on the next available flight. Should that flight land a day or more later, the carrier may provide accommodations or meal vouchers, but it’s completely voluntary.
  • If you are involuntarily bumped from a flight due to overbooking, the airlines are required to compensate you if your new flight arrives at your destination more than one hour past your originally scheduled arrival time. The amount of compensation depends on the type of flight, domestic or international, and the amount of the delay. Specifically:
    • If the bump results in a short delay (1-2 hours for domestic flights) before you arrive at your destination, you receive double the price of your ticket up to $650.
    • If the the bump results in a longer delay (over 2 hours for domestic flights), they owe you cash compensation of four times the value of your ticket up to $1,300.
  • There are no Department of Transportation (DOT) rules covering missed connections that involve multiple carriers. Their responsibility ends with the portion of the trip you purchased from them. This means the first carrier isn’t required to help you make your connection with the next carrier.

Of course, if you are meeting a tour or cruise departure time, having the airlines give you a refund or re-book your flight may not be enough to help you meet the next leg of your trip on time.

What does Missed Connection cover?

This coverage provides reimbursement for unused pre-paid expenses and reasonable additional expenses, including meals, transportation, and accommodation, when you miss a connecting flight or cruise departure due to one of the following covered reasons:

  • You are delayed due to a traffic accident that occurs en route to your point of departure on the scheduled departure day.
  • You are delayed on one flight, causing you to miss your connection on another carrier.
  • Severe weather cancels a flight or delays it a minimum number of hours causing you to miss your cruise or tour departure.

It’s important to note that this coverage does not cover travelers in all situations. If you oversleep and miss your return flight home, for example, missed connection coverage won’t provide reimbursement.

Important notes about this coverage

  • You must allow enough time in your planned itinerary to reach the flight or cruise/tour departure in time.
  • Any refunds you receive from travel suppliers will be deducted from your claim.
  • Benefits due to this coverage cannot duplicate the benefits provided by travel delay coverage.
  • Benefits for missed connection coverage are paid on a one-time basis up to the maximum benefit amount defined in the policy.

What type of policy covers this?

Package travel insurance plans often provide this type of coverage, as well as airline trip protection plans. Travel medical plans don’t provide coverage for missed connections.

Summary

  • Airline compensation for missed connections is extremely limited
  • There are no rules governing passenger treatment when a missed connection involves more than one carrier
  • Package plans and some ticket protection plans provide this type of coverage
  • Any compensation received from the airline will be deducted from this benefit if a claim is made
Share
Damian Tysdal
Author
DamianTysdal

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.