You’re red-faced and sweating. Time is ticking, the airport’s miles away and you’re stuck in gridlock traffic.
Will you make your flight?
Nothing strikes panic into a passenger’s heart faster than the possibility of missing their plane, but being grounded is part and parcel of modern day travel.
Whether you’ve misjudged your timing, are at the mercy of bad weather, or your flight is simply overbooked, it’s crucial to know what happens next. More specifically, will your travel insurance policy cover your missed flight?
There could be a myriad of reasons for missing your plane but travel insurance will only cover you for an insured event. Whilst insured events usually entail situations that are out of your control (such as illness, injury, bad weather or a traffic incident), your policy won’t cover you for missed flights or connections caused by airlines.
So when does travel insurance cover for missed flights?
When getting on a flight feels like an Olympic event, keep in mind that you’ll be covered if:
• You miss your flight due to a car, train, bus or marine accident in which you are involved.
• You can’t make your plane due to a natural disaster, severe weather, hijacking, riots or civil unrest. The event must have begun after the insurance policy was issued.
• Your doctor informs your insurer that you are unfit to get on a plane. You will require this warning to be in writing and the illness or injury in question cannot be due to a pre-existing condition.
When are you not covered for a missed flight?
It’s time to come to grips with the stark reality. You’ve missed your flight, so it’s time to get practical. Know that your policy will not cover you if:
• Your delay is caused by your airline. Mechanical faults, delays or overbooking on your flight should all be compensated for by your airline.
• You’ve made a marathon type effort to get to the airport but simply aren’t there on time. Unfortunately, running late is not an insurable event.
• You are offered compensation or an alternative flight by your airline and you decline it.
• You’ve upgraded your flight. A lap in luxury could be highly tempting, but keep in mind that if you miss your flight due to a covered event such as a car accident, your insurer would not pay for a first class or business ticket if you hadn’t originally booked the upgrade.
What do you need to have to claim for missed flights?
Less fluster and more focus. Now that you’ve experienced that disastrous delay, here’s what you’ll need in order to make a successful claim.
• Get it down on paper. If you’re the victim of flight cancellation or delay be sure to get any written proof of such events from your airline.
• You may be in rough shape following a traffic accident, but if the incident has prevented you from getting on your plane, do your best to get written evidence of the event from the transport authority in that destination.
• If a medical issue has restricted you from boarding your flight get your doc to provide you with a note detailing your health problems.
Top tips to get you on your flight, fast
Want to beat the pre-flight adrenalin rush? If a last-minute heart-pumping dash through airport crowds sounds less than appealing, try these foolproof, flight arrival tips:
• Pack smart: The last night of your trip is traditionally a last holiday hurrah before returning to reality. But packing the night before can streamline your routine and get you moving faster out the door when it comes closer to leaving time.
• Flight flow: Convenience rules when it comes to connecting flights. Booking all flights on your trip with the same airline can make your journey a calm, hassle free process. Should you be delayed, your airline will be obliged to get you on the next flight or pay for necessary accommodation.
• Chat time: Does missing your flight look likely? Give your airline a ring. They may be able to get you on a later flight if you’re lucky!
• Safe stopover: Do you love the thrill of the chase? Giving yourself less than three hours between connecting flights may give you a buzz, but more sensible travellers will benefit from a longer stopover. A calmer connection will lessen your chances of missing your flight.
• Bags-to-go: Sending your luggage all the way through to your final destination will minimise any setbacks and potential delays when trying to make your connections.
Even the keenest travellers can occasionally miss their flight. Not all travel insurance policies are the same, with some covering for more than others when it comes to flight delays and cancellations. Compare travel insurance policies to find a flight friendly option for your next trip away.