This may surprise you but airlines are not required to compensate delayed passengers. Here’s where travel delay coverage comes in handy.10 March 2011
This travel insurance coverage provides reimbursement for additional meal and hotel expenses incurred when a trip’s departure or return is delayed for a covered reason.
|Contents (click to jump down)|
What the airlines owe you when a Travel Delay occurs
What does Travel Delay cover?
Important notes about this coverage
What type of policy covers this?
How much coverage does each company provide?
All through the cold winter, Tony and Beth dreamed of their Jamaica getaway. When the day finally arrived, the first part of their trip started off on time. Landing in Dallas, they heard that an ice storm was moving in and they watched the weather get much worse through their layover.
When the connecting flight was scheduled to leave, the couple was informed that all flights would be delayed at least overnight. Because the delay was considered an ‘act of God’, the airline would not be compensating waiting passengers. Instead of sleeping in uncomfortable airport lounge chairs, however, Tony and Beth had travel insurance that provided reimbursement after a three-hour delay. So, they rescheduled their flight and contacted a local hotel to pick them up from the airport. They had a delicious meal and slept in a warm, comfortable room. It wasn’t Jamaica, but Beth and Tony could make the best of the delay.
Airlines are not required to compensate delayed passengers. They don’t guarantee their schedules and there are many events – like severe weather, air traffic delays, and mechanical issues – that can make it impossible for flights to leave on time. Airlines that fly in the U.S. are not legally obligated to provide any compensation to passengers when a delay occurs.
This coverage reimburses a traveler for reasonable expenses (up to the policy limit) for meals, accommodations, and transportation when the insured is delayed more than a certain number of hours depending on the plan. Travel insurance plans define a per-day maximum limit on reimbursements due to travel delays.
Some of the commonly covered reasons for travel delays include:
Travel insurance package plans, not travel medical insurance plans, provide coverage for travel delays. There are many package plans that provide this type of coverage with varying per-day and policy limits.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.